I advise businesses scrambling to avoid disruption, and this is what I tell them
It is not rare for enterprises to revamp systems and processes only to discover that by the time the entire change is done – it’s time to move again. With advancements in technology and decline in costs, business models and ecosystems are constantly evolving. Technology has become a multi-headed Hydra; it’s not easy to master it. Digital platform is getting increasingly populated with frequent innovations in social, cloud, mobile and data space. Choosing the right technology mix vis-a-vis its associated business value is a complex task and more people with specialized expertise are needed in such strategic decisions. Hence, we see technology experts mushrooming in abundance, joining the strategic c-suite and brainstorming on how to avoid disruption.
You can’t avoid disruption – it’s not a fad
However, in the jungle of disruptive technologies, you can either be part of the disruptive forces or be at the receiving end. There’s no other alternative. Hence, an important shift in attitude is required to sustain and thrive in this jungle; you can’t avoid disruption – it’s not a fad. Instead, strategize to disrupt. This is the only strategy which will keep your stakeholders invested and you alive for a longer period.
Start envisaging the future
The future is never too far away; it’s important to draft a technology roadmap for short term, medium term and long term with clear deadlines. Also, for business strategy planners, optimism and pessimism are only two sides of the same coin. Lee Child puts it very nicely in words – “Hope for the best; plan for the worst”. There’s a caution sign here – be realistic! Don’t plan for doom scenarios that are unlikely to happen. Also, not all technologies and innovations are going to sustain the five year threshold period; so, invest only in those technologies which have some empirical evidence of delivering worthwhile ROI.
Hope for the best; plan for the worst
Transform to Disrupt
Below is a list of technology trends that are most likely to drive enterprise digital transformation in coming years. Aligning your organization’s future strategy with these trends will help you stay strong amidst disruption.
Bots are invading Chat rooms – and no, this time they aren’t built for scamming. Bots are built on AI Algorithms and are designed to help users perform numerous functions (such as news reading, calendaring and organizing, food orders, flight bookings etc) via Messaging Apps (which are now bigger than Social Media). For enterprises, Bots are even more useful as they can reduce the workload for their customer communications teams. Advancements in speech recognition and natural language parsing is easing development of bots which can gather information from humans and translate it into structured data for processing. Further, Message.io, a Y-Combinator backed startup is now offering bot developers a private beta access to its bot management platform, which makes it possible to develop once and deploy across multiple messaging services.
10K+ developers are building chatbots for Facebook –TechCrunch
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (IoT) is billed as bigger than Industrial Revolution. It’s already making major headlines across the technology corridors. IoT Platforms Xively are allowing businesses to leverage over 300 connected product models. The economy is expanding with numerous vendors offering sensors, connectivity, integrations and application development services. Still, developing high performance and secure IoT systems presently comes at a high cost. A news report quoting Peter Sondergaard, SVP Research at Gartner says that “half the cost of implementing (IoT) solutions will be in integration and security…” It might be the right time to take early advantage. Having said that, investing in DIY IoT is not recommended; form partnerships with organizations which can provide you right strategy and expertise for.
Half the cost of implementing IoT solutions will be in integration and security
Streaming or Realtime Analytics
The premise of IoT lies in leveraging the information from things (and machines) to make them work better. However, the amount of this information or data is unlike anything the world has seen so far. Yet, implementing IoT without making full use of data will be a gross under-utilization. Data can help you in Descriptive (what happened), Predictive (what will happen) and Prescriptive (what could be done) analysis. Still, it’s reported that “only 8% of businesses are using more than 25% of their IoT data”. To derive optimum value from IoT, businesses need to invest in Realtime Analytics; and this is what they seem to be doing. According to a Markets & Markets report, investment in this field is growing at a CAGR of more than 30% (expected to reach $13.70 billion mark in 2021 from just $3.08 billion in 2016).
Only 8% of businesses are using more than 25% of their IoT data – Verizon
There’s an API for everything. As a business owner, you should look to expedite implementation of your business policies. APIs can help you do this and much more. There is a need to look at API beyond its utility in software development; APIs hold strategic business value. APIs facilitate creation of new user experiences with shared resources and expertise. Amazon’s highly successful business in (AWS) is based entirely onleveraging powerful API-based elements such as EC2. Google Maps would not have been so successful if developers couldn’t access its code and users were made to access it via website only. Hence, as a business, you need to have a strong API strategy for utilizing, sharing and managing APIs.
Netflix receives more than 5 billion daily requests to its public API – Deloitte
While Bitcoins have failed to live up to their initial hype, experts are now showing an increasing interest in the underlying technology. Together, public and enterprise Blockchains are all set to revolutionize the global economy. Blockchains can power financial applications for instantaneous funds transfer across geographies, micropayments, self-executing contracts, government aid/subsidy transfers, healthcare, digital rights management for artists and more. According to CoinDesk Research, “More enterprise firms than ever are working on Blockchain PoCs (70 to be precise)…14 of the top 30 banks are engaged in Blockhain PoCs.” Even central banks across the globe are now taking interest in exploring the platform. Although, making early investments in the technology is not advisable at this moment; it certainly has the potential to be a part of your long term strategy.
Sweden’s central bank is eying Digital Currency – Blockchain is seen as an option – FT
Credencys Solutions Inc is a leading software development services and solutions provider which has helped numerous businesses in building strategies for their business growth. Subscribe to our blogs for getting similar articles on management, strategy, leadership and more.