2014 Technology disruptors and enablers
A consumer products perspective
Explore the individual 2014 consumer products technology trends disruptors and enablers.
Disruptors for consumer products
Opportunities that can create sustainable positive disruption in IT capabilities, business operations and sometimes even business models.
CIO as venture capitalist
CIOs who want to help drive business growth and innovation will likely need to develop a new mindset and new capabilities. Like venture capitalists, CIOs should actively manage their IT portfolio in a way that drives enterprise value and evaluate portfolio performance in terms that business leaders understand—value, risk, and time horizon to reward.
CIOs who can combine this with agility and align the desired talent can reshape how they run the business of IT.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing have moved from experimental concepts to potential business disruptors—harnessing Internet speed, cloud scale, and adaptive mastery of business processes to drive insights that aid real-time decision making.
For organizations that want to improve their ability to sense and respond, cognitive analytics can be a powerful way to bridge the gap between the intent of big data and the reality of practical decision making.
Enterprise adoption of the power of the crowd allows specialized skills to be dynamically sourced from anyone, anywhere, and only as needed. Companies can use the collective knowledge of the masses to help with tasks from data entry and coding to advanced analytics and product development.
The potential for disruptive impact on cost alone likely makes early experimentation worthwhile, but there are also broader implications for innovation in the enterprise.
Content and assets are increasingly digital—with audio, video, and interactive elements—and consumed across multiple channels, including not only mobile, social, and the web, but also in store, on location, or in the field.
Whether for customers, employees, or business partners, digital engagement is about creating a consistent, compelling, and contextual way of personalizing, delivering, and sometimes even monetizing the user’s overall experience—especially as core products become augmented or replaced with digital intellectual property.
Wearable computing has many forms, such as glasses, watches, smart badges, and bracelets. The potential is tremendous: hands-free, headsup technology to reshape how work gets done, how decisions are made, and how you engage with employees, customers and partners.
Wearables introduce technology to previously prohibitive scenarios where safety, logistics, or even etiquette constrained the usage of laptops and smartphones. While consumer wearables are in the spotlight today, we expect business to drive acceptance and transformative use cases.
Enablers for consumer products
Technologies in which many CIOs have already invested time and effort, but which warrant another look because of new developments or opportunities
Technical debt reversal
Technical debt is a way to understand the cost of code quality and the impacts of architectural issues. For IT to help drive business innovation, managing technical debt is a necessity.
Legacy systems can constrain growth because they may not scale; because they may not be extensible into new scenarios like mobile or analytics; or because underlying performance and reliability issues may put the business at risk. But it’s not just legacy systems: New systems can incur technical debt even before they launch.
Over the years, the focus of social business has shifted from measuring volume to monitoring sentiment and, now, toward changing perceptions. In today’s recommendation economy, companies should focus on measuring the perception of their brand and then on changing how people feel, share, and evangelize.
Companies can activate their audiences to drive their message outward—handing them an idea and getting them to advocate it in their own words to their own network.
Cloud adoption across the enterprise is a growing reality, but much of the usage is in addition to on-premises systems—not in replacement.
As cloud services continue to expand, companies are increasingly connecting cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-core systems—in strings, clusters, storms, and more—cobbling together discrete services for an end-to-end business process. Tactical adoption of cloud is giving way to the need for a coordinated, orchestrated strategy—and for a new class of cloud offerings built around business outcomes.
As in-memory technologies move from analytical to transactional systems, the potential to fundamentally reshape business processes grows. Technical upgrades of analytics and ERP engines may offer total cost of ownership improvements, but potential also lies in using in-memory technologies to solve tough business problems. CIOs can help the business identify new opportunities and provide the platform for the resulting process transformation.
IT organizations need to better respond to business needs with speed and agility. IT can likely improve the quality of its products and services by standardizing and automating environment, build, release, and configuration management—using tools like deployment managers, virtualization, continuous integration servers, and automated build verification testing.
Popular in the agile world, DevOps capabilities are growing in many IT organizations with either waterfall or agile methodologies.