What's Hot in 2014
Never before has such a breadth and depth of technological advancements had so much impact on our lives as the one we are now experiencing. Developments are impacting all touch points of the value and supply chains, with consumer empowerment, mobile, social, data and digital capabilities all redrawing the business environment in profound ways.
The evolution of technology has undoubtedly brought many benefits to consumers and companies, with radical redesigning of processes, work styles and industries not only possible, but increasingly taking place. However, 65 percent of the world isn’t even online yet. In essence, we are only at the beginning of technology enabling a radical shift in society and in the technologies themselves, in terms of diffusion, utility and impact
The capacity of humankind to adapt at an ever shortening interval to technology is also being tested. There’... is not so much a concern about the nature of the technologies themselves, but rather about humans’ continuing ability to influence how they operate to the benefit of the organisation, its customers and other stakeholders,’ notes the Economist Intelligence Unit. An EIU report also suggested that nearly four in ten worry that ‘...their organisations will be unable to keep up with technology change and will lose their competitive edge.’
On the other hand technology has the potential to usher in a happier, more prosperous world. McKinsey suggests that closely aligning technological choices with structural and organisational forms will have the greatest impact on the future of work. ‘The next leap forward in the productivity of knowledge workers will come from interactive technologies combined with complementary investments in process innovations and training. Strategic choices, such as whether to extend collaboration networks to customers and suppliers, will be important
Ultimately, as stated by theorist Richard Florida ‘...it won’t be technology that defines our future. It will be our ability to mould it. In essence ‘...the change will be more about the business model, and how technology is used to change an organisation and its interaction with customers, rather than some major technology change on its own' says Jack Bergstrand, the former CIO of Coca-Cola.
This paper will profile the most transformative technologies that will emerge, mature and/or dominate the discourse of 2014 and provide business with a short list of actions needed to ensure that the technology is transformative, rather than disruptive.