Gartner revealed seven digital disruptions that organizations may not be prepared for. These include several categories of disruption, each of which represents a significant potential for new disruptive companies and business models to emerge.
“The single largest challenge facing enterprises and technology providers today is digital disruption,” said Daryl Plummer, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “The virtual nature of digital disruptions makes them much more difficult to deal with than past technology-triggered disruptions. CIOs must work with their business peers to pre-empt digital disruption by becoming experts at recognizing, prioritizing and responding to early indicators.”
The seven key digital disruptions are:
Quantum Computing is a type of nonclassical computing that is based on the quantum state of subatomic particles. Classic computers operate using binary bits where the bit is either 0 or 1, true or false, positive or negative. Superposition is what gives quantum computers speed and parallelism, meaning that these computers could theoretically work on millions of computations at once. When combined with superposition, quantum computers could process a massive number of possible outcomes at the same time.
“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” said Mr Plummer.
Real-Time Language Translation
Real-time language translation could, in effect, fundamentally change communication across the globe. Devices such as translation earbuds and voice and text translation services can perform translation in real-time, breaking down language barriers with friends, family, clients and colleagues. This technology could not only disrupt intercultural language barriers, but also language translators as this role may no longer be needed.
“To prepare for this disruption, CIOs should equip employees in international jobs with experimental real-time translators to pilot streamlined communication,” said Mr. Plummer. “This will help establish multilingual disciplines to help employees work more effectively across languages.”
Nanotechnology is science, engineering and technology conducted at the nanoscale — 1 to 100 nanometres. Nanotech is used to create new effects in materials science, such as self-healing materials. The implications of this technology are that the creations of solutions involve individual atoms and molecules.
“Nanotechnology is rapidly becoming as common a concept as many others, and yet still remains sparsely understood in its impact to the world at large,” said Mr. Plummer.
Digital business will stretch conventional management methods past the breaking point. The enterprise will need to make decisions in real time about unpredictable events, based on information from many different sources (such as Internet of Things [IoT] devices) beyond the organization’s control. Humans move too slowly, stand-alone smart machines cost too much, and hyper scale architectures cannot deal with the variability. Swarm intelligence could tackle the mission at a low cost.
A swarm consists of small computing elements that follow simple rules for coordinating their activities. Such elements can be replicated quickly and inexpensively. A swarm can be scaled up and down easily as needs change. CIOs should start exploring the concept to scale management, especially in digital business scenarios.
Human-machine interface (HMI) offers solutions providers the opportunity to differentiate with innovative, multimodal experiences. In addition, people living with disabilities benefit from HMIs that are being adapted to their needs, including some already in use within organizations of all types. Technology will give some of these people “superabilities,” spurring people without disabilities to also employ the technology to keep up.
Software Distribution Revolution
Software procurement and acquisition is undergoing a fundamental shift. The way in which software is located, bought and updated is now in the province of the software distribution marketplace.
“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 Mr. Plummer.
The use of other devices, such as virtual personal assistants (VPAs), smartwatches and other wearables, may mean a shift in how people continue to use the smartphone.
“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 Mr. Plummer.
CIOs and IT leaders should use wearability of a technology as a guiding principle and investigate and pilot wearable solutions to improve worker effectiveness, increase safety, enhance customer experiences and improve employee satisfaction.