technology drives business, get ready! #OBL13

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Babita Sharma introduced the show saying that technology like smartphones and social technologies like Twitter are rapidly changing the news industry – it’s not only a matter of having reporters all over the world and a nice & big network but also to enable citizens to share their stories. Are they able to contribute to the news industry? Are they witnessing an important event? Everything’s changing since connectivity is at the heart of companies

3 technology trends you need to know about

Steve Prentice went on and gave us a fascinating speech, starting with the three main trends he identified:

  1. There are more mobile phones than toothbrushes in the world. Although it’s not a good sign in terms of hygiene, it shows the evolution and realization of our whole ecosystem: we’re moving from computers to mobile and tablets. And the next step is wearable goods. In a few years, we’ll start to see embedded goods like glasses, skin implants, etc. So by the end of this decade, we’ll have 30 billion new (and smart) devices “plugged” to the network. Goodbye Internet, hello Cloud: all these devices must work together and the end-user experience requires that they offer the same contents, work in a synchronized way, etc.. So obviously, it’s not so much about the Internet now… but the Internet in the Cloud.
  2. The industrial Internet of Things was his second main trend: car connectivity, smart boulevards, pollution sensors, etc. It’s taking off quickly now and spreading to the general audience. All the data created around this ecosystem allow to measure and understand far beyond what we previously did.
  3. Maker machines like 3D printers also rewrite the rules of many industries: production, logistics, etc. For example, the price of a device will be the same whether today it costs 1€ or 10 000€… were you talking about a revolution? I know some people in Marketing that must go crazy right now! ;-) But coming back to the topic, it’s all about these machines: Google self-driving cars, decision-support machines like IBM’s Watson, etc. We’re moving toward an automated world where machines create, do and think.

where are we going?

Of course with these improvements come some downturns like data privacy: for example, supermarkets know what we’re going to buy: how often do you buy toothpaste? How long has it been since you last buy some? Well, if the data out of these two questions match and you’re still not in store you’ll sure receive an email with a coupon… so do we have a choice? Is it all new? And maybe more important, is it that important? ;-)

Ultimately, we’re moving towards a pervasive digitalization of the world. But if you can’t gather, analyze and use all these data, it’ll be useless for corporations. On the other hand, nobody wants to be 100% driven by computers (and nobody has to). But can we afford to disagree with IBM’s Watson for example? Not sure… when you think that technology leaders in one wave rarely survives the next one, you start thinking you need to shape up! Are you riding the wave? Following it? Struggling to keep up with it?

In healthcare for example, 3D printers already allow to replicate your kidney. Well it’s not working yet but in ten years? Who knows… Let’s take another example: thanks to the Internet of Things, hospitals can localize machines within the building to save time (and life?).

the action plan

Steve Prentice eventually gave us his action plan to get companies connected and evolving:

  1. Adopt a digital holistic strategy. It’s not only about connecting products but also employees, clients, partners and so on. Are you able to connect with customers online? Is your product synchronized with a Cloud database to stay up to date? Can your employees collaborate as much as possible? Is there a way for you and your partners to brainstorm and come up with new ideas?
  2. Stay on top of things today means stay connected because that’s the current wave. As everything, connectivity has come and will go (at least in terms of importance). But for now it’s the big thing: connecting companies, people and machines is one of the keys.
  3. Information will be the new battleground. Connectivity is very important but a network without data and intelligence is nothing. It’s all about leveraging Big Data: analyzing what’s happening on a Big scale and then allow companies to execute new plans…

The future is pervasively digital, get ready!

Rémi