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
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Ponemon 2014 SSH Security Vulnerability Report According to research by the Ponemon Institute, 3 out of 4 enterprises have no security controls in place for SSH which leaves organizations...
- QA Automation: Reducing Test Execution While Improving Coverage A leading capital investment firm in the US was in need of a comprehensive, cost effective and flexible solution to reduce their existing...
- Learn why Analyst firm Ovum names SugarCRM a leading CRM Recommendations for Enterprises. View Now>>
- On-demand webinar - 7 Keys to Service Catalog Implementation Success Watch this webinar to learn 7 crucial keys to make your service catalog a success!
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to... All Consumerization of IT White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!