The Technologies And trends Accelerated By COVID-19


In this recent Article, author Paul Gillin provides insight on trends and technologies that are likely to be forever transformed by the events of recent months. SiliconAngle asked several technology executives for their thoughts on the topic. Here are the technologies and trends identified.

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The Digital-First Enterprise


This week I attended the Annual Directions Conference  held by research firm IDC. Because of the coronavirus, the conference was held online. Here are some of the key messages – a deeper analysis is provided by Michael J. Miller, chief information officer at Ziff Brothers Investments and can be found Here.

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Next Generation Education


The World Economic Forum estimates 65 per cent of children today will end up in careers that don’t even exist yet.

“Individuals and companies that succeed in the future will be those who adopt the philosophy of lifelong learning,” says Nigel Heap, managing director of Hays UK and Ireland. “Businesses that facilitate the resources, tools and time to support learning will not only have employees who are more engaged, but their business will be better placed to face challenges and remain innovative.”

From the Future of Learning


I’ve attempted to link innovation and our well-being via a visual that I’ve shared previously in this forum. It allows us to envision our emerging future and leverage story telling techniques to describe it in ways that become actionable. One of the most critical aspects of this emerging future in my humble opinion is the future of learning and education.

Reimagining Education

Our education system must prepare individuals for the world that is, not the one that was. It must ensure that those educated embody the qualities and competencies essential to life in a society very different than our industrial past. Among them are: creativity, critical thinking, innovative thinking, curiosity, social intelligence, a collaborative spirit, adaptability, entrepreneurial spirit, connecting dots, and knowing how to ask the right questions. Our need for life-long learning and unlearning drives us to reimagine education and transform through combinatorial innovations that leverage AI, Mobile, Cloud, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Big Data, and more. Some of the facets of next generation education include:

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Artificial Intelligence Intersects with Mobile and Cloud


In his fourth post in the series, Marshall Kirkpatrick focuses on the intersection between artificial intelligence and Mobile, and in the fifth he focuses on cloud. By way of reminder, Marshall launched a 30 day series that explores the intersection between AI and the various innovation components on my emerging futures visual.

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IDC Predicts a DX Economy


IDC today announced its worldwide information technology (IT) industry predictions for 2016 and beyond. The predictions were published in a new IDC FutureScape report. As we embrace the notion of Future Thinking

This forward looking guidance is critical. Here is a snippet from the report:

“The disruptive impact of digital transformation is about to be felt in every industry as enterprises ‘flip the switch’ and massively scale up their DX initiatives to secure a leadership role in the DX economy,” said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC. “In the next two years, two-thirds of Global 2000 CEOs will put DX at the center of their growth and profitability strategies. By the end of this decade, IDC predicts that the percentage of enterprises with advanced DX strategies and implementations will more than double.”

IDC predicts that the scale-up of digital business strategies will drive more than half of enterprise IT spending within the next 24 months, rising to 60% by 2020. Mastery of 3rd Platform technologies will be table stakes for successfully executing DX business initiatives and “Cloud First” will become the new mantra for enterprise IT. Virtually none of the other 3rd Platform technologies or major DX initiatives is possible in scaled-up implementations without the Cloud as the foundation. By 2020, IDC predicts that enterprise spending on cloud services, the hardware and software to support cloud services, and the services for implementing and managing cloud services will exceed $500 billion, more than three times what it is today.

Source: FutureScape

Additional predictions were provided:

  1. By the End of 2017, Two-Thirds of the CEOs of the G2000 Will Have Digital Transformation at the Center of Their Corporate Strategy
  2. By 2017, 60% Companies with a DX Strategy Will Deem It Too Critical for Any One Functional Area and Create an Independent Corporate Executive Position to Oversee the Implementation
  3. By 2018, 80% of B2C Companies Will Have Created Immersive, Authentic Omni-Experiences for Customers, Partners, and Employees; 60% of B2B-Centric Companies Will Have Done the Same
  4. The Top New Investment Areas Through 2017 Will Be Contextual Understanding and Automated Next Best Action Capabilities
  5. In 2016, 65% of Large Enterprises Will Have Committed to Become Information-Based Companies, Shifting the Organizational Focus to Relationships, People, and Intangible Capital
  6. By 2018, 75% of the G2000 Will Have Deployed Full, Information-Based, and Economic Models or “Digital Twins” of Their Products/Services, Supply Network, Sales Channels, and Operations
  7. By 2020, 60% of the G2000 Will Have Doubled Their Productivity by Digitally Transforming Many Processes from Human-Based to Software-Based Delivery
  8. In 2016, the Level of Connectivity Related to Products, Assets, and Processes Will Increase 50% for All Industry Value Chains
  9. The Sharing Economy Will Give Rise to the Networked Free Agent and Skill-Based Marketplaces, Resulting in More than 10% of Work Being Sourced in this Fashion in Mature Economies by 2019
  10. By 2018, at Least 20% of All Workers Will Use Automated Assistance Technologies to Make Decisions and Get Work Done

The Future Business Landscape


I expect the conversation regarding the Future of Business to intensify over the coming months. Evidence is mounting that business as usual is a thing of the past. In a recent post by SAP, they present ninety nine ways that digital will change business. As you look at the information presented, and see the number of shifts occurring at the same time, it’s hard to imagine a business landscape that weathers this storm unscathed. Here are examples of these shifts from the SAP post:

  • At the current turnover rate, 75% of the companies in the S&P 500 in 2027, will be new (companies not currently in index today)
  • By 2019, approximately one quarter of the entire U.S. workforce will be independent workers (self-employed, independent contractor, freelancer, temp contractor, etc.)
  • By 2030, 10% of the largest companies in the U.S. will be virtual corporations (less than 10% of their workers will be in an office at any point in time)
  • 50% of the U.S. Jobs lost in the 2008 recession were middle-skilled jobs, but only 2% of the jobs gained since then have been middle-skilled
  • By 2025, there will be 10 global virtual currencies that will be considered mainstream. Their combined market value will exceed $5 Trillion, and Bitcoin will still be the largest.
  • Private and commercial robot use will grow 2,000% from 2015 to 2030, creating a $190 billion market
  • By 2030, 2 billion jobs will disappear – roughly 50% of all the jobs on the planet – as a result of technology advances
  • 3D Printing usage will grow 2000% between 2015 and 2030
  • Purpose-driven and value-oriented organizations outperform their competition 15 to 1
  • By 2030, sensor use will grow 700,000%, solving nearly every human need such as cancer-killing chips
  • By 2020, information will reinvent, digitize, or eliminate 80% of business processes and products
  • Although 90% of companies view advanced and predictive analytics as important, less than 30% have currently deployed them, and only 30% have plans to do so
  • There will be more words written on Twitter in the next two years than contained in all books ever printed
  • By 2025, the total worth of IoT-enabled technology is expected to reach $6.2 trillion – most of that in healthcare (2.5 Trillion) and Manufacturing (2.3 Trillion)
  • Within the next five years, more than 90% of all data from IoT will be hosted in the Cloud, reducing the complexity of supporting IoT “Data Blending

Just a small sample (more via the link above) supporting the notion that the future of business could look considerably different than its past. I’ll pursue the future business landscape in up-coming posts.

Business Evolution


This Presentation tells the full business evolution story articulated below.

Several key drivers have positioned the next two decades to deliver a staggering – perhaps unprecedented – amount of change. The accelerating pace of business, the growing impact of digital, and several other major indicators suggest that a next generation enterprise is on the horizon. The first of these indicators is the level of societal change impacting everything from business to war. In the business world, the implications of this change can be seen in our employees, where for the first time in history, four generations of workers are in our work force. The associated challenges are coming into focus, as some of these workers are digital natives, but the vast majorities are digital immigrants. With customers, the shift of power to the individual has changed their role forever and placed them at the center of the company ecosystem. Other indicators include an intense focus on growth, which increasingly requires collaboration within and outside the four walls of the Enterprise. This growth agenda drives a new type of value ecosystem, enabling growth that in many cases is outside a company’s traditional business.

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Blurring the Boundaries


This current executive presentation captures the breadth of the digital enterprise transformation series. It can be found on SlideShare – appropriately titled Blurring the Boundaries.

The presentation is a call to action for leaders everywhere. A slide in the deck asks the question: as status quo thinking prevails, what drives action? The first half of the presentation builds the case for action. The second half describes a framework to enable that action.

Digital Enterprise Transformation – Wrap Up


Over the last three months, I have presented a framework for thinking about transforming the enterprise to the type of enterprise that can succeed in the year 2020 – What I call a digital enterprise.

Throughout this multi-part transformation series, I have focused on those forcing functions that push us to transform – the drivers that stir us to action. Old models that were created for another time cannot lead us into this future – we must think differently. We must invent the models that define business in the decades ahead.

So, I wrap up this closer look at transformation with the hope that I’ve convinced you in some small way that we are indeed heading towards what is likely to be the most transformative period in history. My hope is that leaders everywhere think differently to usher in a period of prosperity and societal advancement. Instead of talk of disruption, let us talk of enablement and advancement. May we each have the wisdom, vision and courage to lead in this emerging transformative period.

For a review of this entire transformation series, here is an intro and link to each of the prior posts. As a reminder, forcing functions are those things that force the enterprise to invest in a future state. The enablers are those facilitators of change that allow us to address the forcing functions and build a path towards the future. Click on the underlined title to access each post.

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A Closer Look at Transformation: Systems of Engagement


Next up in this transformation series is the fifth enabler: systems of engagement. Geoffrey Moore introduced the Systems of Engagement concept about two years ago. This vision for the future of Information Technology is gaining broader acceptance – but a surprising number of executives are blind to the coming sea change. Where current enterprise systems are designed around records (systems of record); these new systems are designed around interactions. Where technology investment in the last two decades enabled transaction workers and executives – these systems enable the middle of organizations with a focus on growth.

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A Closer Look at Transformation: Value Ecosystems


The next focus of this transformation series shifts to the emergence of value ecosystems and their role in driving the Enterprise of 2020. As we look at the Apple ecosystem and offerings like the connected car, mobile commerce, energy efficiency, electric cars, eHealthcare, and energy performance contracts, we can see the lines between industries blurring. Some even question the relevance of Industry constructs in the future. As this phenomenon accelerates, more and more companies must identify the relevant ecosystem(s) that enable their growth strategies. These value ecosystems are complex and relationship-oriented, representing future growth opportunities that are increasingly outside a company’s traditional business.

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A Closer Look at Transformation: Societal Change


The next focus area in this closer look at transformation is the fifth and perhaps most critical forcing function: societal change. Wikipedia refers to societal change as an alteration in the social order of a society, including changes in nature, social institutions, social behaviors, or social relations. The base of such change is change in the thought process of humans. Digital is the primary driver of a societal change not seen since the first industrial revolution, impacting every aspect of society from business to war. It was digital (Internet) that accelerated globalization, and now the broader digital platform allows even a start-up to be global upon inception.

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A Closer Look at Transformation: Differentiation


Continuing with this closer look at transformation, part three focuses on differentiation; the fourth forcing function. Differentiation is a process that showcases the differences between products and services. It looks to make an offering more attractive by contrasting its unique qualities with other competing offerings. Successful differentiation should create competitive advantage, as customers view these offerings as unique or superior. In his piece on The Future of Enterprise IT, Geoffrey Moore, famous author of “Crossing the Chasm” describes the global business dynamics (Slide 10) that places differentiation at the center of a virtuous (perhaps vicious) cycle. His key message is that globalization and rapid commoditization are placing greater emphasis on differentiation, especially in developed economies.

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A Closer Look at Transformation: Effectiveness & Efficiency


In part two of this closer look at transformation, we will focus on two forcing functions: effectiveness and next generation efficiency. As a reminder, forcing functions are those things that force the enterprise to invest in a future state. In the case of efficiency, the next phase in the search for gains is upon us, as companies have hit the efficiency wall. But something bigger is happening, as the pace of business will increasingly demand that we are not just efficient – but effective. Whereas the past was about re-engineering, the future is about re-imagining.

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Digital Enterprise Road Map Series: Part 6 – Insight


Part six wraps up our Digital Enterprise road map series with a focus on moving insight delivery from descriptive to prescriptive. Throughout this series, I have stressed the importance of analytic excellence to long term success. But current methods such as traditional business intelligence (BI) focus on reporting and analysis that seeks to answer questions related to past events – what happened. Advanced analytics seeks to answer questions such as: why is this happening, what if these trends continue, what will happen next (predict), and what is the best that can happen (prescribe). There is a growing view that prescribing outcomes is the ultimate role of analytics. To accomplish this, analytic initiatives need to leverage an insight-action-outcome framework that starts by defining outcome-enabling insight and ends with a focus on data provisioning.

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Digital Transformation


A new short Video featuring Tonya McKinney and I is now available on the TCS website. The focus of the video is the broadening role that Digital will play in the future enterprise. It’s no secret that I still see too many companies limiting their digital perspective to Marketing. Digital will eventually be viewed as the biggest disruptive force business has ever seen. Yet so many companies still have a business as usual view of the world. You can read about our perspective on the critical path forward via this Blog or through the TCS Perspective Series.

Digital Enterprise Road Map Series: Part 5 -Effectiveness


In part five of our Digital Enterprise road map series, we focus on business effectiveness. Efficiency dominated the last two decades with a focus on doing things in the right manner. But the next decade brings an increased focus on doing the right things – also known as effectiveness. The overarching goal of effectiveness is to drive desired outcomes and encourage innovation to meet enterprise goals. This simple statement has far reaching implications and represents one of the strongest drivers of enterprise change in this next decade. If I were to place one long term bet, it would be on the enablers of enterprise effectiveness.

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Digital Enterprise Road Map Series: Part 4 – Systems of Engagement


Geoffrey Moore introduced the Systems of Engagement concept about two years ago. This vision for the future of Information Technology is gaining broader acceptance – but a surprising number of executives are blind to the coming sea change. Is it hype or reality? For me, this question boils down to one certainty: traditional companies must infuse their organizations with digital DNA – and I believe systems of engagement accomplish this. They raise Digital DNA quotients by using consumer technology to make companies more effective. This notion of effectiveness is a key shift from a two decade long focus on efficiency. That’s not to say the importance of efficiency has diminished, in fact I’d say the next phase in the search for efficiency gains is upon us. But at the same time, effectiveness will headline a decade long journey focused on growth. The same platform that enables next generation efficiency – Mobile, Social, Big Data, Analytics and Cloud Computing – forms the foundation for effectiveness through systems of engagement.

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Digital Enterprise Road Map Series: Part 1 – Strategy


I’ve spent time in the past year writing about the emerging digital enterprise. I want to shift my focus to the road map required to become one. This is the first in a six part series that examines the digital enterprise journey and provides a perspective on the steps along the way. These steps can be grouped into six key categories:

  1. Developing a holistic strategy
  2. Creating experienced-based differentiation
  3. Creating an integrated social ecosystem
  4. Developing systems of engagement and integrating to systems of record
  5. Enabling right-time in-the-moment effectiveness
  6. Moving insight delivery from descriptive to prescriptive 

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The Internet of Things – The Tipping Point


The Internet of Things (IoT) is predicted to reach a tipping point in 2013. Mobile, Cloud, Big Data and Social are converging to enable countless applications of IoT in the future – and of all the disruptors in play today, IoT could very well be the biggest. With IoT, objects use tiny devices to make them identifiable by their own unique IP address. These devices can then autonomously communicate with one another. In evaluating the many IoT applications, I have categorized the path forward into four buckets: Smart Products, Smart Optimization, Smart Automation, and Smart Decisions. Here are examples across each category. 

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