If you know me or have read my blog, you know that I have a tendency to think big… sometimes to my fault. My underlying interest in –and obsession with– affixing everything to an evolutionary scale means that I am often spotting trends, looking for patterns, and, as one of my mentors, Jeremiah Oywang explains our line of work: “putting things into boxes.”
I’m lucky enough though, to work in a place where this kind of thinking and analysis is generally encouraged, respected even. As a researcher, it is often that I am deep in the trenches of a spreadsheet or of Powerpoint, that I don’t get the chance to zoom back out and take a critical look at the macro forces driving change everyday. Last week, I got to do this with some of the brightest minds in the field. Altimeter Group gathered for our annual Research Meeting, during which we identify the most influential “to-watch” technologies, and the trends that are driving their adoption. Here are what we* identified as our top trends in 2013:
- Everything Digital
- Digital Economy
- Dynamic Organization
* This output was the collaborative brainchild of the following individuals: Analysts: Susan Etlinger, Charlene Li, Rebecca Lieb, Jeremiah Owyang, Chris Silva, Brian Solis; Consulting: Ed Terpening, Alan Webber: Researchers: Jon Cifuentes, Jessica Groopman, Andrew Jones, Jaimy Szymanski, Christine Tran
Over 30 Technologies Have Emerged, at a Faster Pace than Companies Can Digest
Four Major Business Disruptions Emerge – Business Leaders Must Prepare.
Out of these disruptions and trends, Altimeter identified four major themes that will be disruptive to business. Below is a preview of Altimeter’s four business disruption themes, with a definition and short description of each. In the coming weeks, we’ll publish a short report explaining these themes in more detail.
I. Everything Digital: An increasingly digital landscape – including data, devices, platforms and experiences – that will envelop consumers and businesses.
Everything Digital is the increasingly digital environment that depends on an evolving ecosystem of interoperable data, devices, platforms – experienced by people and business. It’s larger than the scope of Internet of Things, as it’s pervasive or ambient – not defined only by networked sensors and objects, but including capabilities such as airborne power grids or wireless power everywhere. Everything Digital serves as the backdrop for our next three themes.
II. Me-cosystem: The ecosystem that revolves around “me,” our data, and technologies that will deliver more relevant, useful, and engaging experiences using our data.
Wearable devices, near-field communications, or gesture-based recognition are just a few of the technologies that will make up an organic user interface for our lives, not just a single digital touchpoint. Digital experiences will be multiplied by new screen types, and virtual or augmented reality. Individuals who participate will benefit from contextualized digital experiences, in exchange for giving up personal data.
III. Digital Economies: New economic models caused by the digital democratization of production, distribution, and consumption.
Supply chains become consumption chains in this new economy as consumers become direct participants in production and distribution. Open source, social, and mobile platforms allow consumers to connect with each other, usurping traditional roles and relationships between buyers, sellers, and marketplaces. Do-it-yourself technologies such as 3D printing and replicators will accelerate this shift, while even currency becomes distributed and peer-to-peer-based. In this new economy, value shifts towards digital reputation and influence, digital goods and services; even data itself. The downside? An increasing divide between digital “haves” and the digital “have-nots.”
IV. Dynamic Organization: In today’s digital landscape, dynamic organizations must develop new business models and ways of working to remain relevant, and viable.
Business leaders grapple with an onslaught of new technologies that result in shifting customer and employee expectations. It’s not enough to keep pace with change. To succeed, dynamic organizations must cultivate a culture, mindset, and infrastructure that enables flexibility and adaptability; the most pioneering will act as adaptive, mutable “ad-hocracies.”
Altimeter’s Disruption Database
Below are the 30 digital disruptions and 15 digital trends, which were used as the starting ground of our analysis.
|3-D Printing and Replicators
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Augmented Reality (Google Glass)
Automated Life (Cars, Homes, Driving, etc.)
Biometric Authentication (Voice/audio, fingerprint, body/eyescan, gesture, olfactory user interface Content Marketing
Digital/Social TV vs. “Second Screen”
Emerging Hand Held Devices / Platforms (Android, Tablet, Phablet)
Gesture/Voice-Based Interface/Navigation / “Human as Interface”
Hacking/Social Engineering and Information Security
Haptic Surfaces (Slippery, wet, textured through electrical currents)
Healthcare – Data and Predictive Analytics
Hyper-Local Technology / Mobile Location / Indoor Mapping
Internet of Nanoparticles (Embedded in bloodstream)
Natural Language Processing
Near Field Communications
Open Source / Open Data / Open Innovation
Peer-Based Currency / Soical Currency (BitCoin)
Proximity Based Communications
Social Engagement Automation (Robots Respond on Twitter)
Social Network Analysis, Graphing, and Data Science
Touch Permeates Digital/Surfaces: TVs, Touch Advertising
Virtual Reality / Immersive 3D Experiences
Wearable / Embedded Technology
Wireless Power / Electricity
Customer Experience Design/Architecture and Integration
Data Convergence/Customer Intelligence
Data vs Creative in the Org: New Decision Process
Digital Ethnography or Customer Journey Mapping
Digital Influence and Advocacy
Evolution of the Center of Excellence
Internet of Things or Internet of Everything
Intrapreneurship, Innovation Culture, and Innovation Hubs
Privacy: Standardization and Regulation (“Beware of Little Brother”)
Quantified Self or Human API
The Digital Journey and Understanding Digital Signals
The Maker Movement
The Neuroscience of Digital Interactions
Open Research: Please Share Your Comments and Insights with Us.
There’s more to come – we’ll be sharing additional insights such as 1) top questions for businesses to ask, 2) who’s disrupted and who benefits, and 3) enabling technologies.
In the meantime, we’re soliciting your comments as part of our Open Research model. Please share our themes with others, and help us answer these questions:
- What other business disruptions or trends are you seeing? Please add to this Google form and we’ll provide proper attribution.
- Which of these four business disruption themes impact your business now?
- How is your business responding to these themes, or the related disruptions and trends?
Photos from Altimeter’s Research Offsite
Below are a couple illustrations that resulted from the discussions that took place at our research offsite: