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

Overchoice, Automation and IT’s future

choices.jpgOverchoice is a concept that Alvin Toffler used in his book Future Shock to describe the problem of having too many choices -- a common problem faced in the postindustrial world.

 

I’ve mentioned the fact that attention is one of the scarcest resources available in business today. The plethora of choices is one dimension that dilutes our attention. Addressing this scarcity of focus is one of the greatest opportunities.   We can apply the abundance of computing available (in the cloud and other sources) to tackle this issue in our efforts to generate value.

 

Some of my earliest posts on this blog were in this space and yet this remains a real challenge for the bold use of IT. Granted there can be unintended consequence of the effort to automate and focus attention, but it is one way to make IT even more relevant to the businesses and their decision-making process, by addressing issues like consistency, latency... It is an area for serious advancement in service science.

 

The concept of overchoice happens throughout our lives – just look at the number of video sources available today, even the concept of TV channels is starting to seem quaint. We are definitely starting to tackle the issue in our personal lives (what to watch {and where to get it}, what to eat). That same level of ingenuity can be applied to businesses, as well.

Comments
Grantby | ‎08-13-2013 04:50 PM

Bravo Charlie!

I often refer to this as the "tyranny of choice," and it generally leaves my mouth when I am looking for a tube of toothpaste or bottle of hot sauce in the supermarket. I often wonder if the phrase "First World Problem," isn't applied too liberally in relation to the plethora of choices we have. Granted, there are more choices in developed countries, but the opportunities in developing countries are almost an overchoice in and of themselves.

PCube | ‎08-15-2013 12:25 AM

I remember reading Future Shock which was part of my Dad's collection and here we are talking years after that. Talking about the plethora of choices - I still recall the days when we had only one channel broadcast by the State Television a few hours a day progress into an over saturated set of choices.

 

Charlie to your comment : "We can apply the abundance of computing available (in the cloud and other sources) to tackle this issue in our efforts to generate value." - we used to have screensavers that leveraged P2P technology to aid in cancer research (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1120061/).

 

Hopefully that is still the case :smileyhappy:

 

| ‎11-13-2013 06:29 PM

On a related note... Decision Fatigue

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