Guest Contribution by Amelia Vega, Oracle
In step with the rapid advancement of technology over the past several years, global research and development spending has reached nearly $1.7 trillion to date. Four industries are leading the charge in this movement—software and internet, auto, health care, and computing and electronics—which accounted for more than 97% of the top 20’s R&D spending in 2018. From a business perspective, this growth is exciting because it creates a projection of the emerging technology we’re to expect in the near future. Approaching 2020, we will continue to see R&D growth.
Over the past several years, breakthrough technology has transformed from an enterprise-only asset to an increasingly accessible tool for all business and budget sizes. Today, both large and small organizations are committing time and resources to support technology R&D in efforts to innovate and improve. Continued development of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and cloud computing, is paving the way for this ongoing R&D investment, as savvy businesses recognize the advantages early adopters have over their competition.
Let’s take a look at a few of the leading R&D trends.
Modern businesses demand the latest technology from their cloud provider because keeping up with the latest developments in cloud technology is essential to best meet business-specific and customer needs. New technologies, features, and security updates are continuously being developed in modern cloud solutions to create more streamlined and secure business processes. Cloud-focused R&D investment creates opportunities for modern cloud providers to adapt to these new technology features and seamlessly grow and advance at the speed businesses need. Whereas older solutions, like Lawson Software and Alibaba Cloud, may not have the necessary means to update as frequently and therefore are not as adaptable, commitment to cloud R&D investment is critical to success moving forward.
A few expected benefits of R&D investment in cloud computing include:
- Improved service: Along with business functionality, the cloud has a significant impact on how products and services are delivered to customers.
- Simplified management: Less upkeep means providers can take on maintenance responsibilities with ease.
- Adaptable to growth: Modern cloud technology provides the resources necessary for businesses to scale.
AI’s advanced capabilities are enabling R&D departments to work on improving more sophisticated and innovative business offerings. Savvy business leaders recognize the importance of this technology as it relates to future innovation and their ability to provide the highest quality offerings in today’s competitive market. Similarly, early adopters’ interest in AI R&D is facilitated by their experience with AI and the benefits it can have on in-house and customer-facing capabilities.
According to the Deloitte’s State of AI in the Enterprise, 2nd Edition survey, respondents reported the primary benefits of AI are enhancing products and services and optimizing internal business operations. To remain competitive and innovative, R&D investment in AI is essential to modern business success. Consequently, 51% of the Deloitte survey respondents expect to increase their AI investment by 10% or more in the next fiscal year. CareerBuilder for example, recently announced its increased investment in AI and ML to deliver more innovative and effective products and services to better serve their customers in today’s competitive hiring environment.
The National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan: 2019 Update reports on the United States’ strategy outline for AI R&D. The 2019 strategic plan highlights several key R&D strategies including the following, among others:
- Make long-term investments in AI research.
- Develop effective methods for human-AI collaboration.
- Understand and address the ethical, legal, and societal implications of AI.
- Ensure the safety and security of AI systems.
Data science is a largely growing focus for businesses in every industry. As the demand for more personalized service increases, companies are making big investments in data resources to leverage their business delivery models. Data R&D is enabling companies to gather enormous amounts of data in a more efficient and reliable fashion. Benefiting both business functionality and customer service, improved data allow for easier identification of patterns, shortcomings, and other relevant information that provides insight into how businesses can improve.
Coming full circle, businesses’ ability to gather a large amount of reliable data also contributes to more impactful R&D processes in general. As the Chicago Analytics Group reports, the top four benefits of data analytics include faster innovation cycles, improved business efficiencies, improved products/services, and more effective R&D. Moving forward, investment in big data will continue to rise as business leaders become more adept in analyzing and leveraging data to further propel them ahead of the competition.
As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace and businesses compete to stay relevant in their industries, R&D investment can mean the difference between success and failure. Cloud computing, AI, and data sciences are just a few trends we can expect to see more R&D departments focusing on. Moving forward, there are surely great things to come.