Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality are increasingly becoming part of the digital transformation conversation within businesses, however there is still a lack of ability to see that these technologies can be used to give a competitive advantage.

Speaking to Telecom Times, Lourens Swanepoel, Australia’s digital lead of cloud solutions provider Avanade, believes AI and augmented reality will influence the technology landscape over the next few years.

“Organisations will look towards AI to build Intelligent automation, where machines mimic the learning, decision-making and actions of humans through intelligence enabled by advanced analytics and cognitive services. For example, chat bots, object/speech recognition, and natural language processing,” he said.

However, Swanepoel noted that while organisations are talking about it, there is an obvious pattern forming where these new technologies are only being integrated once a new competitor or technology enters the market, which can be too late.

There is need for awareness on what technologies can give you in a possible edge, but kneejerk reactions to implement. The conversation at present should be based around the need for leaders of teams to move beyond the human versus machines factor and help embrace an innovation culture powered by emerging technology,” he said.

“Emerging technology should be communicated as a benefit current and future staff to upskill or creation of new occupations, not replacing. Sometimes this can get lost in translation when organisations go through the transformation.”

In addition to thinking about how business can adopt new technology, Swanepoel also advised they need to factor in the ethical issues that may arise.

“As businesses, we need to think about our responsibilities of technological advancements and how will impact the future. Implementing technology that neglects the implications for staff and customers will ultimately achieve the wrong results for organisations,” he said.