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

Transformation, roles and digital technology

leadership.pngA coworker forwarded me an article titled: We Need Better Managers, Not More Technocrats from Harvard Business Review. It seemed a poignant perspective to add to my post yesterday on automation.

 

The article makes the statement: “digital technology is not the true story. Digital transformation is.” To me this means that organizations are going to need more proactive business and technical leaders who are willing to question the very foundation of “we’ve always done it this way” and make transformation happen.

 

The article goes on to state that those companies that get the greatest benefit are those that:

  • Make smart investments in digital technology to innovate theircustomer engagements, and the business processes and business models that support them
  • Build strong leadership capabilities to envision and drive transformationwithin their companies and their cultures

I personally think this is going to take more than just what have been traditionally called managers, since it involves a broader range of stakeholders and interactions than organizations of the past, to take advantage of the range of their employee’s capabilities. Automation should actually enable that focus.

 

Whether the people who lead the effort are ‘managers’, ‘technocrats’ or something else altogether is irrelevant. What is definitely true is change is coming and those that prepare will have an advantage.

The multi-dimensional value of IoT

dimensions.pngThe value and inevitable nature of the Internet of Things can be hard to quantify.

 

It has value in the vertical dimension based on what it can do for a particular industry. For example being able to understand the materials on hand, the machine capability and performance and the product location all can fit together to provide much greater insight. This is one of the reasons the manufacturing industry was an early adopter of IoT techniques.

 

From a breadth perspective, we’re seeing more devices with connectivity as well as more wearables and other ways to communicate. I can easily see a day where my oven reminds me of a meals status much more effectively than the kitchen timer. Or even the act of entering the garage can get dinner started because that’s what would be next on my agenda. Essentially it leads to a much broader range of devices working in collaboration to meet my needs.

 

In a depth sense, various devices that are doing their own thing, for their own reasons can provide a much greater contextual depth of understanding that any single view could provide. This is where the contextual understanding that is derived from multiple pieces of information comes into play.

 

I am sure there are more dimensions beyond these three… What are they for you?

 

IT as outsiders, a luxury no one can afford

 

alone.pngRecently, Terry Bennett (someone from the Dallas area I’ve known for quite a while) wrote a post about Overcoming Your IT Department’s Outsider Reputation. I have finally gotten around to giving it a quick response. In his post he says:

“At a time when all companies need everyone on one team pulling together, IT professionals are often seen by others as ... well ... different.”

 

This seems like a luxury no one can afford. He mentions a number of approaches to shift IT personnel behavior:

  • Change the IT mindset
  • Align goals
  • Show your appreciation
  • Participate in company activities

It really gets down to being aware and involved in the business and its culture and not to look at your role (in IT) as part of a different industry.

 

I sometimes ask people: “If you win and the company doesn’t, did you actually win?”

 

As services becomes an ever increasing part of the economy and the revenue stream for companies, it needs to be sure not to fall into the same trap. This is also a concept those in the outsourcing space need to embrace with the customers – to the extent possible.

 

The search for ubiquitous power and IoT

plugging in economy.pngI was pulling together a presentation for a bunch of technologists on the Internet of Things (IoT) that I am giving later today. There have been numerous discussions about the possibilities of ubiquitous computing, but one of the prerequisites is ubiquitous power – we’re getting closer but we’re not there yet.

 

One of the side effects of Moore’s law is that threshold voltages for transistor switching keeps going down. That means that the power requirements for devices go down as well. This week there were a couple of interesting examples of more flexible energy access in the press:

As we find more uses for computing, there will be just as an ambitious effort for finding ubiquitous energy sources. Advances like this may enable organizations to address their business from more diverse locations going forward.

Coffee talk at Discover on trends…

One of the activities I am going to try to pull together at HP Discover is a coffee talk with the various bloggers that will be there, talking about the trends taking place and trying to discuss the implications on business and services in general (the discussion is 1PM on Wednesday somewhere in the social media lounge, if I remember right). The following picture is what I plan to use to kick off the discussion.

 

trends.jpg

 

Change is becoming continuous in most organizations and being able to interact with others to determine possible routes and effects is increasing in importance. Diverse perspectives can be a key to quickly solving problems.

 

Looking at the trends from a variety of perspectives as well as a variety of industries should provide a level of diversity. I am excited to hear others views, and hope I don’t just end up having to talk the whole time – but I can do that if I have to.

 

Maybe we should have a live twitter chat at the same time so that others can participate in their own way.

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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