What Trends Does the Digital Business Technology Arc Highlight?
by Betsy Burton
I am very pleased to share with you all that Aragon Research has just released the inaugural version of the Digital Business Technology Arc. This research features 37 technology profiles that are split between emerging, adopting, and mature arcs.
It was a very enlightening process to research the technologies and write this piece, speaking with technology and service providers, researching case studies, and exploring technologies in labs and universities.
In addition to highlighting each of the technologies, I found that it was very interesting to look at the arc overall to see what trends it highlights.
Inaugural Digital Business Technology Arc
Digital business is first and foremost a business model change that is enabled and empowered by technology. There are hundreds of technologies that are used to support digital business. In this technology arc, we are specifically focused on technologies organizations should consider when developing, deploying, and evolving digital business solutions.
To create this technology arc, we explored the emergence of technologies such as quantum computing, advanced autonomous analytics, digital business platforms, and Kubernetes, which enable organizations to reach customers and partners in their given context.
In addition, we looked at many of the established technologies that are used to support evolving and maturing digital business solutions, including customer journey mapping, IoT platforms, and robotic process automation.
Once the Technology Arc was completed and we determined all the appropriate technologies, we stepped back to see what trends emerged and found several that were particularly interesting:
1) AI and AI-enabled technologies are increasingly becoming an integral part of digital business. This is not a huge surprise since AI-enabled technologies are emerging across most markets. However, AI-enabled technologies are particularly critical for digital business applications because digital business is focused on reaching out to customers in their context and requires that organizations are able to use massive amounts of data to model a customer’s context and behaviors, as well as deliver an experience that resonates with them in their physical and virtual world.
2) Robotics (physical and virtual) are already a key digital business technology, and the demand for robotics will only continue to increase. Digital business solutions will demand increasingly intelligent embedded and physically-independent robotics that can interact with customers in both the physical and virtual world.
3) Not all platforms are the same or offer the same breadth of capabilities. I have written about this before (Your Digital Platform Isn’t A Differentiator), every application and service these days is either based on or integrated with a platform. In this technology arc we highlight IoT platforms, iPaaS platforms, digital business platforms, etc. Organizations supporting digital business need to be clear about what they need from a platform, and ensure they pick the right one.
4) Digital business requires a combination of technologies. Digital business is about creating new business models. Eventually digital business will become the predominant way for organizations to support their business. Therefore, supporting digital business means that organizations will need a diversity and combination of technologies. Digital business is not just about analytics, AI, platform, devices and robotics, customer experience, or cloud, it is about all of these technologies used in combination to support new businesses.
We hope you find this inaugural Technology Arc for Digital Business valuable as a guide and inspiration for how your organization might support or enable digital business solutions (The Aragon Research Technology Arc™ for Digital Business, 2020).
I would also encourage clients to view the Aragon Research visual research which provides a high-level overview of this note and the methodology.
Aragon Research is also holding a webinar on this topic on August 26th. I hope many of you join us for this session and submit any questions, comments, or ideas during this discussion.