The pace of technological advancement is incredible. Thinking back 10 years to 2003, entire markets, companies, and future trend possibilities simply did not exist. In 2003 there was no YouTube. LinkedIn had started, but nobody knew them yet. There was no Facebook, no Twitter, no iOS or iPhone, no Android, no “tablet market.” No such thing as a “mobile app.” The “cloud” of today did not exist (even if Larry Ellison says it did).
The fundamental impacts these technologies have made in the last 10 years are greater than the impacts of any technologies in the prior 20 years. And it is accelerating. The pace of technological advance is dramatically growing every year, as technology helps us further extend the pace of technological change. It is not a smooth curve — there are bumps and lags— but it is nevertheless increasing at an exponential rate.
Today, we struggle to keep up with the latest phones, apps, and cloud services. As a business we need to stay on the leading edge, or our customers will believe we are behind, and look for a new vendor/partner/supplier. Our employees want to bring their own devices to work (BYOD), and they want to use their own services with their own credentials (BYOID). How do we manage this?
What will it be like 10 years from now?
If you assume that the pattern holds, and we see twice as much fundamentally NEW expansion areas or platforms every 10 years, then we will see at least 20 major unforeseen opportunities in the next 10 years. And we will need to be very nimble to keep up with it all. Fundamental shifts can create huge advantage if we catch them early — or even better, lead them. Otherwise, they will be disasters that crush companies if missed — just ask Kodak.
What are you doing today to manage this rate of change? Will you have an Innovation Office, a Chief Disruption Officer, or will you do something else?