Empowering technologies that define 2020 IT landscape

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    BLOCKCHAIN, robotics, advanced analytics are technologies that have been existing for over ten years.

    Yet in the past year alone, refinements to these technologies have allowed futurists to say that 2020 is the year when science fiction becomes a reality.

    In a recent discussion with Zebra Technologies experts, the value of these technologies in creating a more progressive future becomes apparent—and empowering—as there has been fantastic progress toward these plausible tech trends becoming real world applications, in retail, transportation and logistics, manufacturing and healthcare.

    With the labor pool not growing at the rate required to meet accelerating demand, enterprises are looking for technological solutions that can enable the automated smart tasking of their workers. These solutions are empowered with actionable data from advanced tracking technologies and prescriptive analytics.

    An example is how the Department of Science and Technology, in partnership with the Development Academy of the Philippines, has initiated training 30,000 individuals from the government, the academe, and business process outsourcing industry on data science and analytics through the program “Smarter Philippines Through Data Analytics, R&D, Training and Adoption” (SPARTA).

    Data science and data analytics will be what programming was to the economy in the 90s.

    It will spark new understanding and open new job markets.

    Collecting data is the base of data science. Currently one of the most efficient ways of data collection is a rather Jurassic technology—the Radio Frequency Identification or RFID. New technologies have increased the power of the barcode and businesses are expecting more from data capture, by adding 2D barcodes, computer vision to RFID.

    Enterprises are on the lookout for complete solutions that will allow them to collect data, gather insights from that data and even offer prescriptive analytics that help them make faster and more accurate business decisions. These analytics make businesses more responsive.

    Protecting the gains of businesses does not only mean a good cybersecurity fence.

    It also means using technologies such as blockchain which is now increasingly used in various industries for enhanced traceability in areas such as anti-counterfeiting, supply chain operations and patient data. It is mission-critical for organizations to master data ownership, especially as this pertains to usage rights, data privacy and security as best-in-class customer experience becomes increasingly data-driven.

    AMBERLab which stands for Ateneo-MediXserve Blockchain Education and Research Lab, is poised to become a venue for research and education of blockchain technologies. It is the first university-based blockchain research laboratory in the Philippines and aims to advance blockchain’s research for use in health tech, edutech, AI, fintech and other industries.

    Supply chain players that can reap immediate benefits from blockchain include pharmaceutical, food and goods manufacturers, transportation and logistics providers, healthcare institutions and even retailers of high-end goods. Blockchain will be used wherever immutable and event-driven “trust” needs to be established or where there is a need to share specific data in a secure, democratized way.

    Real estate companies in the Philippines are starting to introduce innovations to improve security and efficiency. Blockchain has a major advantage in this sector as it helps limit fraud and provide better transparency.

    This increased focus on blockchain has boosted interest in one of the cornerstone Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) of Zebra’s Data Services known as Blockchain Traceability. This API can provide a seamless tracking of assets, from creation to consumption, to solve challenges around counterfeit goods, food safety and overall origin of goods and assets.

    Augmented Reality (AR) technologies can direct workers to complete their tasks more effectively or guide new workers on the job.

    Entrepreneurs acknowledged the significance of AI to the growth of their business.

    Organizations that adopted AI expect to increase competitiveness in their fields by 1.5 times in three years. The study conducted by IDC among 109 business leaders and 100 workers in the Philippines showed that 88 percent of businesses are willing to invest in skilling, reskilling and upskilling of workers to help create a fully AI-ready workforce.