Anyone with a smartphone knows how disruptive to normal human interaction such devices can be. Even regular cellular telephones can be annoyingly distracting—if I see one more person in a checkout line who’s too busy blabbing into their stupid phone to even acknowledge the cashier, I’m gonna barf on them. Twice.
Now that “smart machines” have arrived, businesses, too, will have to reevaluate how they’re going to go about their, um, business. These devices could be the most disruptive in the history of technology, experts are saying.
3 Key Themes
Information technology research and advisory firm Gartner recently conducted a study to identify the top technology trends coming down the pike. Said Gartner VP David Clearley, “We have identified the top 10 technology trends organizations cannot afford to ignore in their strategic planning processes. This does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of [them] at the same rate, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions […] during the next two years.”
Ten is too dang many for my purposes (and/or your attention span), so, fortunately, Clearley et al. helpfully pointed out that all of 2015’s top trends fall under one of three main themes: 1) the real world meeting the virtual one; 2) intelligence everywhere; and 3) the technological impact of the shift to “digital business.”
Certain technological developments fall into all three categories. The ubiquity of mobile devices, for example, especially wearable devices, cannot be ignored. “Phones and wearable devices are now part of an expanded computing environment [including] consumer electronics and connected screens in the workplace and public space,” Clearley said.
What’s It All About, Alfie?
Basically, Gartner is forecasting that “smart” technology is going to leave businesses with two options: adapt or die. Much like Hollywood’s recent, near-universal switch to digital moviemaking (as opposed to filmmaking) forced theater owners to invest in digital projectors, etc., the proliferation of smart $#!t really leaves businesses no alternative solution.
This will make it all the more crucial for any and every business to stay on top of technology. It’s already nigh impossible to run a business without a website. Mom and Pop businesses without the budget for a fully-realized, recursive, mobile-friendly, constantly updated website will be further marginalized.
In yet another way, technology proves to be both the best and the worst thing that has ever happened to the society.