How organizations can prepare for emerging tech — and why they should

flower-blooming

Do you ever find yourself talking to inanimate objects?

My husband does it all the time, and I do it occasionally. My children like to talk to the DVD player, laptop, phone, TV and any digital object they find fascinating. My 2-year-old will even sometimes touch the TV thinking that she can swipe on to the next channel, and when Mummy and Daddy ring on the phone (in a traditional-style phone call), they look for the face as they are so used to Messenger or Skype.

I find when I swap laptops, I become like my 2-year-old, swiping and touching the screen on my Apple Mac, alas forgetting that I am no longer on my Lenovo or tablet with the extremely useful touchscreen. This makes me wonder, (when I find myself cursing at my laptop or DVD player for not doing what I think it should be doing) when do we consider our gadgets to have a “mind of their own?”

Inanimate objects having a “mind of their own.” Let’s pause on that for a moment.

We seem to be heading that direction with the Internet of Things. Our fridge, some say, will be able to order our groceries for us based on what we ate the week before, how much money we have in our bank account and what’s on our schedule. They might throw in a bottle of wine or roast of beef if family or friends are coming to celebrate. (We are breaching the world of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with inanimate objects coming to life to serve us.)

This brings me to the latest Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies in 2016 (July 2016).

The report looks at emerging technologies over the next 10 years. What jumps out to me is that human-to- computer/devices interfaces are extremely prominent in the next 5 to 10 years. Many of the technologies focus on how humans work with machines and how we connect with them. This in itself is a sign of the next generation’s impact on technology and how, for our children, human-to-computer interface will be a normal and accepted part of their everyday lives.

From the list of 34 emerging technologies recognized by Gartner, I consider there to be around 29 which relate to CSC Consulting principles.

emerging technologies CSC Blogs

 

This graph shows how these emerging technologies relate to each other and create a hyper connected world.

Whilst it is easy to think about solutioning such a world in the future, and mapping out how we could get there by having a computer with a mind of its own, I still wonder — at what point do we consider a computer to have a mind of its own? How many processors does it need to have in order to be classified as a “mind”?

If we look at a Neuroscience answer or “The Human Brain Project,” it would need to be a supercomputer with no more than 200 petabytes, requiring a Gigawatt per year of energy to accomplish. But what about if we broke the brain down into small subcomponents for the human-to-computer interfaces to work with for different tasks, rather than thinking about it as one large and complex solution?

If we think about these subcomponents in context to CSC, they map to the solutions we frequently consider: UX Customer Experience (10), Data (7), Mobility (3), Service Integration (2), System Integration (2), Cyber-Security (2), Cloud and Workplace (1).

How can this framework and thinking be useful to you and your organization? How can this help you road map and then strategize your approach to emerging technologies? And then how do you implement it?

I think you start by looking at how the emerging technologies can affect your organization. Here are my thoughts as to how these services could be considered with technology to think about building a platform and an integrated approach to delivery.

emerging technology CSC Blogs

Whilst all the technologies might not be suitable for everyone or every organisation, alas the journey of assessment and implementation might be similar.

Certainly, that last graph gives us something to think about.

Emerging technologies will change our organizations in a way that we will not be able to fully understand until they are consumed and delivered. These technologies will eventually become so normal for us in our homes and organisations that we won’t even realize they are there.

In 30 years’ time, the technology we have available to us is going to create a complex and fascinating world. The worker of tomorrow will certainly have a different experience than us today, and our personal lives will be greatly changed as well. Many of our current technologies will be redundant as a result.

But until these changes come into effect, I will carry on talking to inanimate objects until that day the coffee machine at work responds and says “hello” back, while letting me know that my favorite Chai latte will be ready in 28 seconds.

Or take it the next level, with a human-to-computer interface that maps the thoughts in my brain in a conceptual diagram for others to understand, intuitively translating my thoughts into text and images.

Maybe in this future we will see a world where thoughts and creativity are true differentiators.

Oh wow, what an interesting world we are heading for!


Sarah James was ANZ lead for Authentic Leadership in DXC and an advocate for DXC’s Women in Leadership and STEM. Prior to leaving DXC in September 2017, Sarah founded the Empowering Future Leaders blog and was its primary author. With over 15 years of experience in the world of IT, Sarah’s specialty is spatial information and includes integration on projects as diverse as mapping volcanoes in Hawaii to delivering high-tech police vehicles.

RELATED LINKS

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Why innovation matters (and how to inspire it)

The future in our hands: 6 big ideas changing tomorrow’s workplace

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  1. […] year ago, we analysed Gartner’s 2016 Hype Cycle and the many different technologies predicted to be of interest to enterprises. Looking at […]

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