“Normally, we wouldn’t think of tablets as life-saving equipment, but when emergency hospitals needed to be built during the Covid-19 outbreak, these devices and innovative infrastructure played a crucial role,” says Yuanqing.

“During tough times like the pandemic, it’s new IT that’s kept us connected, productive and engaged.” He continues: “The public cloud has become more popular, providing the flexibility, scalability and on-demand access we need at this time. But many enterprise applications and data still run and are stored in the private cloud or on-premises data centers. In fact, we will continue to see the coexistence of private, public and hybrid cloud for computing, storage and networking needs.”

The same Lenovo study found that the cloud, software and computing are key components for the future of the hybrid work environment, with 84% of respondents optimistic about the future of the hybrid cloud.

5G networks enable innovation and flexibility: Connecting the major components of the new IT architecture requires a fast, efficient and configurable network. Answer: 5G is the next generation of mobile wireless voice and data technology. Lenovo’s 2022 study also found that 72% of CTOs see opportunities for their companies to further leverage 5G multi-access edge computing (MEC) as demand for hybrid options dominates the workplace. “The popular hybrid operating model that many companies have adopted in the past three years is only possible with a high-speed network,” says Yuanqing.

Artificial intelligence tools mimic human intelligence to solve problems: By combining data, computing power, and sophisticated algorithms, AI can process much more data much faster than a human, can adjust to changes by users, can help users learn processes better, and can help predict risks such as overspending, unfortunate cases and service needs. Using multiple artificial intelligence technologies and optimized algorithms, Lenovo Research created new processes for its manufacturing facility that significantly improved production planning processes, with some six-hour processes reduced to 90 seconds. Lenovo estimates that the AI ​​solution improved order fulfillment by 20% and productivity by 18%.

Consider that a single PC order triggers a number of complex tasks across multiple production lines and requires the coordination of thousands of parameters such as employee schedules, materials, production processes, and equipment status. Lenovo’s largest PC manufacturing facility, LCFC Electronics, processes up to 690,000 orders a year. While accounting for these large-scale calculations is a difficult task for humans, an AI engine can easily perform them and can flexibly make real-time adjustments to achieve broad or detailed tasks. The AI ​​solution’s autonomous learning ability also means that the more it works, the smarter it gets. “This smart solution has also improved energy efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by thousands of tons per year,” says Yuanqing.

A look into the future

Technologies such as smart devices, edge computing, cloud computing, 5G and artificial intelligence are driving the transition from information technology to intelligent transformation. “New IT is shaping the future in many innovative ways,” says Yuanqing. “In the future, the objects you work on, the colleagues you work with, the environments you work in, and the results you produce may be real or virtual, from artificial intelligence assistants and digital twins to the metaverse” .

As always, while change is ahead, technology leaders must carefully consider the real-world outcomes of deploying new IT infrastructure. Security, compliance, and usability standards must still be met. “Environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals should be a major factor,” says Yuanqing. “In the future, every element of the new IT architecture must incorporate ESG. When you measure the return on innovation, it’s not just the financial payoff, it’s also the social impact.”

Learn more about the Lenovo Global CTO study here.

This content was created by Insights, the custom content division of MIT Technology Review. This was not written by the MIT Technology Review.

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