09/11/2016
Mark Skelton

I spend my working day thinking about cloud infrastructure and services, so it was great to listen to the thoughts of other tech leaders at Microsoft’s Future Decoded UK. Their new UK CEO, Cindy Rose, explored the concept of the 4th Industrial revolution.   It's now widely acknowledged that Digital Transformation will revolutionise 21st century society and 21st century business.  

Mark Skelton Chief Technology Officer (@m_skelts) Make contact

Throughout Future Decoded we saw and heard about cloud infrastructure and services that are challenging and changing the way businesses and organisations operate.  Here’s a brief recap.

Cloud infrastructure and services: The rise of the data platform

The rise of the data platform over the last few years has fuelled the demand for cloud infrastructure and services in the market.  Harnessing business data and big data gives organisations a competitive edge.  It provides organisations with deeper insights and the ability to capitalise on tactical and strategic opportunities.  

At Future Decoded we heard from organisations, such as JustGiving and the RAC, who are now finally harnessing the data they’ve been collecting for years.  It really made me think about how we can help OCSL’s clients harness their data and use the power of cloud infrastructure and services to deliver significant change within their organisations.  

Use Cases for AI

We’ve seen the rise of personal AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the consumer world with Cortana, Siri, and Amazon Echo.  But now we have AI engines learning and listening to what is going on in organisations.  It’s getting very accurate at predicating trends and helping drive business decisions.   When scientists were first thinking about AI there were high failure rates. Now, failure rates and accuracy are comparable with the success and failure rates of the natural human brain. 
 
One of the most visual use cases for AI was presented by Microsoft research.  It showcased use cases in healthcare, focussing on AI analysis of human body scans.  Today clinicians spend hours studying scans of the human body looking for tumours and abnormalities.  Microsoft demonstrated  how an AI tool makes it possible to scan captured images and build 3D visualisations of problem areas within minutes.   Microsoft and the other big vendors are driving up innovation in this space, and many agile AI and analytics startups are being snapped up by larger players.  

It excites me to think about what AI could be used for in the future.  Automated support bots could provide faster more accurate responses to problems or it could help predict exactly when you need to scale your infrastructure. The possibilities are limitless.

Pushing digital potential with Augmented Reality

The last big area of significance for me from Future Decoded was the development of augmented reality.  This is a true passion of mine and I’ve been keeping a close eye on the developments of products like Hololens.  Nothing illustrates the potential of this technology better than the ThyssenKrupp Elevators case study

What’s clear, is that the organisations who embrace technologies, such as Big Data, AI and augmented reality will be the next market leaders in their fields. Any CIO not looking into these types of technologies will fall behind, regardless of the sector.  It’s an exciting time to be involved in technology and to be on the cusp of the 4th Industrial revolution.  With the combination of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud infrastructure and services, it’s set to be an exciting future.

Thought piece
Technology