In the past, companies ran their contact centers using on-premises software systems. Maintaining consistently good customer service often required significant ongoing investment not only in the software itself but also in hardware like computers and servers—and that’s not even including the cost of staffing a customer-service center. Today, cloud-based customer service solutions are a natural extension of the growth of cloud and AI (artificial intelligence) across industries.
A new ResearchandMarkets report suggests blockchain technology will boost the global GDP by almost $2 trillion by 2030. The firm also projects the global market for blockchain tech will reach $30.7 billion by 2027. Although many IT budgets were slashed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, technologies under the IoT (Internet of Things) umbrella, including automation, AI (artificial intelligence), and blockchain, are going to be a critical part of how businesses move forward in a post-COVID era.
Digital transformation is the name of the game in sectors like smart city, healthcare, and manufacturing. In fact, research from Mordor Intelligence suggests the digital transformation in manufacturing market will reach $767.82 billion by 2026, up from $263.93 billion in 2020. As part of the digital transformation process, automation is helping manufacturers cut costs and become more efficient. After a year marked by change and upheaval thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers are moving forward in 2021 (and beyond), in part by adjusting their market strategies.
Mobile devices are a critical part of modern society, playing a role in how people communicate with each other personally and professionally, how they accomplish tasks personally and professionally, and how they remain productive on the go. Remote work is now a bigger part of the picture thanks to COVID-19, and mobile-device security should be a focus for both individuals and enterprises that rely on mobile devices, which are consumer devices at their core, for productivity.
For the second year, Cisco’s annual event, Cisco Live!, was virtual. The event wrapped up last week, leaving a lot on the table for the industry to digest. Chuck Robbins, Cisco’s chairman and CEO, pointed to it being a unique moment in history—a moment that’s shaping the future. Robbins says technology is foundational to this future. With the innovations announced at Cisco’s event, Robbins said, “Our customers around the world will not only be able to connect, secure, and automate the future of IT, but also leverage technology to truly power an inclusive future for all.”
The semiconductor space is experiencing upheaval. Demand for chips is high, and the industry is recovering from supply chain issues that plagued it during 2020. Internationally, China’s efforts to become a leader in the semiconductor space are putting pressure on other firms, but not in a good way. In the U.S., things are changing too. In July 2020, after former Intel CEO Bob Swan announced a product delay, Nvidia surpassed Intel as the largest chipmaker in the U.S. (according to market cap values) for the first time. Intel has spent a lot of time in the top spot, jockeying at times for the position with chipmakers like Qualcomm, which announced in January it would acquire chip startup Nuvia. Also in January, Intel replaced Bob Swan with Pat Gelsinger as CEO, supposedly after being pressured to do so.
Increasingly, the need to offer products and services based on up-to-date, or, in some cases, even realtime data is imperative in industries like manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and insurance. Analytics and AI (artificial intelligence) technologies offer a much more accurate and granular look at various metrics that help businesses make decisions about their products, services, and customers. In the insurance space, there’s a drive to adopt predictive analytics and data analytics that can enable more accurate customer experiences and reduce fraud. This is due not only to the big-picture trend toward digital transformation but also to the specific need to compete with insurtech startup firms. In many cases, these startups were founded on the premise of using these technologies to differentiate themselves from the “big dogs” in the space.
As our world becomes more connected, businesses are also becoming more reliant on IoT (Internet of Things) connectivity. This is especially the case where the applications to be connected are business critical. The challenge is it can be difficult to manage IoT connectivity in the field.
While much of the world is still talking about the deadly COVID-19 virus and all the effects of a global pandemic, the ITIF (Information Technology and Innovation Foundation) is persistently committed to spreading the word about a different kind of threat—not a health threat, but one that could stifle innovation in the U.S. technology sector and beyond. The ITIF’s latest report examines the impact of China’s mercantilist strategies on the global semiconductor industry. How worried should the tech space be about China’s efforts to, as the CSIS (Center for Strategic and Intl. Studies) puts it, “pursue semiconductor independence”? How are China’s state-directed efforts to vault into a leadership position in the semiconductor industry affecting Moore’s Law?
The COVID-19 pandemic and global health crisis that began in 2020 shed light on several supply-chain issues, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. Ideally, during a crisis, the U.S. would be able to rise to the occasion, shifting gears quickly and efficiently to ensure that whatever resources are in short supply—whether it’s toilet paper, food, medicine, or something else—make their way into the hands of those in need. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the pandemic, this wasn’t the case. It became clear that, in general, supply chains in the U.S. weren’t quite as flexible and agile as they needed to be. And now, the White House is looking to create systemic change that could strengthen U.S. supply chains and prevent similar situations from happening again.