I’m talking about Apple and IBM’s continued march into delivering best-in-class, approachable, useful solutions that use the power of big buzz technologies like big data analysis, artificial intelligence and connected mobile devices.
These solutions mean the two partners are offering a rapidly growing number of communication-enabled business process tools and setting standards in the space as they do.
This stuff really matters. It’s a sea change in enterprise IT, and, this morning, Apple and IBM introduced eight new apps including solutions for healthcare and manufacturing.
This is meaningful in so many ways: Not only does it show the rapidity with which the partners continue to introduce tools under the MobileFirst for iOS scheme, but it also underlines just how tangibly necessary mobile solutions are becoming across multiple industries.
Competing firms seem blind to what’s going on as they aim to emulate what matters less. Yet the ability to weave digital technology within enterprise business processes isn’t just good for Apple and IBM, but good for the economy.
“The economy? Jonny, have you lost your mind?”
Accenture’s Digital Density Index claims increasing use of digital technologies could add $1.36 trillion to the world’s top ten economies by 2020.
Bruno Berthon, managing director, Digital Strategy, Accenture Strategy says doing so demands sewing digital ever more closely into the real world: “Being digitally competitive means applying new technologies to a range of performance areas, from sourcing labor and automating processes to creating new goods and services,” he explains.
These are the kinds of solutions Apple and IBM are creating.
Apple’s digital vision doesn’t end there. Think about Apple Pay – despite the media hoo-hah concerning some of the teething problems with the service, you can’t ignore that 18 percent of consumers are now more likely to use mobile payment services as a result of its introduction, according to Walker Sands.
Then there’s the Apple Watch, which is going to see implementations that far exceed the limited critical understanding of the product as a “posh toy." Apple Watch is going to unlock whole new opportunities for business process automation and beyond.
These solutions weave digital into the real world. In that context, Apple’s critics and its champions really must put their energy into ensuring Cupertino remains on-message in its fight for consumer privacy -- and should be critical of tech firms who don’t share that commitment.
Defining the future
Technology-driven change is taking place so fast that even the people developing these technologies are warning us to pay more attention to what’s going on. Look at Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak’s fears that artificial intelligence may make slaves of the planet uttered just the other day.
We need to wake up a little more to the depth and implications of the necessary move to adopt digital processes within every day life.
That’s why even as Apple brings these visions to life, it is also ensuring its identity is linked up with a series of value statements.
Such values will become even more important as we define the rules that run inside tomorrow’s intelligent machines. Such values matter as we seek to set rules that both enable productivity while protecting privacy and personal identity.
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