Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Future Tech: How should enterprise avoid the 'success trap' of the next big thing?


Published on

The rate of business and societal change fuelled by innovative, emerging and disruptive information technologies is well known, with impacts being felt in almost every facet of life. The forces driving the evolution and adoption of such technologies are complex, diverse and not always well understood. How can organisations predict the consequences of future tech? How should they fortify against the chaos of change while taking advantage of innovation?
This public lecture provides a concise perspective on the implications of emerging technologies and offers practical insights on how many enterprises and individuals survive, and also thrive, in a world of rapid technology-induced change.

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Future Tech: How should enterprise avoid the 'success trap' of the next big thing?

  1. 1. UTSpeaks: Future Tech 11th July 2013 THINK.CHANGE.DO Rob Livingstone
  2. 2. Agenda 1. Exploring the concept of a ‘success trap’ 2. Perspectives of the new and emerging technology landscape 3. Information technology retrospective 4. Exploring the digital democracy from various angles Suggestions for Avoiding the Technology Success Trap 5. - Organisations 6. - Individuals 7. Our uncertain digital future, and lastly 8. Open questions and discussion
  3. 3. 1. Exploring ‘The Success Trap’
  4. 4. 1. Exploring ‘The Success Trap’ Attributes of the success trap: • What’s been successful up to now, may be self limiting at a point in the future • Keep exploiting existing opportunities along the same lines until you run out of resources and/or options, resulting in a collapse or catastrophic change By way of illustration, let’s explore its relevance in areas such as: Medicine, Fishing, Population, Commercial and Economic
  5. 5. 1. Exploring ‘The Success Trap’: Medicine Antibiotic-resistant bacteria Can you die from a cut finger? Success has led to widespread use including: •Over prescription •Use in food production •No new class of antibiotics discovered since the 1980s.
  6. 6. Fishing: Subsistance → Ιndustrialisation → Hi Tech → Depletion? 1. Exploring ‘The Success Trap’: Fishing 77%
  7. 7. Population • Explosion in global population due to science, living longer, wealth, and other factors. • Spaceship earth has a finite capacity • Is this our ultimate Success Trap? 1. Exploring ‘The Success Trap’: Population
  8. 8. 1. Exploring ‘The Success Trap’: Commercial Commercial • What can businesses do to anticipate, innovate and adapt with agility to avoid the Success Trap?
  9. 9. 1. Exploring ‘The Success Trap’: Economic Economic • GFC – Could not stop ourselves gorging on easy money and the Ponzi economy. • Constellation of organisations, not to mention whole countries – impact on society – widespread and profound and still being felt
  10. 10. 2. Perspectives of the new and emerging technology landscape The present 1. Globally, IT led innovations are: – Expected, ‘the norm’ – Disruptive – Volatile 2. Creating new opportunities, careers, removing others, etc 3. Creating the ‘flat earth’, fuelling ‘Globalisation’ 4. Unleash societal and behavioural changes 5. Individuals becoming ubiquitously connected and ‘digital’.
  11. 11. 3. Information technology retrospective
  12. 12. 3. Information technology retrospective Antikythera mechanism ~100 BC 2700-2300 BC, the appearance of the first Sumerian abacus During the late 1980s, the first Internet service provider (ISP) companies were formed. Birth of the ‘internet of everything’ era
  13. 13. 3. Information technology retrospective The IT industry compared to others: •Medicine :Since Adam and Eve •Finance and accounting is said to date back more than 7000 years. •Law has been around since the start of civilized society; some argue it helped underpin its formation. •Management as a discipline pre-dates the Pyramids. •Sales, commerce and trading has been in place since humankind’s earliest records •Marketing as an industry has its origins in the late 1800s. •IT is the latest arrival, yet as impacted almost every aspect of society in one form or another.
  14. 14. 4. The digital democracy
  15. 15. 4. The digital democracy • The recent U.S. National Intelligence Council’s report Global Trends 2030 has identified that the top megatrend over the next 15-25 years will be individual empowerment. • Fuelled in part, by the combination of the progressive reduction in global poverty, increasing levels of education and the continued uptake of innovative, ubiquitous information and communications technology is expected to reshape how organisations, societies and countries operate.
  16. 16. Let’s explore this from a number of perspectives, such as…. Democratisation of ….. • Information Technology • Information and Knowledge • Skill • Innovation • Enterprise IT – Shadow IT, in particular • Risk • Privacy • Education 4. The digital democracy
  17. 17. Rise of our U.S. centric digital landlords such as Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and others are shaping the agenda. + 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of TECHNOLOGY Industrialisation of IT + Cloud computing + Mobility (Smartphones and tablets) + Low / Nil financial barrier to adoption + Herd mentality = + Democratisation of technology
  18. 18. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of TECHNOLOGY • The democratisation of technology is the cornerstone of the digital democracy. • For the first time, individuals and organisations alike are able to select from a burgeoning array of innovative, powerful, easy to use and low cost information and communications technology solutions. • For organisations, IT is no longer the sole domain of enterprise IT departments • Regulators and legislators playing catch-up as speed of development and viral adoption of consumer technologies is high.
  19. 19. Democratisation of information is not a new concept. • Cave paintings, Hieroglyphics to books • Now to the digital domain, the ability to access a seemingly infinite array of information is akin to drinking from a fire hydrant. • The democracy of information can also be a double edged sword, however. ….. • The dissemination of information that has been subject to appropriate verification could be seen as more ‘trustworthy’.. • Will discuss the risks associated with misinformation and the concept of the Digital Wildfire later… 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of INFORMATION
  20. 20. • Will Globalisation + Technology + Communications = inevitable disruption of knowledge intensive careers? • Knowledge workers should be aware of impacts on careers associated with the democratisation of skill. • Certain categories of skilled work can be done by anyone, anywhere in the world with access to the internet. • Crowd-sourcing marketplaces (eg: Odesk, Freelancer) for all categories of knowledge work 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of SKILL
  21. 21. Case in point: • The legal industry, one of the classic ‘professions’, is being transformed by the democratisation and globalisation of skills. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of SKILL “As more and more companies bypass law firms and go straight to LPO providers, Australian firms are now realising the influence LPO providers have in the market and are turning to them to co-pitch for new clients.”
  22. 22. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of INNOVATION • Defined challenge + Crowdsourcing + Social media = Innovation? • Traditional barriers to information technology innovation lowered: • Low / no capital investment needed • Geography no longer a limitation • Crowsource skills, globally • Can be highly leveraged (eg 2 people starting Google) • Convergence of separate technologies the new digital frontier: • Wearable technology • Micro Drones • 3D printing …….
  23. 23. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of ENTERPRISE IT Everyone is a consumer of technology in one form or another and therefore is entitled to an opinion on how IT can be used in the organisation
  24. 24. • The phenomenon of Shadow IT is where departments and individuals within a business can source enterprise IT systems without knowledge or oversight from their IT departments or key executives such as the CSO, CFO. • Fuelled by Cloud computing – all users need is a credit card. • Shadow IT is a re-shaping expectations of IT within the enterprise by users 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of ENTERPRISE IT Tony Soprano “You see out there it's the 1990s but in this house it's 1954” … Is this what people often feel about their work IT systems when compared to what they can do in the Cloud, their home PC, tablet or SmartPhone?
  25. 25. • Benefit: Rapid prototyping of new systems and business processes can be of real value to the organisation, provided Shadow IT is managed. • Gartner recently stated: “Shadow IT can create risks of data loss, corruption or misuse, and risks of inefficient and disconnected processes and information”. • What Gartner is talking about is not just an IT problem but an organisation-wide, systemic problem that requires an organizational response. This is not an IT problem to be solved. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of ENTERPRISE IT
  26. 26. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of RISK In the societal context
  27. 27. Distinguish between technical risks and systemic risks. Technical Risk: “All systems are running perfectly, Captain!” Systemic Risk: “What iceberg Captain?” 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of RISK In the organisational context
  28. 28. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of RISK • Taking a systemic view of risk will give you a better perspective of the actual risk, rather that what you think the risk might be. • Systemic risks are those with the greatest potential impact as they affect the entire system (ie: Organisation, government, country, world…) • Case in Point: How is that the finance industry, which is one of the most regulated, and invests heavily in risk identification, mitigation and transference could be the cause of the recent global financial problems? In the organisational context
  29. 29. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of RISK • Identifying, categorising and ranking technical and functional risks is core to conventional IT risk assessment approaches: • Risk of a specific event = (Impact x Probability of that event occurring) + Risk Adjustment • Underpins conventional risk certification frameworks e.g. ISO 2700X • Often focusing on the diverse range of technical risks, does not always effectively account for the interaction between risks. • Systemic risks are often more significant than the sum of the individual, technical risks In the organisational context
  30. 30. But what about privacy in an era in which your every move has been recorded somewhere in the digital world through your electronic transactions? 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of PRIVACY Install Collusion add-on for your Firefox browser. Collusion is an experimental add- on for Firefox and allows you to see all the third parties that are tracking your movements as you visit websites
  31. 31. • Does the fact we’re churning out ever greater volumes of data mean we are safe, by virtue of pack anonymity, or are we at risk of serious violations of the individual’s privacy rights? i.e.: Everyone’s on Facebook… Why worry? • To comply with relevant privacy legislation, data that is to be externally released for purposes such as marketing, analysis and reporting should have the individual’s personal information removed – a process known as anonymising, or deidentifying. • BUT…….. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of PRIVACY
  32. 32. • …..when disparate data from a range of anonymised, independent data sources can be matched using specialised algorithms to geotagged information, it may be possible to reidentify data that was previously anonymised. • A number of researchers* have already shown reidentification to be possible by using specially crafted matching algorithms. • The risks associated with the possible reidentification of personal information should be a topic high on the agenda for industry regulators, legislators and those concerned about information security and privacy. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of PRIVACY *
  33. 33. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of PRIVACY
  34. 34. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of EDUCATION
  35. 35. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of EDUCATION MOOCs – (Massive Open Online Courses) have the potential to disrupt the tertiary education market… The looming ‘perfect storm’ is fuelled by the combination of forces: Short term focus. • The concept of ‘build once – deliver many times’ is very appealing from a return on investment perspective. Great business case! • The reduction in Government funding in real terms is likely to magnify the appeal of the online eLearning model. MOOC evangelists are promoting this delivery model as the next ‘big thing’ in tertiary education, however the 100% MOOC trained Doctor is unlikely to ever become a reality. Hype and some expectations that the compelling nature of MOOCs will trump the traditional rich, multi-modal learning experiences and eliminate the barrier to entry to education.
  36. 36. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of EDUCATION • Facilitated by technology, Multitasking seems to be de rigueur for the contemporary student. ( %’age of ‘screen time’ in a day?) • Plugged into Facebook, listening to music and studying at all the same time seems to be the default position. • So, what role does the technologically rich, concurrent learning experience have to do with the overall pedagogy? • According to Professor Clifford Nass of Stanford University* “The top 25 percent of Stanford students are using four or more media at one time whenever they're using media ……The research is almost unanimous, which is very rare in social science, and it says that people who chronically multitask show an enormous range of deficits. They're basically terrible at all sorts of cognitive tasks, including multitasking”. *
  37. 37. 4. The digital democracy – Democratisation of EDUCATION Process governance and stewardship of education standards in the Hi Tech world needs to keep pace… •School and university students can now freely outsource their assignments for the cost of a can of soft drink to low cost countries through sites such as and •As these assignments are hand crafted, automated plagiarism filters would be rendered mostly ineffective. •The implication for the veracity of educational certification and accreditation standards not requiring in-situ demonstrated competencies are obvious…
  38. 38. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap NINE Suggestions for ORGANISATIONS
  39. 39. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Organisations 1. Institutionalise innovation in your organisation – best antidote for surviving disruption Outsourcing: FROM COST MANAGEMENT TO INNOVATION AND BUSINESS VALUE. CALIFORNIA MANAGEMENT REVIEW VOL. 50, NO. 4 SUMMER 2008 Pg 127. Michael R. Weeks & David Feeny Have expectation that enabling new and superior ways of exploiting IT, which would in turn enable business improvements to be achieved Change the way the business operates Can have significant impacts on the whole organisation, its stakeholders, customers, staff, etc…
  40. 40. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Organisations 2. Formally adopt agile methodologies throughout your organisation • Agile is a build on iterative and incremental delivery of change. • Agility framework should start at the enterprise strategy level. • Make intra-organisational silo’s porous. • For IT, Agile development and project management mitigates against mega-project failures, that have so scarred the reputation of enterprise IT. (eg. QLD Gov’t payroll system) • Agile built on concepts such as: • Team & employee empowerment to act and make decisions • Active customer or stakeholder involvement • Capture requirements at a high level; lightweight & visual • A collaborative & cooperative approach between all stakeholders is essential.
  41. 41. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Organisations 3. Review managerial and staff incentive schemes • Framing short term financial incentives primarily around functional responsibilities will reinforce behaviours that will drive results that may not be in the best long term interests of the whole organisation. • Incentives drive temporary compliance. • Localised / functionally focussed incentives reinforce silos • Obsessive focus on driving localised short term targets can hamper or even undermine enterprise-wide innovation initiatives that could well contribute to the ultimate survival of the organisation.
  42. 42. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Organisations 4. Transform your IT departments from a technology cost center to a business relevant services broker • SaaS: Strategy as a Service: Proactively deliver business relevant strategies to meet defined or expected changes with agility. • Clearly define the accountability locus for enterprise IT across the organisation. - What’s in-scope for the management of IT services? - What is /is not negotiable in the IT portfolio of services? - IT should be the trusted advisor, not consultants or vendors! • IT should constantly and proactively articulate the implications for disruptive and emerging technologies for their organisation • Upgrade / coach IT leadership to operate confidently and with business relevance at most senior levels of management
  43. 43. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Organisations 5. Recognise that your IT department (or vendor) cannot drive innovation unilaterally ‘IT relentlessly drives and delivers innovation at a global, societal, and individual level at phenomenally fast rates, yet, paradoxically, IT departments within organisations often struggle to drive innovation from within their own organisations to the same extent’ ** ** ‘The IT Innovation Paradox’ CIO Magazine Summer 2010/2011, Pg 14.
  44. 44. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Organisations 6. Upgrade your technology vendor management practices • The conventional RFP-bid-response approach to engaging IT vendors may not be adequate in the uptake of new, emerging and disruptive business technology. • Complex, monolithic contracts inhibit agility and partnering across a range of providers – also interactions between providers can be complex. • Need for a far tighter, more transparent ongoing working relationship between you, your provider(s) and between the providers themselves • ‘X-as-a-Service’: You may now dependent on their performance. • Implicit in this model (eg Cloud) is that fact that you have little to no influence or visibility over the provider’s security, operational governance, quality and other elements comprising the service. • Their problem immediately can become your sleepless nights.
  45. 45. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Organisations 7. Protect your crown jewels • Intellectual property is often your organisation’s primary asset – ensure your IT and organisational security controls are effective and appropriate • For Cloud and outsource service providers, do not assume compliance to specific legislation such as privacy, data protection, or respect for jurisdictional boundaries. • Cybercriminal activity is a multi billion dollar industry – and it’s a constant arms race between the good guys and the bad guys – sometimes the bad guys win • Organisations often reluctant to report that they have been successfully hacked or compromised for reasons of brand damage, adverse impact on share price, etc. Mitigates against industry-wide collaboration to fight cybercrime & lowers the perceived level of risk
  46. 46. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Organisations 7. Protect your crown jewels Read authoritative, vendor independent reports and work out what’s relevant to your organisation
  47. 47. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Organisations 8. Monitor Systemic Risk Technical Risk: “All systems are running perfectly, Captain!” Systemic Risk: “What iceberg Captain?”
  48. 48. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Organisations 8. Monitor Systemic Risk • All managers should play an active part in discussions on latent systemic risk associated with inappropriate adoption of new and emerging technologies. • Ensure key stakeholders appreciate how current decisions could influence future risk profile in a volatile environment • Clarity over the positioning of all aspects of risk need careful dissection amongst the noise, opinions , loaded agendas and mixed messaging.
  49. 49. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Organisations 8. Manage the technology evangelists in your organisation
  50. 50. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Organisations 9. Manage the technology evangelists in your organisation • The technology evangelist is typically categorised by the persistent advocacy and promotion for the use of a particular product or technology with a view to its broad adoption • Distinguishing the true technology evangelist from an enthusiastic and persuasive acolyte of a particular vendor’s offering may be a challenge for senior Non-IT executives. • The single minded technology evangelist's enthusiasm for their specific solution may gain a groundswell of support without the appropriate due diligence and rigour being applied to the solution. • This can fuel the emergence of Shadow IT, which, if not managed appropriately could set the seeds of future systemic risk for the organisation through inappropriate use of technology
  51. 51. 5. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap FOUR Suggestions for INDIVIDUALS
  52. 52. 6. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Individuals 1. Recognise that identity theft is the holy grail for cybercriminals targeting specific individuals • Comprehensive Identity theft can be devastating for the individual. • Can take many forms • somebody using your banking details or credit card details to illegally make purchases • Your entire identity being assumed by another person to act as if they were you to take out loans, open and operate bank accounts even conducting illegal business under your name. • Visit Attorney-General’s Department website – Download “Protecting your Identity” Booklet IdentitySecurity/Pages/default.aspx
  53. 53. 6. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Individuals 2. Understand where your liability ends and your technology provider’s starts • Reading the terms and conditions of your favourite social media site, App, or cloud application (webmail, etc) is impractical: • Time consuming, • In most cases, can vary terms and conditions at will • Future proofing your digital assets – all your photo’s in the Cloud? How to protect your important Digital artifacts. At risk.?
  54. 54. 6. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Individuals 3. Treat all your online transactions as public • Includes email and all social media transactions such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. as potentially evidentiary content. • Reading the terms and conditions of your favourite social media site, App, or cloud application (webmail, etc) is impractical: • Time consuming, • In most cases, can vary terms and conditions at will
  55. 55. 6. Avoiding the Technology Success Trap - Individuals 4. Understand your financial institution’s liability cut-off point • We are all being sent down the marble run of convenience by Financial Institutions, retailers, etc: • Mobile banking, • ‘Frictionless’ payment eg: ‘Tap and Go’ style checkout, Digital Wallet • Being weaned off traditional physical transaction models • Online payments, financial transactions preferred by financial institutions • Understand the liability boundary between you and your financial organisation in disputed transactions (eg suspected cyber-theft ) • Understand what constitutes your contributory negligence in disputed transactions with your financial institution. (Eg not reset your password recently?)
  56. 56. 7. Our uncertain digital future The Digital Narcotic • Collectively, will our increasing dependency on new and emerging disruptive information and communications technologies lead us into a Success Trap? • Take a moment to take your attention off your Smartphone and look to the skies for an answer……
  57. 57. 7. Our uncertain digital future
  58. 58. THINK.CHANGE.DOThankyou I trust that you have found this presentation informative, and of value Rob Livingstone Fellow, University of Technology Sydney Principal, Rob Livingstone Advisory Pty Ltd 8. Open questions and discussion