In the third and final installment of this series, members of the U.S. commercial emerging technology practice discuss the ways that organizations can prepare for success in the new decade in the face of constant transformation.
Prepare for the lines between business and technology to be erased
In our previous blog of this series, we talked about the cycle of increased data an increasingly connected infrastructure. I believe the significance of this cycle is only going to grow. Smart technology becomes a part of everything we do—any product, any business process— and the innovation becomes much more agile so you can get to market sooner. We’re starting to see IT departments going from cost centers to profit centers. The lines between what is a purely business transformation or a technology transformation are being erased, and it is becoming hard to distinguish one from the other.
Continue to push the big thinking
In the scenario Suren just described, it becomes that much more important for organizations to continue to push the big thinking. We tend to think of these big innovative ideas in the context of the finite period of time in which an organization is focused on planning and strategy; but, often the everyday rhythm of business can grind away at that innovation. It is imperative for organizations to have a common understanding of the impact technology will have on the market to be aligned across teams and initiatives.
Make innovation part of your DNA
Innovation sometimes is viewed as a function of a separate group. But, in this new decade, organizations really have to make it part and parcel of their DNA, including their day-to-day business processes and functions.
Listen to customers to know where technology is going
Knowing where technology is going also really requires that you listen to your customers so you can be more in tune to what they will need. That means being able to capture and interpret more and more data.
Anticipate new roles to spring up from automation
The whole workforce is going to change in this decade due to automation. As some roles are displaced by automation and artificial intelligence (AI), new roles will spring up in their place. Along with the growing importance of data, we’ll start to see an increase in roles like explainers and validators for data and algorithms. There will continue to be an increased demand for capturing and interpreting a much wider variety of unstructured data, such as being able to uncover the nuance and context of your customers’ needs. That’s where you’ll see a real shift in roles.
Increase agility to pivot and respond to threats or opportunities
There’s a real need to shift not just roles, but business models as well, especially within established organizations. These organizations will need greater agility to pivot and respond to competitive threats or market opportunities. The notion of lean and agile as methodologies that only work for developers is really being flipped on its head. In this decade, we’ll see more and more organizations use these methodologies across all organizational functions, including finance, legal, marketing, etc.
Break the monolith
I think it’s crucial to learn how to break the monolith. For many organizations we work with, that’s the IT journey they’re on: breaking down large monolithic applications from quarterly deployments into microservices that can be deployed multiple times per day. Breaking the monolith also means a cultural shift so organizations are constantly evolving and adapting.
Get organizational change management (OCM) right
Statistics show the return is there when done right. We know that the return on investment for projects with excellent OCM is 143%, where projects with poor or no OCM have only a 35% ROI. However, only something like 10% of companies invest in organizational change management. It will be more important than ever to understand organizational culture, versus climate and finding the right mix of people; constructive, aggressive and defensive to move forward with the transformations necessary to succeed in the next decade. Hope is not a strategy.
Trends to watch
When asked about the biggest trend they’re excited about right now, here’s how our experts responded:
Design at scale – Organizations are starting to see the value of a human-centered, design-led approach, and will continue striving to build large scale enterprise teams that can truly drive change in the next few years.
A new battlefront on truth – This is less of a technology trend, but there’s certainly a technology aspect to it. As advances in technology make it easier to disseminate misleading information, there will be a growing movement to develop technology to counteract that.
Quantum computing (QC) – QC will change the whole landscape of business and computing, especially as it applies to AI its potential benefits.
Augmented humans – This is about the degree to which people will integrate with technology in the workplace and in their personal lives. It applies to how technology like AI helps will help us think and be more productive, but also it applies in the physical realm, such as how robotics will impact our productivity and quality of life.
A merging of methodologies – Waterfall will become extinct. I can’t really imagine that any organization will be able to meet the needs of the business and its customers without bringing together what we now think of as Lean and agile and DevOps.
Blockchain comes of age – Blockchain really went through the hype cycle this past decade, we saw outstanding case studies in the financial services sector. This decade, we’ll start to see it live up to its potential in additional industry sectors and perhaps for the common good, as some predict a reduction in the poverty gap as an outcome.
This blog series really just scratches the surface of what’s to come in 2020 and beyond. To learn more about how your organization can succeed in this decade, continue the conversation with us and our emerging technology team.