Machines can learn 24x7x365, can review massive volumes and continuous streams of data in milliseconds, and have the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. This of course, enables a pace of learning far faster than anything us humans have ever witnessed or participated in. What does this mean for digital transformation planning and prioritizing? It means once machine learning has been implemented across core systems, the pace of learning will increase at extraordinary rates, and at scales beyond human's capacity to absorb and act upon it.
The bottleneck in the future will be humans' inability to process new information, and change at the rate machine learning systems are delivering actionable data. To solve these challenges, the reins of control will increasingly be turned over to machine learning systems capable of analyzing data, creating and running various models and test scenarios, and then acting on the results in digital-time.
Before moving on, let's define machine learning. Machine learning consists of algorithms that learn from and make predictions on data, and uncover "hidden insights" through analyzing and learning from historical relationships and trends in the data. These algorithms operate by building models from example inputs in order to make data-driven predictions or decisions expressed as outputs, rather than following strict and static programming instructions.
What does machine learning mean for businesses planning digital transformation initiatives today? In our recent survey of over 2,000 executives, we found the biggest business impacts today come from SMAC (social, mobile, analytic and cloud) and IoT related technologies. Business impacts from these technologies are expected to double over the next 3.5-years. We call this the first wave of digital transformation.
As impressive as the first wave of digital transformation is and will be from now through year 2020, the 2nd wave, which we call the Age of Hyper-Transformation, will triple and even quadruple its impact on businesses by 2025. The Age of Hyper-Transformation will occur as a result of adding the following technologies to the list and exploiting their business value:
The Age of Hyper-Transformation utilizes the innovations delivered in the first wave of digital transformation, matures them, and then overlays automation, robotics, intelligence and machine learning. It is during the Age of Hyper-Transformation when the operational tempo of businesses is beyond human-time, and well into the warp speed of digital-time. It is during this age, that human managers will increasingly become the overlords of automation, artificial intelligence and algorithms.
Stay tuned for my upcoming report on digital transformation, innovations and key technologies.