Resolution #1: Embrace the AI revolution
Whether it’s AI as in artificial intelligence or AI as in augmented intelligence, businesses have to think about humans plus machines, not humans versus machines. The combination will beat humans or machines on their own every time. IBM Watson and Wipro Holmes are two players to watch here.
In 2018, AI is an important supplemental technology, one your teams need to learn to leverage effectively. (More on that below.) And with increasingly popular AI-as-a-service solutions like Disco and Niles for Slack, our team can give one another “props” and add answers to frequently asked questions to a knowledge base.
Resolution #2: Adopt HMI
There are so many ways to take advantage of human-machine interaction (HMI) today. HMI is truly limitless, with ways to interact with computers through sensors, video, voice, even eye control — down to being able to use computers with brain waves.
Take voice recognition technology: beyond playing 20 questions with Alexa and asking Google Home for a weather report, consumers do more with voice than ever before; they order products and get information at lightning speed. Think what it can do for your business.
Resolution #3: Elevate the customer experience
Customers expect instant gratification and smarter self-service options, and they want them yesterday. It’s not difficult to get started with the necessary advancements today; a single chatbot can transform your customer experience. A chatbot trained to answer common questions or link customers to relevant articles and help content is a must-have tool for business websites and mobile apps this year.
Resolution #4: Use data as an industry disruptor
Consider what Bill James did for baseball using data. Years later, it’s similar across all industries; bigger data shouldn’t be your focus this year — it’s about doing more with your data. Our global community of data scientists can help you get there. Topcoder does everything from creating and optimizing algorithms to developing data analysis solutions to detect trends and predict outcomes. Who’s going to be the Bill James of your industry?
Resolution #5: Get a reality check
We used to get excited about virtual reality (VR), and while we still are, it’s really augmented reality (AR) that has come into the spotlight since last year. Retailers have enabled customers to “try on” clothes or and even “try out” furniture for their home. Much like with voice recognition technology, using AR well is more important than using it at all.
Resolution #6: Never let your guard down
Security is an issue that will not go away. Instead of making fears around security the reason not to do something, make new means of security an enabler to do and try things with confidence. Gone are the days of focusing on people and paper (i.e., contracts and NDAs), as that equals risk. Security should be defined on an interaction basis (i.e., the exchange of data) — regardless of who, when, where, and what data.
That’s how we tackle security at Topcoder. Every interaction is secured, checked, validated, and protected as it if were the first interaction or the most important one. It’s the only way to truly get peace of mind around security.
Ready to act on your resolutions?