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Supply chain, AI and cloud set to dominate corporate tech agendas in 2021

22 Jan 2021

Article by Infor managing director for A/NZ Jarrod Kinchington.
 

Here are Infor’s top three technology predictions for 2021 in the areas of the supply chain, artificial intelligence and cloud.

As a direct result of COVID-19, digital supply chains will accelerate in 2021. 

While supply chain leaders have traditionally viewed digital transformation in the context of efficiency and cost, the focus will now be on agility and resilience. That’s where digital technology comes in. A multi-enterprise, digital supply chain enables better end-to-end visibility, better predictive analytics, and better and smarter automation. 

Leaders will be able to customise and flex their supply chains based on market demand and make better use of ecosystem partners. These digital tools are as far-ranging as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and robotic process automation and are expected to shift early promises to impactful value propositions.

As the incredible supply chain disruptions of 2020 unfolded, it became clear that managing real-time supply and demand matching and forecasting were no longer tasks humans can take on alone. It’s no longer reasonable to expect a supply chain leader to predict when one country’s market will suddenly close, and another will open, or account for ever-shifting materials and costs — especially as government restrictions on transportation and travel change rapidly. 

In 2021, chain managers will accelerate their adoption of AI to augment workers’ instincts and experiences and provide them with intelligent insights into changing market conditions, letting them accurately forecast supply and demand in real-time.

Expect to see AI transforming the hiring process this year.

In the unpredictable job market of 2021, it will be critical for organisations to leverage AI to ensure they find the right candidate for the job. AI will enable HR departments to become more proactive in their hiring and help them determine a candidate’s cultural fit by using data to measure the quality of a hire. 

Innovations such as intelligent screening software that automates resume screening, recruiter chatbots that engage candidates in real-time, and digitised interviews that help assess a candidate’s fit will become commonplace in HR departments. 

AI also holds great promise for creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces, given its ability to reduce biases and add objectivity to employment decision-making through AI-powered algorithms to identify candidates’ unique qualities.

Over the next year, adoption of AI will accelerate across many areas of healthcare. By applying machine learning to real-time global data sets, healthcare professionals can more accurately track contact between staff and infected patients, enable accurate diagnoses, utilise predictive analytics to track personal protective equipment (PPE), optimise workforce allocations, and develop more effective and lasting vaccinations.

Cloud technology will reinvent event experiences in 2021.

After the US Open tennis tournament successfully pivoted to cloud and AI this year to enhance the virtual experience for fans who could not attend the physical event, there will be an uptick in physical events leveraging cloud technology to give viewers tailored experiences. 

With 2021 primed to grip the world’s attention with several significant events, such as the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the Wimbledon Championship, cloud technology is poised to reinvent the standard fan experiences completely. The potential for using cloud technology to transform events is enormous — think real-time crowd excitement analysis to optimise highlights and advertisements, extremely low-latency live feeds, and moderated crowd interaction – all hosted on robust cloud platforms.

Multi-tenant cloud architectures will be the new gold standard. Using multi-tenant cloud solutions means companies are automatically kept up-to-date with the most cutting-edge technology without worrying about manual updates or replacing hardware. 

As we move into a new year that likely will bring more uncertainty, multi-tenant cloud solutions will become critical technology differentiators, helping businesses remain agile and innovative, while also reducing their e-waste footprints and helping them move closer to their sustainability targets.