Across industries, change is afoot. In Asia Pacific (APAC), leading banking and financial services institutions (BFSIs) are pivoting to the latest artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain solutions to transform business processes. Smart city infrastructure, powered by data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT), can help to improve road traffic and public safety management. And soon, the rollout of 5G networks promises to ramp up digital transformation initiatives.
This momentum is already gathering pace among Asia’s largest economies. China's AI sector has attracted the most funding worldwide, accounting for 60% of all global investment over the past five years1. Japan and South Korea are expected to leapfrog global counterparts in 5G deployments2.
As the latest AI, IoT and 5G technologies converge, they unleash transformative capabilities for digital businesses to foster innovation and accelerate the rollout of new digital services. For instance, the combination of AI capabilities with the massive capacity and low-latency connectivity of 5G networks would enhance the real-time analysis of data collected from IoT sensor networks.
Now let us take a closer look at how these transformative technologies—underpinned by intelligent, secure and adaptive networks—can empower enterprises to unlock new digital capabilities and meet evolving customer expectations.
AI and machine learning are seeing increased enterprise adoption to transform legacy processes and enhance customer engagement. A survey conducted by consulting firm Protiviti found that businesses in APAC are leveraging advanced AI faster than companies in the rest of the world; 43% of APAC firms said AI is important to their business future3.
The greatest advantage of AI lies in its ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data in real time, enabling businesses to make faster and more-informed decisions. By deploying the right AI solutions, companies can also automate routine processes to boost productivity and operational efficiencies.
In the BFSI sector, early adopters include banks which have deployed AI-augmented chatbots—technologies that use natural language to mirror human service—to improve customer experiences and even launch new digital services.
For example, Singapore-based DBS Bank successfully ventured into developing Southeast Asia's first bank-led retail chatbot for food and beverage (F&B) merchants, leveraging machine learning capabilities that allow the chatbot to become 'smarter' with each transaction4.
Consider some of the Industry 4.0 developments that are taking shape in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing enterprises worldwide are using advanced data analytics and IoT to make their facilities smarter, safer and more efficient. Real business value from IoT depends on the integration, management and analytics of IoT sensor data required to distill game-changing insights.
A trailblazer in this field is the iconic motorcycle brand Harley Davidson. Having invested in a fully IoT-enabled plant—and connecting key processes and devices across its complex manufacturing operations on a single network—the manufacturer was able to minimize production downtime and reduce operating costs by $200 million6.
Take the future of autonomous vehicles as a case-in-point. According to Intel7, an autonomous vehicle will produce around 40 TBs of data per day—each requiring instant data processing and response to maintain vehicle safety and communicate with other vehicles. Self-driving cars also need to gather insights from numerous IoT sensors that track everything from digital street signs to traffic lights.
Coupled with the advanced decision-making capabilities of AI at the network edge, 5G networks will enable cars to process these massive amounts of data in real-time. As a result, passengers in self-driving vehicles will be able to navigate the roads more effectively than ever thought possible.
1 China's AI industry gets the most funding, but lags the US in key talent, Jul 2018
2 Japanese and South Korean Operators Global Leaders in 5G Readiness, says Juniper Research, Nov 2018
3 Protiviti, Competing in the Cognitive Age, Feb 2019
4 DBS makes foray into chat commerce with "Foodster", Southeast Asia's first bank-led retail chatbot, Oct 2018
5 Mckinsey&Company, Industry 4.0: Reinvigorating ASEAN Manufacturing for the Future, Feb 2018
6 Capgemini, Unlocking the business value of IoT in operations, Jun 2019
7 Intel, Just one autonomous car will use 4,000 GB of data/day, Dec 2016
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