Last year introduced all sorts of new technologies and approaches – leaving those responsible for managing business processes wondering which are just shiny new buzzwords and which are worth investing time and energy towards.
While there will always be some surprises, here is a glimpse into a few trends that should remain top of mind.
Transparency and Secure Access with Blockchain
There are certainly reputational issues associated with blockchain, as the most common application, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, is unfortunately connected to nefarious activities. However, blockchain will continue to gain traction as it is useful in securely tracking critical transactions – especially in complex supply chain industries, such as the automotive and retail industries.
In the financial world, we are seeing companies explore blockchain for payments processing. Within each industry, the sheer volume of data that is going to be generated, and subsequently managed, is going to be significant. The jury is still out, but mainstream blockchain applications will continue to emerge throughout the year.
Robotics and RPA: Use Wisely
Robotics are here to stay, yet they are not the panacea. Robotics and RPA can offer great value to the enterprise by cutting costs, shrinking cycle time, eliminating manual errors and freeing up high-value employees. However, it’s imperative to understand that there is a threshold and potential down side, if not managed properly.
Real-time access to information is a critical benefit, but if the algorithms are improperly created, the rules can get out of control and put companies at risk. This is a change point for many industries: move forward with RPA, but do so wisely. Fraudsters are taking advantage of this every day, and companies need to be aware of both the pros and cons of RPA to ensure they’re implementing it for processes that will truly benefit from RPA – and properly balancing it with human oversight and control.
Risk and Compliance: Driving the Need for Chief Data Officers
With the impending onslaught of compliance requirements, the regulation of data will be paramount in 2018. Companies needs to be keenly aware of where they store and manage data over the residual life cycle to not only be in compliance, but - more importantly - to protect their organizations and customers from unnecessary risk and associated costs.
We will see a spike in the specific need for chief data officers, as this role becomes more prevalent and perceived as highly valued within the enterprise.
The “regulation of data” should be a top priority for organizations in all industries with new rules constantly emerging– especially for those with global operations. With multi-national growth, it’s important for organizations to be dialed in to the different reporting standards and regulations in each country in which they operate.
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