The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Disruptive Technologies, Impact and interplay

futureplanning.pngRecently the Atlantic had an article where they took a McKinsey report on disruptive technologies and turned it upside down to say which ones were the most overhyped. The Atlantic reporter based their analysis on economic impact vs. number of relevant articles.


The technologies were (in order of least impact to most):

  1. Renewable energy
  2. Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery
  3. Advanced materials
  4. 3D printing
  5. Energy storage
  6. Next-generation genomics
  7. Autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles
  8. Advanced robotics
  9. Cloud
  10. Internet of Things
  11. Automation of knowledge work
  12. Mobile Internet

This approach by the Atlantic may be a novel way to look at technologies but not all that accurate or effective from a strategic perspective, especially since I doubt that was the intent of the McKinsey article.


I was also a bit surprised by some of the technologies left out of the McKinsey report. Technologies like User Interface Advances were not really mentioned, and the interplay between technologies was just touched on.


The best example of interplay magnifying impact is the intersection of the mobile internet, the internet of things and automation of knowledge work. Where these intersect, the role of employees change – human augmented automation. An approach that takes advantage of the fact that people are not fungible, as opposed to how many business may look at employees.


A visioning document based on the interplay of technologies is likely worth its own report -- aiding IT leaders in thinking about enabling their business in whole new ways. In any case, the McKinsey report is worth the read.

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