Frontline IT professionals categorize “business impact” of next generation technologies by how quickly they plan to adopt or address them. Cycle time to adopt determines whether the “innovation” is transformative, lackluster, or its utility is still too vague to tell.
We recently surveyed 403 IT decision makers and found some surprising and some not so surprising, yet very consistent, takes on the state of technology when we focused on the question of when a few next gen technologies would make their mark on IT. The results were published in the Insight Intelligent Technology Index.
Mining big data for business intelligence:
With the amount of data available, and the continued investment being made in analytics, it’s not surprising that mining big data for business intelligence has already had a profound effect on IT — and business broadly — with 61 percent of respondents saying it has already impacted IT and 21 percent saying it will in the next 1–2 years.
For the skeptics in the room, only 10 percent believe the impact will take as long as 3–5 years and just a handful of respondents think it is too early to tell or don’t think it will ever have an effect. It’s important to remember that predictive analytics/Big Data is a mindset and culture more than a technology, so the immediacy of its impact is telling.
Internet of Things (IoT):
The majority of IT influencers believe IoT has already affected IT (48 percent) or will within the next 1–2 years (26 percent).
IoT has created quite a stir recently, but workplaces have yet to figure out how they can use it to be more efficient or productive. However, this will likely change in the near term, especially in industries like manufacturing which can be radically improved or made smarter by IoT technology.
In fact, sensor-based data connectivity, which is part of IoT, is already the next-big-thing among technology professionals, as they continue to innovate and develop different ways to make objects smarter and more responsive.
Geotagging and Geotracking of Consumers:
Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe these technologies have already impacted IT or will in the next 1–2 years.
Tying back to why data has been the largest game changer for IT, geotagging and geotracking capabilities wouldn’t even be possible without the capturing and culling of GPS data from mobile phones. Yes, it is “technological” stalking, yet required for true tailored experiences.
Retailers and producers of consumer-facing mobile applications have been early adopters of geotagging and geotracking technologies — so much so one would probably be hard pressed to find the outlier who hasn’t already employed. Those who haven’t are at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to providing tailored customer experiences.
Alternatively, business-to-business companies — along with those which don’t have a consumer focus — may be less inclined to make the leap until the return on investment is more easily understood.
Wearables & 3D Printers:
Despite much of the brouhaha around wearables and 3D printers, IT influencers put these two technologies neck in neck in terms of their impact. Here is how it shakes out:
· 30 percent say already impacted
· 34 percent say in 1- 2 years
· 17 percent say in 3–5 years
· Interestingly, 9 percent believe these won’t ever create significant change
· 30 percent say already impacted
· 32 percent say in 1- 2 years
· 22 percent say in 3–5 years
· Interestingly, 8 percent believe it’s simply too early to tell
From an insider’s perspective, this is very much on point. These technologies are beyond first generation and coming down in price, making them more accessible to both consumers and businesses. Yet how and when they should be used, especially in the workplace, is still a big question mark.
Driverless cars have the potential to transform not only the auto industry but large scale business sectors like manufacturing and retail, as well as public ones like the Department of Defense.
Yet widespread adoption seems pretty far off for the large majority of respondents, with nearly half indicating that it will take anywhere from three to ten years for any impact to be felt, and another quarter who believe it is simply too early to tell.
Despite all of these incredible pending advancements, what remains true for CIOs and technology professionals as a whole is that workplace infrastructure struggles to keep up with the rate of innovation. While many of these next generation technologies offer great potential, 57 percent give their company’s current IT infrastructure a B minus grade, and 55 percent say the current technology in place at their companies is a hindrance to incorporating or adopting new technologies. Ultimately, architectures matter. Companies need to get the basics of their technology in order first before moving on to the next big thing.
Author: Mike Guggemos is CIO of Insight Enterprises, a Fortune 500 provider of hardware, software, cloud and service solutions.