Today’s digital age is delivering unparalleled technological innovations in which artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are combining to make devices and enterprises intelligent, responsive and ever more connected. This is paving the way for organizations to turn insights into foresights, and for senior leaders to make more informed and accurate decisions in real time.
At the same time, new connected ecosystems are emerging that will change the way people, devices and organizations exist, work and interact. Transformative technologies such as 5G networks, interconnected IoT devices, ad hoc and decentralized networks, and collaborative autonomous systems are opening up newer means of communication with large data exchanges. In such scenarios, it is crucial for enterprises to make their systems more secure than ever — not only to guard against threats but also to be compliant with changing regulations that demand secure systems.
Guiding Principles for Gaining Advantage
Businesses need to be aware of and in sync with rapidly progressing digital technologies – and not deploy technologies too early or too late to pay off appreciably.
The following three key principles are excellent guidance for organizations to help ensure success at digital technology evaluation and deployment.
Acknowledge and map uneven distribution.
It is a given that all technologies do not mature at the same rate. Also, each business is different, as are their long-term strategies and roadmap; what is considered mature for one type of business may be still an evolving technology for another. Acknowledging and mapping out how unevenly the future of technology will be distributed is therefore paramount for companies that want to maintain strategic focus while not missing the forest for the trees. A useful technique here is to create a “technology radar” capacity to evaluate technologies across two key maturity dimensions: maturity of the technology itself and maturity of its business applicability. Such radar can define three categorical levels — nascent, adolescent and early mainstream technologies (see figure 1).
Assess the impact of the technologies.
Once the technologies are mapped, businesses should look at the impact that can be spawned in their own domains. For instance, automation and AI are changing the very fundamentals of how business models are evolving. Under this circumstance, it is key to evaluate and assess the following three impact parameters which will help businesses prioritize their adoption strategies into tactical, strategic and transformative technologies (see figure again).
Activate programs to explore and apply new technologies.
This principle lays the foundation and platform for taking action. When it comes to action itself, there are three key programs that businesses need to undertake: research, pilot and adoption programs (see figure).
For a deeper dive into the forces and principles described here, read “Five Converging Forces that Are Driving Technological Evolution,” or contact us.