Disruptive Technology

Disruptive technology is a result of a market-driven technology evolution where customers want an instant response from business and business wants to have a single view of the customer to leverage off the increasing amount of data that is now available. Another driver of disruptive tools is to enable a homogeneous user experience across all platforms. There is also a need for organisations to create a virtual workforce and have rapid deployment of technologies.

To some, disruptive technology. To others, business opportunity. As with most IT innovations, it is not only about the scaling of business potential and ability, but also the automation of jobs and processes.

Organisations are progressively realising that earlier technology in the business world is becoming displaced. This is a result of the boom that technology is currently facing. New markets and value networks are being created and are ready to be cultivated as a result of digitization and the uprising of disruptive technology.

This is mainly based on providing services to customers that could not previously be served. It does not always mean creating a new service or going into an emerging market. Disruption can take place by simply
re-engineering an existing customer base and creating an easier way to deliver business.

Social collaboration has enabled business collaboration and knowledge sharing within the mobile work force. Research is finding that soon enough there will be intelligent software systems that are able to perform knowledge work. This is not difficult to believe considering that artificial intelligence has advanced and devices have adopted a “practice makes perfect” approach to bettering performance.

Enterprise mobility has created a mobile workforce, especially in a customer facing situation, where employees travel or where client turnaround is expected to be rapid. Organisations should be looking at investing in an enterprise mobility strategy and cost effective BYOD strategy to create an anywhere/anytime employee workforce. The power of having mobile internet has increased general employee productivity greatly.

Mobility goes hand in hand with social collaboration tools and the implementation of the one requires support from the other. Countless studies have shown that CIO’s are in agreement that these technologies are business drivers. Conversely, the same CIO’s admit that their organisations would not be able to realise the business benefits that these technologies could potentially offer.

The list of disruptive innovations ranges from data and analytics, social media, cloud, advanced robotics, the internet of things and 3D printing to name a few.

Market demands, financial pressures, the consumerization of IT and analytics are driving business to adopt these technologies. Tech-savvy organisations have been able to implement scalable solutions with little or no IT support.

Not only consumers of business services have expectations with regards to these technologies. Employees are increasingly relying on organisations correctly implementing their technologies in order to work remotely from their mobile offices.

Challenges that may arise include security threats, IT capacity being able to keep up with demand and implementing solutions that are not fit for purpose. Working in silos will be a thing of the past with these collaborative technologies relying on a single version of the truth.

Businesses are on a constant journey to improve. What differentiates a business now is how quickly it adopts new technology and innovates towards optimizing the use of tech to create value for its customers. Consumers are getting smarter because of the wealth of information that is available to them. Leaders in the market recognise that the mobile enablement of processes and technology doesn't only contribute to innovation, it is a driver for business relevance. It is important for organisations to implement solutions that will enable their business and not just rush to catch a ride on a trend.

It is a time to move from traditional skills to opportunistic skills. It’s a challenging time to be a leader now in IT but it’s the perfect time to flourish in technology with a new breed of IT professionals.

The IT industry is thriving with careers. There has never been a better time to delve in this industry where a new job description is created almost every other month. This is an indication of the appetite of the world to continue innovating and have the ability to manage the disruptions brought on by technology effectively.

Africa is seen by investors as a high risk high return environment because of the various political, cultural, infrastructure and social challenges. An aspect that greatly impacts South Africa directly is social unrest. Disruptive technologies have the highest success and growth rates in emerging markets because of the growing middle class. It is time to invest in our nation.

Organisations must position themselves to be anticipatory towards upcoming trends in order to fully realise the benefits of the technology. All solutions brought forward should be mobile and web ready. Being reactive and trying to catch a trend may result in the organisation missing the trend and forfeiting the benefits. These technologies will truly test the ability to align business and IT to achieve full enterprise value.