Ready Or Not – Emerging Technology Impacts Your Business

“The future has a way of arriving unannounced.” George Will

Working on IT strategy means trying to predict, plan and create the future state of technology. As the second half of the technology chessboard moves inexorably forward, the cycles of innovation  must shift to more agile structures, not only to develop and implement technology-enabled ways of doing digital business, but also to anticipate the impact of technology changes coming from without, whether directly in your vertical or not.

Internet bots: These automated agents are increasingly being deployed to do simple tasks and analysis. In education, bots could be used to coach students, to help with staying on track with classes and assignments. This can free up humans to focus on more complex and nuanced interventions. Like all technology, bots are amoral – humans have to design and deploy them in our best interests. For example, some estimate that  large % of social media accounts are actually bots – which can be used to shape information and conversations. More important than the technical development of bots are the credentials and motivation of the people designing the purpose and intent of the bots.

Blockchain: The technology behind BitCoin, blockchain is a distributed ledger of transactions. It can enable faster, more secure and connected events in an immutable chain. In education, a common challenge is connecting all the learning events that make up someone’s experience. Blockchain technology could enable certification and transparency of learning unconnected to any one institution or agency. Imagine attending a conference or reading a book, demonstrating knowledge and participation in a certified manner, and getting an “education block” as a result. This opens up avenues of learning and demonstrating competency that could help with the increasing need for higher levels of education for today’s and tomorrow’s jobs, with broad implications for traditional institutions (both private and public), employers, and employees.

Whether bots, blockchain, quantum computing, autonomous vehicles or any of the dozens of emerging technologies, CIOs and other leaders need to be prepared not just for potential use in their business, but for the impact of these technologies on their vertical, customers and communities. Autonomous cars are an obvious use case, as so much of our transportation infrastructure is based on humans driving. For example, whither auto insurance and driver’s licenses?

Be prepared to be a powerful piece, not merely a pawn, on the second half of the chessboard.

“Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time.” Alvin Toffler

Worth considering:

With the elections less than two months away, how secure is your local and state election system? There are well-known security flaws in electronic voting systems nationwide.

My internet experience was notably slow on September 20th. I suspect #Brangelina and the resulting Jennifer Aniston GIFs.

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