Thursday, November 03, 2016

On Disruptions!!

No business conversation today is complete without someone talking about either being disrupted, or of disruptions in the ecosystem.

A good video to watch is this Keynote from Tony Seba, which talks of demise of some Industries which we would not think possible – namely the Automobile as we know, Electricity Utility as we consume today and some others. What would they be replaced with? None other than our Silicon Valley!  See for yourself

Not being an in-depth researcher or author and futurologist like Tony, I cannot present spell binding data on disruption, but I will attempt to list some mega-trends and disruptions that is shaping the future Information Technology (or IT) Services Industry. Of course Tony’s predictions above will shake up the IT Services industry no less, in that some of the target customers and Business Verticals itself will not survive!

Here are these, in no particular order, I penned as they came to my mind.

  1. Everything connected to everything – also called as IOT (Internet of Things) or Internet of Everything.  Every ‘thing’ will have an IP address and be always online. Reams are still being written on this, of trillions of ‘things’ talking to the internet
  2. Everything will have to be Secured – a corollary from above megatrend. With so many (trillions) things online and open, Cyber Security will be one of the biggest concerns, and business opportunity!
  3. 5G – higher throughputs, higher bandwidths, higher data compressions (Hopefully I will be able to connect to the ‘WhateverG’ network at my home in Noida, as of now I cannot get 3G or 4G signals!)
  4. Algorithm Economies and Algorithm Organisations will Rule. Google, Facebook are what I call the Algorithm Companies. They employ people, yes, but their business is based on Algorithms
  5. The ‘Geek’ shall inherit the earth? Finally.
  6. Video and Images will rule – we will stop calling, we will always video-call. Selfies and Perfect Profile Pictures will drive behavior, not to say of dressing
  7. A strong positive domino effect on the apparel and grooming industry – with all the selfies we would want to be seen in something ‘new’ everyday
  8. Possible new businesses - Apparel (dresses) as a Service. Wear a new dress every day, delivered in the morning, intuitively selected by an AI system based on your mood, your schedule, health and other ‘vital’ signals analysed as you sleep!
  9. Everything as a service – remember the famous quote, ‘don’t buy anything – rent your shoes if you can’. It was prophetic in nature!
  10. Establishment of Consciousness as a mainstream science
  11. Work anywhere, anytime, for anyone
  12. Crowd Everything – Crowd-Consulting, Crowdsourcing, Crowd-financing, Crowd-Learning
  13. IT Services Industry as we know will not exist, so far as Resourcing and Employees go. A large proportion of the work will be in Crowdsourcing models, farmed out as modules to independent developers.
  14. IT Services companies will be more of thin layer of Aggregators, Integrators and Architecture Definers, as against armies of code developers and system maintainers. Much like manufacturing in the past – the ‘Programming Supply Chain’ will rapidly evolve to a set of smaller, far more economical, sub-system providers and Individuals. Check what platforms like Maven or Upwork and many similar are already providing.
  15. End of Full Time Employment and Job Security as we know it. Read the points above. This will happen in all Sectors
  16. Concept of work and management.  All teams will be Virtual – people will have to be re-trained to lead a new team every week, or everyday probably! You could be leading a team of ten nationalities, collaborating across time-zones one week and be an individual contributor the next.
  17. Blurring of lines between Products and Services
  18. Data will be the new Fuel
  19.  ‘Brand’ as a concept will die. Consumers will have no Brand Loyalty, they will flit from product to product on a daily basis.
  20. Differentiation will last for a day - ‘Brands’ will have to prove their worth or establish differentiation on a daily basis
  21. Think of the Impact on Advertising Industry
  22. Products Customised to an Individual – remember the good old darzi (Tailor) in India, when the concept of ‘ready-made’ clothes was non-existent! Now take that custom tailor, accelerate the turnaround time to end product by 100, accessible online, anywhere anytime, home delivered, and you have a new economic model!
  23. Concept to Product Cycle, or Lab to Retail Shelf cycle will be Days, maybe Hours! It will be driven by consumer need, events, and availability of technologies like 3-D printing
  24. Environment and Sustainability will drive product and services adoption – the paradox of an increasingly aware, even though highly consumer and materialistic generation combined with a very high sense of responsibility towards the Environment. This generation will force corporations to be more ‘Socially Responsible’. They will shun products that are known to kill our planet or ‘exploit’ human resources
  25. Availability of information and transparency will force the above change
  26. New Industries will emerge more rapidly, ones that we cannot yet conceptualise (did we think ‘knowledge Search’ would be a hundreds of billions of dollar business)
  27. Discontinuities and disruptions appear more frequently, and have a higher impact
  28. Concept of physical ‘cash’, probably of ‘wealth’ will be replaced – see Block-chain and Bitcoin
  29. A more ‘Urban World’ than ever before. This will force ‘pockets’ or islands of ‘rural’ within the urban jungles, from a way-of-life perspective
  30. Resurgence of Values, Self-discovery and Spirituality 

There would be many more disruptions, mega trends than what I have listed above. Do let me know your thoughts.