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Enterprises are struggling to keep pace with the unprecedented rate of technological advancements. The promise and impact of emerging technologies on how we produce, deliver, and consume goods and services are unquestionable. However, businesses are struggling to realize the promise.
Despite frenetic experimentation across the Triple-A Trifecta (automation, analytics, and AI), truly industrialized implementations are rare. Enterprises want to scale up their adoption of The Trifecta in the next two years, but they don’t know how. Large-scale IoT adoption is still nascent despite tremendous technological advancements. IoT service provision continues to be fragmented, and platform standards have not yet emerged. Blockchain’s promise to disintermediate is struggling with POC fatigue; less than 5% of blockchain initiatives have reached a “live” in-production state. There is a move to hybrid (public-heavy) cloud environments with increasing containerization, microservices, and smarter cloud-ready and SaaS applications. However, talent is becoming a core battleground to execute enterprise cloud aspirations. Quantum computing offers a fascinating new way to solve computational problems that classical computers cannot; in particular, modeling the natural world. However, real-world business quantum use cases are not yet clear. 5G will facilitate enterprises hyper-connecting more devices to dramatically improve user convenience, productivity, engagement, and countless other aspects of life. However, a lot of infrastructural investments are required across the globe before 5G is available to end-consumers.
There are significant challenges, but businesses cannot afford to be deer in the headlights when it comes to meaningful adoption of emerging technologies. The raison d’être for enterprises is no longer “cheaper and faster,” but “growth and survival.” Kicking the can down the road is not an option. Every competent business leader now recognizes that the answer to the question “Do you need to apply new technologies to business?” is an overwhelming “Yes!”. But success is still not guaranteed, and the doomsday clouds are still hovering. The biggest question remains: How can enterprises manage an emerging technology roadmap that drives their business competitiveness?
Enterprises need to design and execute a three-pronged strategy that comprehends, invests in, and capitalizes on the evolving emerging technology landscape to stay at the edge of innovation (see Exhibit 1).
Exhibit 1. This three-pronged strategy will help enterprises stay at the edge of innovation
Source: HFS Research, 2020
The Bottom Line. Emerging technologies represent both an opportunity and a threat, and your future will largely be determined by how you view them.
We live in a world that is scary and exciting at the same time. Emerging technologies represent both an opportunity and a threat, and your future will largely be determined by how you view them. Complacent enterprises will get flattened by their more savvy competitors. At the same time, organizations that realize this fact and work on it manically will have a much better chance of survival and success, but we must find a method to the madness to stay at the edge of innovation.