Industrial automation has been around for decades. It revolutionized the manufacturing industry, increased overall productivity, and changed how organizations do business. A new revolution is in progress due to the automation of data collection, integration, and analysis. Unlike the industrial revolutions, every business – regardless of industry or underlying data context – can benefit from advances in information technology. Why is information automation so accessible compared to previous technologies?
Cost of Entry
One of the most common barriers to entry is cost. New technology tends to cost more than existing technology. Cost often prevents companies from implementing new technologies to grow the business and competing with larger organizations. However, the cost of entry, particularly with automation of information technologies, continues to drop at a rapid pace.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies are becoming more prevalent and have a low cost to begin. In fact, AI training costs decreased 100-fold between 2017 and 2019. Practically anyone with Internet access can implement information automation to create and run a business.
Accessibility of Data
Data used to be very difficult to extract and expensive to acquire. Large enterprises – and departments within organizations – made data widely inaccessible, by design it was available only to a handful of people. Fortunately, data is becoming more accessible and easier to obtain.
Personal data is subject to more security constraints and protections. However, more groups and teams can access, organize, and analyze large data sets that were once held within the closely guarded domains of specific teams or groups. Greater access to data increases the ability to gather insights and develop data-based strategies. It also improves the accuracy and feasibility of information automation.
Raw Computing Power
Data storage and computing power were once limited and expensive to acquire. Every person and organization today can easily access high powered computing systems and virtually limitless amounts of data storage. Today, your smartphone has more processing power and memory than a NASA supercomputer from the 1960s. From 1956 to 2015, there was a trillion-fold increase in computing performance, and this rate has not slowed down over the last five years. The number of transistors on microchips has also doubled every two years.
Businesses can afford to invest in more powerful computers, and buy or lease more access to cloud services than ever before. This enables organizations and individuals to handle, organize, and analyze significantly increasing amounts of data. As computing power increases, information automation becomes significantly easier to enable and leverage.
One of the challenges with new technology is the lack of experience in using it effectively. New technology takes time to learn and use. As information automation technologies have become more prevalent, there has also been a growth in the availability and accessibility of consulting expertise. Startups and organizations with limited human resources are more able to receive and benefit from expert guidance.
Decentralized computing is more than 30 years old. Experienced guidance has grown across industries and disciplines. Organizations can grow much more quickly and benefit from information automation because they have access to experienced information technology consultants and advisors. Companies can hire experts to provide direction and guide employees to get the most out of their technology.
Manufacturing automation helped organizations to grow their businesses and improve the efficiency of their operations. But not all companies could afford to implement these innovations and compete in the market. Information automation is more affordable and more accessible to a wider range of industries and businesses. The data and computing power required are easier to purchase, access, and implement than ever before. Even if you don’t have the experience to use the technology, you can hire experts to guide you on implementing information automation for your organization.