Timing your move into disruptive technologies
Though product cycle times are accelerating, the underlying technologies unfold over many years
Computerworld - Cloud computing. Mobile technology. Big data. Social networks. With so many disruptive technologies on the horizon, timing your move into each can make the difference between getting ahead of the competition and falling irreparably behind.
One thing that can help you gauge when to take up an emerging technology is the technology adoption life cycle. This sociological model, invented by researchers at the University of Iowa who were studying the adoption of hybrid seed corn by farmers, illustrates that adoption typically follows a bell curve, with the first adopters being the innovators, followed by the early adopters, the early majority, the late majority and finally the laggards.
It can certainly be argued that, over the course of the 20th century, technologies were adopted at a faster and faster pace. For example, the telephone took 25 years to reach 10% penetration of U.S. households, and another 39 years to reach 40%. Midcentury, |color television took 18 years (between 1954 and 1972) to reach 50% adoption by U.S. households. More recently, the smartphone needed just 10 years to reach 40% adoption by U.S. consumers, and the tablet has reached 10% penetration in less than three years.
Of course, a lot of factors come into play. Landline telephones and electricity took many years to be adopted by a majority of the population, but they both faced "last mile" difficulties in bringing telephone lines and electric cables to homes. With color television, price was a factor, as was the availability of color programming. Nonetheless, the evidence points to ever-faster adoption rates, which can leave you thinking that there's a very short window for competitive advantage around each disruptive trend.
The good news is that, while product cycle times may be well under a year, the overall trend upon which the technologies are carried typically unfolds over many years. Within each trend there are multiple enabling technologies, all at various stages of maturity and adoption. Take cloud computing as an example. If we categorize cloud computing into software as a service, platform as a service, and infrastructure as a service, it's clear that each area has its own unique trajectory and timeline. The SaaS movement has been under way since the late '90s and is more mature than PaaS or IaaS. Even within the SaaS market, certain approaches and business functions are more mature and widely accepted than others. For example, cloud-based e-mail and collaboration are far more widespread than current use of IT service management as a service.
In addition, many of the most enduring trends take many years to unfold. Mobility is a great example. While it's been around for several decades, it's only now that we have the combination of low-cost, feature-rich devices, ubiquitous access, and easy-to-use applications and interfaces that has enabled mobility to quickly become the new desktop.
- The Internet of Things meets disruptive technologies
- Mobile Next.0: Five business scenarios for the wearable, augmented-reality era
- The power of social automation
- The cybersecurity needs of the borderless enterprise
- Mining your organization for ideas
- Timing your move into disruptive technologies
- Investing for transformation in 2013
- Moving the new wave of technology from disruptive to productive
- Next up: The consumerization of business processes
- The IT paradox: A diminished role in technology, but greater clout in the business
- Trends in Pop-up Retail: Innovative Merchandising Driven by Flexible, Dependable Mobile Connectivity This paper outlines the challenges and obstacles to successful implementation, and discusses existing, rapid-deployment solutions for connecting pop-up locations with mission-critical retail applications...
- Evaluating File Sync and Share Solutions: 12 Questions to Ask about Security File sync and share can increase productivity, but how do you pick a solution that works for you? Download to learn some important...
- What is this "File Sync" Thing and Why Should I Care About It? All of a sudden, getting a file from your work laptop to your iPad became as simple as clicking "Save." So it's no...
- The Truth About Cloud Security "Security" is the number one issue holding business leaders back from the cloud. But does the reality match the perception?
- IBM Global SaaS Study Video This video introduces the IBM Global SaaS study conducted by the Center for Applied Insights. The study reveals how companies are using Software...
- Brunswick Moves Messaging and Collaboration to the IBM cloud Gerry Orten, Jr, Electronic Messaging Manager at Brunswick talks about why Brunswick moved to the IBM cloud. All Cloud Computing White Papers | Webcasts