Perspectives

Architectural disruptions set to alter the technology industry

A framework to capitalize on industry disruptions

​Emerging technologies are on pace to disrupt technology architecture in the next three to five years. Use our framework to capitalize on new business opportunities that are likely to emerge.

Finding opportunity in architectural disruption

The technology industry has continually been wrought with competition. While established companies struggle with unexpected threats, newer industry entrants grapple with targeting customers who are loyal to established enterprises.

The next few years could tell a different story for the technology industry. Given the magnitude of impact and market opportunities, cognitive computing, Internet of Things (IoT), and enterprise mobility have the potential to radically change the way technology products are created and delivered across businesses. We call this architectural disruption.

Architectural disruptions are radical trends that may require technology companies to rethink their business strategies.

Architectural disruptions, typically originate in one of three ways.

  1. When the old technologies advance 
  2. When different technologies are combined
  3. When new technologies are introduced

With the right strategies in place, companies that lead architectural disruptions can create a wide impact through their products and services, and possibly create new economies. Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chief Strategy Officers (CSOs) of technology companies, whether established or new, can use the framework outlined in this article as a roadmap. Companies that act quickly might have an edge in devising solutions to help businesses navigate these disruptions.

How will you steer through the latest set of architectural disruptions and capitalize on new business opportunities?

Take the next step. Download the full report and discover potential opportunities.

Developing a strategy to navigate disruption

Over a 35-year period (1980-2015), we analyzed disruption-management strategies that were adopted and implemented by 33 technology companies across various subsectors (including software, semiconductor, and computer hardware). The most frequently used and most successful strategies are outlined in the framework below.

We looked at the information from both the type of company—established or entrant; and the architectural disruption that the company intends to take on. Together, these two dimensions can help companies determine the right strategies to navigate these architectural disruptions.

The strategies presented in this framework are illustrative and serve as a starting point for technology companies to gain a foothold within these disruptions (refer to appendix B in the report for detailed methodology).

Embracing the strategic framework

How can technology companies ride the wave of cognitive computing?
Since 2011, the technology sector’s interest in cognitive has exploded, with a roughly six-fold increase in the number of acquisitions and a nine-fold increase in the total funding raised by start-ups.

  • Established companies: Can adopt vertical integration and product diversification to grow their presence across the cognitive computing value chain.
  • Entrants: Can pursue strategic partnerships and product innovation to tap the opportunities within cognitive computing.

How can companies capitalize on the IoT trend?
In the last 12 years, the number of connected devices has increased 32 times to 16.3 billion devices as of 2015, showcasing the breadth of opportunity that IoT offers.

  • Established companies: Can pursue product diversification and strategic partnerships to expand their portfolio of solutions to include diverse data sources and operate in multiple layers of IoT.
  • Entrants: Can adopt geographical diversification to tap the global IoT opportunities. They can pursue product innovation to make the ‘connected things’ interoperable.

How can companies embrace enterprise mobility?
More companies are employing enterprise mobility solutions to achieve productivity benefits and operations improvements. The enterprise mobility management (EMM) software revenues swelled at a 28 percent Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2013 and 2015.

  • Established companies: Can offer integrated solutions and pursue vertical integration to offer secure and cost effective solutions to strengthen their position.
  • Entrants: Can embrace business model innovation to deliver value through their enterprise solutions. They can form strategic partnerships to integrate players across the value-chain.

Download the report to read case studies about established companies and entrants that are embracing these disruptions.

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