The impact of technological change across all aspects of our personal and business lives is unprecedented in history. It can both inspire and bewilder. The constant barrage of new technologies and their impact on businesses is hard to assess and typically even harder to formulate a coherent response to. They present great opportunities for growing business – ignore them and you risk losing out to those who are willing to grasp this change.

Five themes

So how can we start understanding this technology tsunami? We’ve grouped current technology trends into five overarching themes which we believe will have the biggest impact on enabling successful business in the Intelligence Age:

  1. Ubiquitous computing
  2. Rise of the Machines
  3. The Global Identity Crisis
  4. Intelligence is power?
  5. The Next Generation

We will look into the future through these five technology lenses to provide valuable insights and direction to those looking to plot a course through the Intelligence Age.

Balancing technology change with the new risk landscape

Technology is driving change in our personal lives, business and society more than at any point since the Industrial Revolution. Changes today are driving waves of innovation that in turn are delivering radical advances that are benefiting both the individual and the economy.

But we must be cautious. This virtuous circle of economic gain through technology innovation is threatened by a competing vicious circle of disruptive and destructive criminal activity. This has the potential of undermining our growth if the protection of our technological infrastructures is not properly considered and actioned.

Aristotle Onassis once said: “The secret of business is to know something no-one else knows”. Times have changed since his comment but protecting your most valuable information and critical systems has never been more important.

In identifying what we believe are the five key technology trends that are already impacting and will continue to impact commerce in the next few years we can extract useful themes against which we can build, and test strategies for protecting
and enhancing your business. Here are the five trends that we believe will have the biggest impact for business in the next 2-3 years:

  • Ubiquitous computing: The number, availability and power of networked devices will increase to the point where it is the norm that every system or person is connected to the Internet at any given time. This will drive a fundamental change in what we consider to be a networked computer and how businesses interact with their customers, partners and their own systems.

  • Rise of the Machines: Interconnected machines with the ability to harvest and exploit data will generate entirely new infrastructures of interconnected, orchestrated and efficient systems. Intelligence derived from these systems can be exploited on a grand scale to enable transforming efficiency gains and ultimately to open up new modes of operation across both the physical and virtual world.

  • The Global Identity Crisis: A fundamental aspect of protecting connected users, devices and services is identity, not only of the individual and the devices they use, but also of the systems they connect to. As threats rise and devices and services proliferate, establishing “true” identity and assigning trust will be both increasingly hard and increasingly vital to intelligently protecting, and enabling business.

  • Intelligence is power? In modern economies, the control of information is often seen as the high-ground. However, raw information is both increasingly accessible and increasingly hard to protect. Effectively turning information into intelligence and into action will be key to success in the future – machine to machine exchange of information and data analytics are useful tools but turning those insights into action first, and with precision, will set the winners apart from the losers.

  • The Next Generation: Technology is just a tool and won’t by itself change the world. The next generation of managers, leaders and entrepreneurs have grown up in a world where exploitation of technology in both their personal and professional lives is inherently understood. As a driver for change, this almost transparent use of technology will be one of the major sources of business disruption making computing networking, automation, identity and intelligence not disruptors but rather an ingrained part of society and business as usual.

What these themes will mean to you will depend on your particular business and your goals and ambitions, but they cannot be ignored.


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