The New Age of Disruptive Technologies - What It Means for Enterprises

Ankit Tomar, Co-Founder & CTO, BizongoAnkit is passionate about technology and building products. He believes in constant learning and evolution.

Business productivity in the last decade has increased tremendously due to technological advancement. From machinery to streamlining and automating a lot of manual processes companies have propelled their businesses forward. Today, long term business stability and competitive edge is a function of how willing an organization is to adopt technology in their day today processes. Businesses which are not able to evolve and adopt technology often die a painful slow death.

But, in the last decade most of the enterprise productivity increased by adopting software’s to automated manual tasks and by using internet to connect their remote locations to collect analyse at one place. Lot of manual book keeping, factory validation or supply chain processes were replaced by sophisticated accounting, manufacturing and supply chain management systems. Internet played its part in connecting every unit to each other making sure that all information is at one place for effective decision making as well as analysis.

Today, we are stepping into the next decade of technology advancement. With new paradigms like Artificial intelligence, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, Robotics new scenarios and opportunities have opened up. Enterprises who take a lead in taking advantages of these will evolve as well as change the future for a lot of us. Those enterprises will be able to differentiate themselves and be able to offer unique experiences to their customers.

But some of these technologies are still in their nascent stages and not many enterprises understand the use cases for which they can be used and their advantages.

A Clear Transparent Approach
Blockchain as a fundamental is an immutable ledger which doesn’t depend on any central authority for correctness of data on the chain. Trust is through all the participants on the chain and not through a central authority. As an enterprise blockchain is an opportunity to build transparency and traceability in their supply chain.

Consider a food processing company who uses many manufacturers for its
food production, packaging and other materials. If a customer falls ill after consuming their product currently it takes a lot of effort on the company’s end to find where in their supply chain were the issue and how the product leads to a food borne disease. If all supply chain transactions were on a blockchain, it would take a matter of seconds to trace the problem.

Considering blockchain is an immutable ledger there wouldn’t be any issue of anybody being able to change the recorded data once it’s added. If the company chooses to make this blockchain public, they can also display their entire supply chain to their customers, reinforcing that they take the concept of responsible sourcing very seriously.

A digital contract on blockchain could also ensure an automated process for payments processing after delivery which further reduces any intervention required from a central control team. Currently this process takes days and is done manually after verifying everything. In a digital contract written on a blockchain after confirmation of delivery as well as other documentation required, this process could be triggered automatically. By virtue of blockchain being decentralised and immutable, there will be an inherent trust in the digital contract amongst both buyers and suppliers.

Connecting the Dots
Internet of things is connection of computing devices in everyday objects through internet enabling them to send and receive data.

There are numerous application of these devices. These devices can be sensors used to automatically send orders to sellers as soon as stock goes down in a warehouse by sensing stock levels on a rack or in tracking material in transit.

Cold storage supply chain is one of the areas which can benefit greatly from these devices. While transporting food and vegetables or certain other pharma drugs,a particular temperature or alignment (position) may be required. These sensors can be used while transporting to monitor the temperature and other factors to make sure pre emptive measures can be taken to avoid any loss thus increasing profits.

Better Learning
Machine learning gives the ability to a machine to learn as it goes through the process of performing a task. Advancement in data analysis has made it possible for enterprises to use multiple external sources to collect data, analyse it and ascertain any potential supplier risks in realtime. Machine learning applied here makes sure they learn for each instance or transaction which is done with a supplier and make risk assessment an evolving process.

Lot of companies are also evolving their support with chat bots which can take care of basic questions and help customer resolve their queries faster. This makes the customer support more efficient and faster. Chat bots are expected to evolve much more through machine learning to be able to handle complex queries with ease just like a human agent.

An automated plant with robots taking care of the machinery is not a thing of the past anymore. You can see more and more enterprises making use of Robots with artificial intelligence algorithms taking care of all functions of a plant.

There are many more uses cases of the above technologies but one thing is very clear that technology today is moving into a new era. Most of what we see today willchange with these technologies in the coming decade. Enterprises will have to be ready to take advantages of these technologies in order to evolve and become the enterprises of future.