By Puneet Gupta, Chief Technology Officer, Brillio
New Jersey based Brillio is a global technology consulting firm focused on leveraging emerging technologies for innovation and application modernization in BFSI, Utilities, CPG, Retail, Technology and other domains.
In the not too distant past of only 5-10 years ago, the business world looked at technology largely as a means to an end. Essentially delegated to the role of "enabler", technology was part of the equation of business causation where if you implemented X, you always got Y. But that is not the story today where the breakneck pace of technology change and a dramatically shorter time to maturity, have created market forces that businesses are struggling to understand and tame.
The fundamental fabric of modern life is changing. And I would even propose that human beings are evolving into a different species because of technology. It is difficult to identify any part of our personal and professional worlds and behaviours that have somehow not been touched in significant ways by technology, largely around the new forms of connection and collaboration.
I believe that technology has woven itself into the fabric of our society at such an intimate level that we must consider that it is no longer an "enabler", but is really the "core essence" of business life. Businesses must marry strengths and competencies in their market knowledge with new technology expertise, while assuming an anthropologist's view of how technology is transforming society at large and not just in their small slice of the world.
No enterprise is exempt from this. Companies must commit to understanding what it means to evolve into "technology first" businesses - whether they are in advertising, retail, finance, energy, healthcare, consumer goods or even education.
4 Shifts Shaping the "Technology First" Worldview
There are 4 key shifts in culture, computing, demographics and market economics that are major drivers of what I see as the need for the adoption of a "technology first" mantra. These are:
1. It's a hyper - connected world.
2. A company's employees and customers now look and behave the same.
3. Entire core industries are in the process of being redefined by technology.
4. The dramatic changes in computing form factor, ubiquity, and intelligence are the new drivers of technological transformation.
It's a hyper-connected world
We are living in a hyper-connected world, whether we choose to directly participate in it or not. The digital consumer is the dominant market force, and has a frame of reference and way of behaving that has been shaped by new kinds of connection - to companies, to product and services, to others, and to themselves. Because of this level of connectivity and the awareness of its persistence, these consumers are presented with, and demand, choices that are vastly different from the past - always on, endless customizable, immediately accessible, and most personally relevant.
A company's employees and customers now look and behave the same
As the demographics of the global workforce change, there is no longer a vast chasm of difference between "us" (a company's employees) and "them" (the customer). Attitudes, ways of thinking, and behaviours are the same - vocal, personal, and with little dividing work and personal lives. Power is shifting to employees, largely fuelled by the scarcity of talent that the digital economy demands. This fundamentally shifts how business needs to think about talent, and people overall.
Entire core industries are in the process of being redefined by technology
Core industries that touch just about every person and every business are in various stages of technological metamorphosis. Who can deny that every day we see technology increasingly change how we define, access and interact with the worlds of education, transportation, and healthcare. Think about Khan Academy, Uber, and The ranos - those are market game changers. When seemingly mature markets such as these are becoming "technology first", your company had better follow suit in a way that is consistent with its values and mission, if it wants to have a future.
The dramatic changes in computing form factor, ubiquity and intelligence are the new drivers of technological transformation
Computing is the core driver of the massive technology transformation we are only just beginning to experience. How we think about computing in our daily lives is fundamentally different than only a few short years ago. It's no longer just about Moore's Law being the ultimate driver of computing change. Form factor, ubiquity of devices, built-in intelligence and machine learning have completely re-written the story of "technology as a means to a simple end", and into one of "technology as the core essence" to both business and personal life.