Disruptive technologies: Coming soon to an industry sector near you Posted on December 3, 2015 by Tim Burke Anyone familiar with Uber or Airbnb will agree that well-deployed disruptive technologies can be dramatic and industry-upending. Even so, if your business earns its living far from such events, you may think you have years yet before needing to deal with “anything like that.” You might want to think again, however. This season’s analyst predictions about 2016* stand out for their warnings about the reach and speed of disruptive technologies. What the analysts report seeing from their helicopters is also what we at Quest have been experiencing for a while here on the ground: Just about every industry sector is attracting smart, creative people able to find new ways to combine and deploy new technologies and business models that disrupt old ways of operating and making money. So what can you do? Uber, Airbnb, and Google’s entry into the grocery business to protect profitability of its display ads all illustrate just how radically a competitive landscape can shift and how quickly competitive boundaries can blur. So what can you do? You can anticipate. You can do some IT planning. This means, first, understanding what’s coming at you technologically — because those same technologies threatening your business will also provide the tools and solutions that, with the help of an experienced and trustworthy technology advisor, can keep your business competitive and strong. Disruptive technologies to embrace So here, briefly, is what’s coming: Cloud at the core of IT. By 2018, at least 50% of IT spending will be cloud-based; by 2020, 60% of all IT infrastructure and 60% to 70% of all software, services, and technology spending will be cloud-based (IDC). Risk and security finally get attention. These days, 68% of CXOs point to security as their top risk concern. By 2017, as much as 30% of a typical IT organization’s budget will be spent on risk, security, and compliance (Gartner). Of data pipelines and networks. By 2018, the flow of external data into organizations that have built robust “data pipelines” in and out of the enterprise will increase fivefold (IDC). Apps, apps, everywhere. More than half of new projects will soon shift to fast-cycle development (Forrester). By 2018, those with digital transformation initiatives will more than double the size of their software development teams; meanwhile, 22 billion installed Internet-of-Things devices will drive development of over 200,000 new IoT apps and services (IDC). Struggle to find IT talent. Access to talent will soon become a significant competitive differentiator (Forrester). There’s more, of course — by 2020, U.S. enterprises will save $60+ billion annually thanks to embedded data analytics, a million new (mostly IoT) devices will come online every hour, and autonomous software agents outside of human control will participate in 5% of all economic transactions. I’ve focused here on what you’ll see coming at you first. If these predictions are even a little bit accurate, we all have a lot of IT planning to do. In my next post, I’ll take a look at how to do that IT planning.