Emerging Technologies are Becoming More Compelling

By : |May 30, 2019 0

Recently, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Smartphone generated creative fashion designs, the driverless car is now a reality; these and many other tech innovations are easing our daily lives – personal and business both. Business is utilizing emerging technologies to enhance their overall efficiencies, make better decisions and solve some complicated challenges.

Huron Consulting Group with a mission to enable organizations to improve fundamental performance, reinvent their business, generate new growth platforms, and lead their people through transformational change They were facing some challenges and technology helped to overcome those. Venkatakrishnan Janakiraman, MD, Huron Consulting Group, spoke about the challenges and solution.

What are the challenges faced by consulting firms such as yours?

The key challenge for any consulting company like ours is in adapting to the change in technology. Long gone are the days where technology is sort of constant for 5 years and decisions around people/staffing can be made around those. The need of the hour is in being nimble, adapt to changing technology especially in moving towards cloud-based services.

The adage, ‘change is the only constant’, is even more relevant to the world of consulting. Basically, there are 3 broad areas that Consulting firms like us thrive on – People, Process & Technology. All three areas are closely inter-linked and it’s imperative that as companies grow, technology component becomes more fundamental to both the People and the Process side.

How can emerging tech help in managing these challenges?

Technology is the under-current for growth of all major industries. Emerging technologies help companies like us challenge the status quo and more importantly bring in a differentiating factor to the services we offer. A decade or so back, the gold standard was to pick technologies that are time-tested/well-proven.

Though it is still the case in many areas, emerging technologies are becoming a lot more compelling and relevant to all segments. Clients are looking at unique differentiators in technology that can help in solving current challenges and help address future needs. Looking at the Gartner report on the hype cycle, there are at least 2 to 3 new technologies that are coming up every year – technologies like Blockchain, AI/ML, VR/AR all solve unique problems and have significant potential.

To address our key challenges, we chose Oracle Autonomous Database. We used Oracle Autonomous Database for 2 main reasons: the ability to scale on-demand and ability to patch/be available on demand. It was a catch-22 situation when we were looking at technology options – we wanted to have the flexibility of scaling and tuning a database that required a dedicated DBA but we did not want to invest on the DBA as it would be manual and error-prone given what we were trying to achieve. Oracle Autonomous Database cloud service helped us significantly there – scaling or adding CPUs are extremely simple and most importantly patching is automatic and very seamless.

Initially, we were sceptical in terms of how this will work – but having used it for more than a year now in production, I think the Oracle Autonomous Database is prime ready.

What’s your take on the concept of an autonomous enterprise?

With the way AI/ML is growing, I think it is a matter of time before a lot of technologies and processes become automated and autonomous. Automation used to be the big “Consulting” focal word before but now it is “Autonomous”. Though it might be hard to make any technology and enterprise completely autonomous, it is a very interesting proposition as it could help in significant cost reduction and optimization. And not only costs, but it also helps in security, audits and quite a few other areas that require manual intervention today. Self-tuning, self-healing, self-patching technologies are work-in-progress in many areas – but if investments are made in these areas, it will significantly help large enterprises.

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