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The Internet of Things (IoT) is perceived as the technology that has the greatest potential to drive business transformation and long-term value in companies over the next three years.

KPMG’s recent 2019 Technology Industry Innovation Survey places IoT on top of the list of transformational technologies, closely followed by robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence.

The full list, with last year’s placings shown in brackets, is as follows:

  • Number 1: Internet of Things (1)
  • Number 2: Robotic process automation (9)
  • Number 3: Artificial intelligence, cognitive computing and machine learning (2)
  • Number 4 (tied): Blockchain (7) and Robotics and automation (3)
  • Number 6: Augmented reality (8)
  • Number 7: Virtual reality (4)
  • Number 8: Social networking and collaborative technologies (5)
  • Number 9: Biotech, digital health and genetics (6)
  • Number ten: On-demand marketplace platforms (10)

The pre-eminent position of IoT is certainly no surprise given the major strides that are being made in this area. Indeed, IDC forecasts that the global spending on IoT will reach £588 billion this year, and £0.95 trillion by 2022.

It’s also interesting to note that while the actual technologies in this year’s list are essentially the same as last year, the order has changed quite significantly. This is particularly the case for RPA and blockchain.

What’s behind these particular rises? In the case of RPA it is the growing use of software bots. In the office environment, for example, automated software bots are already performing numerous basic tasks and even making decisions that were previously in the domain of humans.

Meanwhile, blockchain has progressed from being overhyped and viewed somewhat cynically to being firmly in the plans of businesses across many sectors, with financial services, industrial manufacturing and telecommunications expected to have particularly strong adoption. Indeed, a previous KPMG report entitled Blockchain for Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Companies found that 41% of technology company leaders expect to implement blockchain technology at their company over the next three years, whilst 48% believe the technology will change the way their company does business over the next three years.

This latest report concludes by outlining a number of key steps that organisations should take in order to gain a competitive advantage via transformational technologies. These include:

  • Assessing how transformative technologies and new competitors may impact different aspects of your business model including value proposition, key stakeholders, workforce, current processes and legacy technologies
  • Ensuring your business model is adaptable to harness new technologies and build an operational ecosystem around them
  • Fostering a corporate culture that embraces innovation, agility and experimentation.

Mel Jones

European Product Manager

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