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Four Smart Ways to Face Disruptive Technology

Posted on 24/11/2014 7:35 AM
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Change is here, and you can't afford to get left behind​.​

Technology is changing fast. By 2020, more than 7 billion people and businesses, and 35 billion devices will be connected to the internet. It might sound far off in the future, but five years will zoom past, bringing with it a storm of innovation. Australian businesses are already transforming internal processes and deepening customer engagement with Cloud, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Mobility and Big Data. On the horizon are 3D printing, digital business, the automation of knowledge work, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Technology is just like time: it waits for nobody. There is no better time than now to put disruptive technology on your agenda.


Don't let your competitors beat you to it

You can bet your bottom dollar that your competitors will be looking beyond 'IT as usual' for opportunities to accelerate their strategic advantage. In fact, research indicates a high intent of Australian IT leaders to explore and implement ground-breaking digital technologies. It also reveals that most CIOs now see disruptive technology as an opportunity to create value and build closer customer relationships.

Larger enterprises with a CIO may have more resources to manage their current ICT load, while keeping an eye on new digital technologies. That doesn't mean SME leaders should wait until emerging opportunities become mainstream. The message is clear for businesses of all sizes: take a look at disruptive technology before your competitors disrupt you.


Don't be held back by legacy infrastructure

Legacy infrastructure is no longer the chain around your organisation's ankle that it used to be. New tools, including cloud-based development platforms, are enabling organisations to address legacy issues with greater speed, agility and lower costs. The investment in legacy modernization tools is driven by evolving business strategies, and the need to integrate with new digital technologies. Some of these tools are delivered through platform-as-a-service (PaaS), which enables transformational capabilities at much lower costs.


Do your IT homework

Staying informed about new technology will help your business stay ahead of the pack, and ultimately, survive the next decade. While you don't need to become a tech expert – best leave that to your trusted IT services partner – doing your own research is highly recommended. While nobody can predict the future, there is plenty of free online content exploring the reach and scope of life-changing technologies. Research from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) provides food for strategic thought. Other global sources are Gartner and Harvard Business Review (HBR).


Top 12 disruptive technologies by 2025

Predictions by McKinsey Global Institute, May 2013

  1. Mobile Internet
  2. Automation of knowledge work
  3. The Internet of Things
  4. Cloud technology
  5. Advanced robotics
  6. Autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles
  7. Next-generation genomics
  8. Energy storage
  9. 3D printing
  10. Advanced materials
  11. Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery
  12. Renewable energy

Blogs by Australian IT experts interpret change for local markets. For example, Novo IT provides case studies showing new technologies in action for Australian businesses, as well as reports on emerging trends. Disruptive technology has huge potential for transforming how we reach and engage with consumers. Listening to your customer is key to mapping out your future IT. In particular, what are your most 'tech-savvy' customers doing? How do they want to work with you?


Do keep calm and be strategic

The idea of transformational change and disruptive technology is daunting. At the same time, embracing the future with an open mind will help you figure out what is hype, and which technology has potential. Being informed and open to disruptive change will enable the strategic dialogue between business and IT to flow. Fear breeds pressured thinking, which leads to missed opportunities.

It is also worth noting that with disruptive technology, you don't need to do it all! Staying focused on business strategy is critical, to avoid being swept away by seductive IT innovations. To use Big Data as an example: the possibilities of analysis are endless, and potentially overwhelming. Identify one critical factor that makes or breaks your business, and then explore how data can help create value. As an IT and/or business leader, you need to understand what technology can do, and bend it to your strategic goals.

How are you facing the digital future? Is your business ready to take on disruptive technology? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Sources:

  1. Gartner Research, 'Is your IT where the business needs it to be, now and in the future?' 2014.
  2. McKinsey Global Institute Report, 'Disruptive technologies: Advances that will transform life, business and the global economy,' May 2013
  3. IT Newcomm Research, 2013 IT Market Report (Australia).'​
About the Author

Stephen Chapman

Stephen is an experienced information and communications technology professional with expertise and thought leadership in cloud computing strategy, I​T strategy and network design. Stephen leads a team of experienced Consultants and cloud/network architects.

As the Director of the Innovation and Strategy at Novo IT, Stephen has helped companies across a variety of industries ensure their investment in IT infrastructure is worthwhile and delivers outstanding business results. Our work at Novo IT ranges from transitioning businesses to cloud computing, through to developing new IT infrastructure to keep our clients competitive with changes in technology.​

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