As we bid farewell to a great year of 2012 let's all remember those great innovation that spread world wide and molded technology as it is today and cut open new opportunities for advancement and development.
Analytics is seen as the competitive differentiator — perhaps the only competitive differentiator — between companies competing in the new global realm. A global survey of 4,500 executives, managers and analysts, released earlier this year by MIT Sloan Management Review and the IBM Institute for Business Value, finds the information ‘haves’ — companies with in-depth experience with analytics technologies and methodologies — increasingly saw competitive advantage, and were more than twice as likely to have outperformed their analytically challenged peers over the past year. (Full report available from MIT SMR or IBM.) Overall. adoption of analytic capabilities has been rapidly proliferating as of late. Fifty-eight percent of organizations now apply analytics to create a competitive advantage within their markets or industries, up from 37% just one year ago, the study confirms.
Earlier in 2011, IBM’s Watson defeated two reigning Jeopardy! champions, demonstrating that artificial intelligence has matured to a point where it can address queries in areas relating to business intelligence, medicine, engineering, and more. Expect to see more systems capable of responding to natural-language queries supporting decision-making across a variety of disciplines and industry areas.
The New York Times’ Tom Friedman described it as the emerging DIY economy, made possible through “the mass diffusion of low-cost, high-powered innovation technologies — from hand-held computers to Web sites that offer any imaginable service — plus cheap connectivity. They are transforming how business is done.” It’s all about self-service, and the ability to start, fund and staff businesses through online resources. The barriers to entry have fallen dramatically, and expect to see a boom in startups with very low capital requirements. This may offer a partial explanation as to why the actual size of the workforce has remained flat over the past decade (declining 1.1%), while corporate profits, GDP and productivity have risen.
Computing power is almost becoming “too cheap to meter” – thanks to the cloud, massive data center power is available for literally pennies. This is a good value proposition for companies looking to expand or needing to expand their IT capabilities. Cisco’s latest Global Cloud Index, finds that organization’s data centers will be moving to the cloud in a big way. This also good news for economic growth. Thanks to the availability of powerful and low-cost on-demand technologies, innovators now have access to computing and information resources unheard of even a few years ago. There was a time when launching a serious startup required serious capital for hiring talent, marketing and promotion, office space, and for technology to make it all happen. Thanks to cloud computing and social networking resources, it now costs virtually pennies to secure and get the infrastructure needed up and running to get a new venture off the ground.
Talk about outside-the-walls innovation. Many organizations will increasingly be turning to online resources for new ideas or to solve tough business problems. From digitizing library collections to prediction markets, online resources and collective talent will be brought to bear on many areas. One example is prediction markets — there are external markets, but organizations will be increasing applying their own internal markets to help drive decision making. Internally, organizations may have thousands of employees and petabytes worth of information — prediction markets and crowdsourced competitions may help capture that knowledge efficiently.
Smartphones will continue disrupting just about everything that moves. A entire new delivery channel has emerged for the delivery of data and services to consumers and partners. The rise of the smartphone is also disrupting an unheard-of number of product markets. Things now disrupted by smartphones include cameras, portable music players, video games, GPS devices, PCs, watches, remote controls, alarm clocks, levels and other measurement tools, thermometers, radios, microscopes, calendars, advertising, and, oh, yeah — cellphones and landline telephones. Who knows shat’s in store for disruption in 2012?
Now this coming 2013, what would be the next big thing?