Technology develops with the times, and technological innovations are changing the world.
Steam power ushered in the first industrial revolution. This era saw machine-based manufacturing gradually replace much manual labor. The second industrial revolution was characterized by the wide application of electrical power. This marked the beginning of the age of electricity. The third industrial revolution was ushered in at the end of the twentieth century. It was brought about by the rise of computers and information technology (IT) that led to automated production. Today, a fourth industrial revolution, which builds upon the third industrial revolution, is underway. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, big data, Internet of things (IoT), and 5G are changing the future. We will enter an intelligent world where all things can sense, all things are connected, and all things are intelligent.
Trends such as digital transformation, intelligent automation, and cloud-first strategies are profoundly impacting the development of IT services. Traditional face-to-face services will gradually be supplanted by "machine-to-machine" services, which are increasingly intelligent and cloud based.
Service Development in the Future: More Inclusive Cloud and Platforms
Digital transformation is gathering momentum. IDC forecasts that worldwide spending on digital transformation in 2019 will reach US$1.7 trillion, an increase of 42% compared with 2017. Not only are cloud technologies the basis of digital transformation, they are also becoming the key to the digital transformation of enterprises. Many companies are developing their cloud-first strategies into cloud-only strategies. Over the next decade, more and more industries and enterprises will grow with the cloud. Cloud technologies will be a basic requirement in various industries and enterprises. It is projected that by 2025, all enterprise IT solutions will have been migrated to the cloud and more than 85% of enterprise applications will be deployed on cloud.
In addition, the " hybrid cloud+IT " heterogeneous network environment consisting of public cloud, private cloud, and traditional IT architecture are becoming increasingly complex. Various industry applications using technologies such as IoT, AI, and SaaS are growing exponentially. Industry ecosystems involving inter- and cross-industry service synergy and innovation are expanding. It is increasingly difficult for traditional management methods used in fields such as operations and maintenance (O&M), development, and security to meet emerging requirements. Therefore, at present, digital platforms are becoming the core factor that supports digital transformation and operation. Some enterprises (such as GE, which specially developed the Predix Platform for the manufacturing industry) prefer to build themselves into platform-based enterprises that provide services for different industries. Some enterprises (such as Huawei, which developed an industry enablement platform) prefer to leverage their technical capabilities to build open, flexible, and safe ICT infrastructure platforms. This allows customers to focus on the advantages of optimization and service innovation, without having to struggle with complex ICT hardware and software systems at the lower layer. Building digital platforms helps to build healthy industry ecosystems, and it facilitates the sustainable development of the entire industry. This is achieved by nurturing industry partners and providing them with open and shared resources.
There is a saying in the ancient Chinese classic, The Book of Changes, that goes "As earth's condition is receptive devotion, a gentleman should hold the outer world with a broad mind." Only increasingly inclusive clouds and platforms can support a thriving intelligent society in the future. In response to the increasingly inclusive cloud and platforms, the future IT service providers will need to build advantages in domains such as cloud planning and design, cloud application migration, cloud security, cloud-based O&M, and industrial digital platform services, in order to help industry's customers to expedite their digital transformation.
Service Operations in the Future: Increasingly Intelligent Services Powered by AI and IoT
ICT infrastructure, consisting of broadband, cloud, IoT, and big data, is one of the foundations of the intelligent world. With the development of AI technologies, ICT infrastructure powered by AI is gradually transformed from a support system to a production system and even into a decision-making system. There are many new growth opportunities for ICT infrastructure. According to the Huawei Global Connectivity Index (GCI), between now and 2025 when AI is fully developed and widely applied, ICT infrastructure will produce $23 trillion in new economic benefits. With the development of intelligent industry systems and service applications, services including customer services, automatic network deployment, network fault prediction, automatic processing, and automatic analysis are progressively becoming intelligent and more dependent on technologies. AI technologies reduce an enterprises' dependence on their labor force, improve service predictability and reliability, and reduce delivery costs. Until 2021, service providers with intelligent automation capabilities will be able to reduce their delivery costs by 15% to 25% annually. One of the most obvious examples is that AI is increasingly applied in the main user interfaces (UIs) of more and more applications and services. According to IDC, 30% of enterprises will interact with customers using dialog-based voice technologies. By 2024, UIs and automated processes that support AI technologies will have replaced one third of the current screen-based applications.
As another component of the intelligent world, IoT will not only facilitate connections between people, but also connections between things. This will dramatically increase the number of connections. As of 2015, there were already 16 billion connections and this figure is estimated to reach 100 billion by 2025. In the near future, a world where all things are connected will become a reality. As cloud infrastructure, enterprise applications, and services are applied to terminals (sensors, phones, cameras, and so on) and to the edges of data sources, the coverage of digitalization will undergo a large scale expansion. The large number of terminals, connections, and requirements for edge computing poses great challenges to an enterprises' IoT O&M and intelligent automation capabilities. Therefore, there is an urgent need for IoT platforms with comprehensive analytical capabilities, security and management service solutions, and terminals with intelligent automation capabilities such as self-adaptation, self-deployment, and self-optimization. IDC predicts that in 2021, about US$1 trillion, or 85% of enterprise IoT project investments, will go towards new technology development. In addition, from 2018 to 2021, at least US$3.1 billion of IT consulting services and US$11.2 billion of system integration services are expected to be used to build and implement IoT solutions.
Enterprise services, industry applications, and physical connections are becoming more and more intelligent. Future IT service providers must develop the capabilities to adapt to industry digital scenarios (including smart city, smart campus, safe city, finance, transportation, energy, and electricity), digitalized and integrated service applications, managed O&M, the operations of the massive connections, and intelligent digital platforms that have been built to support the further expansion of intelligent automation.
Emerging technologies such as AI, cloud computing, and IoT are facilitating industry digital transformation. This trend drives enterprises to transform from infrastructure-based to service-based, from hardware-based to software-based, and from traditional business models to an intelligence-based platform economy. In addition, hardware products generally designed for almost every industry are posing challenges to the transformation of industry-specific services.
Based on years of experience in the ICT industry, Huawei Enterprise Service has developed industry cloud enablement services for enterprises and designed industry solution services for industry scenarios. Moreover, Huawei Enterprise Service has established the cloud-based digital intelligent platform called ServiceTurbo Cloud, and built a massive ecosystem by cooperating with industry partners, in order to help industry customers to achieve digital transformation and continuous business monetization.
"As heaven maintains vigor through movements, a gentleman should constantly strive for self-improvement." Time waits for no one. We continue to develop ourselves and move with the times!