CIOs must work with their business peers to pre-empt digital disruption by becoming experts at recognising, prioritising and responding to early indicators
Gartner, Inc., a global research and advisory company, came out with the biggest challenges enterprises and technology providers are facing today. The research firm revealed seven digital disruptions that organisations may not see coming. These include various disruption categories, which represents a considerable potential for new disruptive business models and companies to emerge.
Daryl Plummer, Vice President and Gartner Fellow, said, “The single largest challenge facing enterprises and technology providers today is digital disruption. The virtual nature of digital disruptions makes them much more difficult to deal with than previous technology-triggered disruptions.”
“Chief Information Officers (CIOs) must work with their business peers to pre-empt digital disruption by becoming experts at recognising, prioritising and responding to early indicators,” he added.
The seven major digital disruptions cited by Gartner are:
- Quantum computing
Plummer said that today’s data scientists are focused mainly on data and analytics, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) that simply cannot address certain complex and difficult problems as there is limitations of computing for classic computer architectures.
“Quantum computers have the potential to run massive amounts of calculations in parallel in seconds. This potential for compute acceleration, as well as the ability to address difficult and complex problems, is what is driving so much interest from CEOs and CIOs in a variety of industries. But we must always be conscious of the hype surrounding the quantum computing model. QC is good for a specific set of problem solutions, not all general-purpose computing,” Plummer said.
- Real-time language translation
Real-time language translation could fundamentally transform the way communication is done across the world. Devices like translation earbuds and text and voice translation solutions can do translation in real-time, bridging the language gap with family, friends, colleagues and clients. With this technology, not only the intercultural language barriers could be disrupted, but it may also take away the role of language translators.
“To prepare for this disruption, CIOs should equip employees in international jobs with experimental real-time translators to pilot streamlined communication. This will help establish multilingual disciplines to help employees work more effectively across languages,” said Plummer.
Nanotechnology is rapidly finding its usage in applications in electronics, medicine, manufacturing and security. It has become as common a concept as several others, but it continues to be sparsely understood in its effect on the entire world.
“When we consider applications that begin to allow things like 3D printing at nanoscale, then it becomes possible to advance the cause of printed organic materials and even human tissue that is generated from individual stem cells. 3D bioprinting has shown promise and nanotech is helping deliver on it,” said Plummer.
- Swarm intelligence
Digital business will need to go beyond the traditional management methods. The businesses will have to take decisions in real time, regarding unpredictable events, based on information from several sources such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, beyond the control of organisation. Humans are too slow, smart machines are too costly and variability cannot be dealt by hyperscale architecture. Therefore, swarm intelligence could serve the purpose at a lower cost.
The collective behavior of decentralised, self-organised systems, artificial or natural, is known as swarm intelligence. A swarm comprises small elements of computing that follow simple methods to coordinate their activities. These elements can be replicated rapidly and inexpensively. Therefore, a swarm can be easily scaled up and down depending on the needs. Thus, CIOs should begin to explore the concept to scale management, particularly in the scenario of digital business.
- Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI)
Human-machine interface (HMI) provides the companies with opportunity to differentiate with pioneering, multimodal experiences. Besides, people living with disabilities get benefitted from HMIs which are being modified as per their requirements. Technology will provide some of these people super abilities and also encourage people without disabilities to use the technology to keep up.
- Software distribution revolution
The process of software acquisition and procurement is undergoing a fundamental change. The way in which software is located, updated and bought is now in the purview of software distribution marketplace. With the ever-increasing introduction of cloud-based solutions and continuous growth of cloud platforms from Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM, Google and others, the role of marketplaces for buying and selling is gaining momentum. The providers of cloud platform are realising that they need to remove friction in buying and owning processes for their offerings as well as of their partners – independent software vendors (ISVs). Cloud technology service providers (TSPs) or ISVs identify the requirement to reach the vast and increasingly diverse buyers.
“Establishing one’s own marketplace or participating as a provider in a third-party marketplace is a route to market that is becoming increasingly popular. Distributors and other third parties also see the opportunity to create strong ecosystems (and customer bases) while driving efficiencies for partners and technology service providers,” said Plummer.
- Smartphone disintermediation
The use of smart devices, like virtual personal assistants (VPAs), smartwatches and various other wearables, is showing a significant shift in how people continue to use their smartphones.
“Smartphones are, today, critical for connections and media consumption. However, over time they will become less visible as they stay in pockets and backpacks. Instead, consumers will use a combination of voice-input and VPA technologies and other wearable devices to navigate a store or public space such as an airport or stadium without walking down the street with their eyes glued to a smartphone screen,” said Plummer.
IT leaders and CIOs should utilise wearability of a technology as a key principle and examine and pilot wearable solutions to improve effectiveness of worker, enhance safety, improve customer experience and enhance employee satisfaction.