December 16, 2013
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
These were the words of Albert Einstein, some more than 6 decades ago.
Technologies advance amazingly fast! So fast that most of us are surprisingly fascinated when that new device from Sci-Fi movies becomes an everyday appliance. Today, tech conferences and corporate press meetups are the order of the day – where new software applications, transforming devices and automated designs are announced. Just like confetti after New Year’s Eve, existing technology fade out as more effective ways of doing things are unveiled.
Just last month, a Chinese team successfully printed a series of living kidneys in 3D. Two years down the line, 3D printing was nothing more than a futuristic vision. From the works of a group of British researchers, in the next few years you could as well print a bike and ride your way to the groceries shop – just in case you don’t feel like walking or driving. From MIT’s super-smart robot eyes to finger free phones and full body gesturing, there is a wealth ahead in future technologies.
Organizations must evolve to enhance their competitive power, tackle new business challenges as well as adapt frequently changing business ecosystems. Being well informed in what new technologies are being developed, and how they are likely to evolve in the future is a key part of long term organizational strategy. Today’s startups will be the multinationals of the future – but only if they can add cost-cutting technology to their operations and production strategies. In this post, I look at the evolution of business tech trends, and how they should inform your next million-dollar business choices.
1. Tapping into Global Talent, Goodbye to Conventional Workplaces – Welcome Work 3.0
The new version of work, Work 3.0, takes place online. More sophisticated work is handled by teams from all over the world, as new communications and collaboration tools are unveiled. Companies outsource increasingly specialized tasks, and still maintain organizational coordination. Nearshore agile development teams work on complex projects and fly to corporate locations when need be. This will allow organizations access to top talent for a wide range of skills, from operations to IT and marketing. Software and web based platforms are making it increasingly easier for enterprises to coordinate outsiders and manage work from outside contributors. Fresh talent-deployment models could emerge. Indeed, virtual workplaces that bring together a global network of the most skilled experts in each field could be one such model.
2. Mobile Devices Go Viral
In 2012, the leading electronics seller – Samsung – shipped over 2 million devices, about 40% of the global demand. Smartphone numbers will continue to inflate, leading to more sales and purchases made from mobile devices. According to IDC, Apple and Samsung will be the key market players in the mobile devices industry. 2014 will be a make-it or break-it year for Microsoft as far as smartphones are to mention. Microsoft could increase its popularity in the mobile markets by attracting more developers to Windows.
3. Automation Stays, Gains Momentum
Business technology trends profess governments and corporate establishments putting in place more and more automated systems. These could be many tasks and processes, including but not limited to enterprise resource planning, Human Resources, customer data, web applications, supply chain technologies and CRM. These systems are already connected via open systems to enable easier communication between their various components (internal or external). By 2020, more and more companies will automate most of their repetitive tasks that aren’t yet handled by computer systems.
4. Specialized Info Becomes a Business Goldmine
Emerging business technology enables organizations to gather pools of data accumulated from many points of origin. Market imperfections will however be a problem in the near future- where organizations can’t get all the relevant data they need to make acquisitions, analyze business situations and identify new market opportunities. This will create a demand situation where practitioners with better information set up shops to offer their services. Numerous startups will result from these opportunities.
5. Internet of Things gets Home
Since 2012, when a new version of the Internet was turned on, more and more devices have been connected. Trends in business technology suggest that billions of new technological gadgets joining the web to create what’s called the ‘Internet of Things, 2013. By next year, more and more hardware vendors will produce internet-capable or reliant devices. In the next 1 decade, over 30 billion app-controlled, smart devices will make up the Internet of Things.
6. Digital Convergence Happens
Recent business technology trends paint a convergence between the physical and the digital worlds – more so in the case of entrepreneurial outfits. Customers expect the same seamless service whether they are interacting with the organization in the physical world or in the digital world. Future systems, business applications and workflows will turn aspects of both the digital and physical worlds into indifferentiable processes.
7. APIs become Digital ‘fix bolts’
Just like Service Oriented Architecture, Application Platform Interfaces enable open access to key functionality through network connectivity using tech that’s already available in a diverse range of programming ecosystems. Business technology trends predict that the use of APIs increasingly expands. Essentially, APIs will stick as the digital connectors of technology.
8. Big Data gets Bigger, Social Media Sticks
Current business technology trends depict that big data and social media are the here to stay. Essentially, more and more companies will spend on big data technology services. Startups and fast growing corporations will realize the need to tap into their own voluminous data centers towards enhancing customer service and predicting business conditions. Rather than building these centers, most organizations will favor the cost of hiring big data as a cloud service.
Social networking becomes a key part of enterprises in the future, which means that almost all enterprise software will feature some sort of in built social features.
9. Infrastructure Beats Engagement
The nature of infrastructure changes from a ‘barrier of progress’ to a ‘facilitator of engagement’, as more organizations adopt intelligent infrastructure management approaches. This way, tech infrastructure will enhance performance, enabling organizations to tackle more work, enhance communications and coloration, foster organizational growth and operate at peak performance.
According to Wipro, the real power of advanced technologies is experienced when they are brought together. By 2020, Internet of Things devices will outnumber the people on earth 7 times. Seamless, intuitive experiences, crowdsourcing, redefined business processes and peer advocacy power will become the order of the day. These new business technology trends paint a future of new opportunities and evolving ways of doing things. From this information, business executives get the chance to reshape their markets and catalyze change, rather than wait-and-act!