Reimagining the future with Analytics and AI

SAS top 7 trends & predictions for 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new wave of stimulus policies to rebuild the global economy. Digitisation is and will be the key to face any economic, health, ecological or social challenge from now into the future.

In addition to health, there are many sectors that, due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus, have had to rapidly adopt digital tools to continue operating, and there is no turning back in this process.

In Europe, the European Commission (EU) has set out a major recovery plan:  Next Generation EU, designed to support countries in their efforts to recuperate economic stability and build a more inclusive and sustainable future. The programme contemplates financial funds to support urgent investments in two main areas: transition to green economies and digital transformation.

Creating a strong industrial ecosystem with AI, supercomputing and Cloud; investment in connectivity and 5G; strengthen Cybersecurity; and build data-driven economies are among the EU’s top priorities when it comes to digitalisation. 

According to market research firm IDC and its latest IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Digital Transformation 2021 Predictions, despite the pandemic, digital investments are growing and will continue to grow at a 15.5% growth rate (CAGR) until 2023.

In the UK, we have already seen an additional budget of £16.5 billion over four years afforded to British defence and the Government will be under further pressure to provide investment for the NHS after the pressure it has been put under during the pandemic.

The disruptive nature of 2020 also brings with it some opportunities – and many of them involve data, analytics and digital transformation. Uncertain times revealed unexpected possibilities for companies and governments to reimagine their organisations with data.

Given these insights, at SAS we gathered our renowned EMEA experts and asked them what they foresee for 2021 and how they see technology breaking through in different layers of our society.  

So, who is brave enough to make predictions for 2021 after the unpredictable year we are living in? We are.

SAS top 7 predictions for 2021

1.       Reconfiguring the cloud for analytics

“Cloud computing technology has emerged and provided the computing power and scaling capabilities necessary to leverage analytics and AI on a massive scale. What a few years ago required a long procurement process and was often unattainable due to infrastructure costs, today we can do by logging into a cloud provider, renting their equipment, and using the support services offered.”

-          Michal Gawlick, EMEA Cloud & Architecture Leader, SAS

2.       Decision makers start to trust AI

“The more visibility that decision makers have into AI results, the more confidence they have in the decisions that are being made by the models. Adding human oversight and explaining the models at each step in a decision process will start to bring acceptance to AI and automated decisioning.” 

-          João Oliveira, EMEA Business Solutions Manager, SAS

3.       Smart towns catch up to smart cities

“As organisations have started promoting remote working, there is a reverse migration from large cities to the smaller towns across many countries.  This has led to change in the strategy of the companies providing services in the area of broadband, food delivery and other smart services.  All stakeholders in a smart city or smart society have to work together to promote these reverse migrations. From local and federal governments to technology providers and enablers, they all have a role to play.”

-          Dwijendra Dwivedi, EMEA AI and IOT Practice Lead, SAS

4.       Consumers gain more control with remote everything

“Digital transformation is now a matter of survival – consumers have choice and control for their retail purchases, banking, communication & utility services, insurance and personal healthcare.  There is an app for everything and a social review from a like-minded community.  Consumers expect the best offers, simple payment, same day delivery and free returns, all encapsulated by ease of use and great service.  Businesses are expected to keep up with the digital industry giants with more efficient supply chains, 24-hour online customer service and easy scheduling – all optimised for effectiveness and efficiency by analytics.  The race is on, but how will you survive?  The quicker you can interpret new customer trends from digital touchpoints, the more likely you will be able to stay ahead of your competition.” 

-          Mike Blanchard, Head of Global Customer Intelligence Practice, SAS

5.       Data natives enter the workforce

“Two factors will strongly influence the success of the upcoming generation of data natives: personalised individual curricula and the ability to handle all facets of data. To be successful as a new-hire in the job market graduates need not only analytical skills but also storytelling, project management and aspects of ethics and compliance. Personalised learning paths will be the key to compete in the workplace that is coming.”

-          Jürgen Kaselowsky, EMEA Academics Manager, SAS

6.       Patient-first pharma saves more lives

“Post-COVID-19, clinical research will be increasingly designed and built around the patient’s world. With sensors, wearables and apps, patients can stay home longer and monitored 24/7. This data-heavy drug development process and advancements in analytics pushes the drug development world forward in its constant search for new innovative therapies. Clinical trials are bucketing multiple drugs in one study and lead to more personalised and targeted therapies. Results from clinical trials are coming in faster and faster, giving patients the transparency they need to find the latest treatment that works for them. “

-          Mark Lambrecht, Director of Global Health and Life Sciences, SAS

7.       Old-school organisations have new opportunities to reinvent themselves with analytics

“Efforts for maturing their AI and analytical journey have revived the sentiment towards traditional large public organisations like government agencies and customer-oriented businesses such banks and posts. Data driven decision making and proactive public policy design during COVID-19 has greater support and appreciation from citizens recently. When the large banks are implementing various AI-driven optimisation and design of business processes, they are bringing measurable improvement in customer service and other areas.”

-          Dwijendra Dwivedi, EMEA AI and IOT Practice Lead, SAS

If you find this information interesting and you would like to know more about any of these trends and predictions, then please reach out to us. We’ll be more than happy to share with you in depth information on each topic or put you in touch with any of our experts whom can give you a sneak peek on how analytics can help rebuild our way of life and reimagine our future. 

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