Deloitte Technology Trends: Inspiring Disruption Report

Deloitte Cape Town held its annual Tech Trends 2014: Inspiring Disruption event in Cape Town last week. Ten topics that have the opportunity to impact businesses over the next 18 to 24 months (CIOs are the primary audience for the report).

The trends must be (1) business led, technology enabled, (2) trends and not fads and (3) have at least three examples of the concepts being adopted by, e.g. big business or government. Two categories: disruptors and enablers.

All ten trends are described in the report. The six that stood out for me are below.

Disruptors (newer / less familiar)

CIO as venture capitalist: CIOs take a page from the VC playbook around portfolio, risk and talent. SA market readiness: ADOPT.

Cognitive analytics: AI and machine learning drive more grunt work to the computer – including hypothesis generation. Humans teach and handle exceptions. SA market readiness: ASSESS.

Industrialised crowdsourcing: Maturing tools market takes us to industrial scale and sophistication. New talent, cost and process models – and maybe new business models. E.g. Mechanical Turk, ODesk, Task Rabbit. Kaggle.com (open market for data scientists). SA market readiness: TRIAL.

Own note: This trend is actually a misnomer as it is less about crowdsourcing than innovative ways of recruitment. Some of what was presented at the launch – all under the banner of “crowdsourcing” – was actually microwork, challenges and innovative recruitment opportunities.

Digital engagement: Omni-channel engagement + employee empowerment + digital transformation for monetising experiences. Pushing further into customers lives AND pulling them into our business cycles, e.g. product design, focus groups, etc. Digital engagement means having customers 3D-print their own chocolate, or design their own Barbie dolls. Where physical products become digitally enhanced by the customer = digital engagement. SA market readiness: TRIAL

Own note: For Pearson: have customers customise their own textbooks? Have users create their own quizzes on X-Kit Mobile?

Wearables: Heads-up, hands-free, see-through, context-rich information and execution for the task at hand. SA market readiness: ASSESS.

Enablers (probably more familiar to us)

Social activation: Advertising (measure) > social sensing (match), reputation economy (correlate) > market entanglement (cause). Cause: Meme generation and spreading. Memetic propogation. SA market readiness: ADOPT/TRIAL.

Own note: Need to tread with caution here. To bungle memetic propogation that tries to get our customers/users to behave differently would be a major backfire.

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