Tech is fundamentally changing how organizations work. In 2020 all sectors said that digital transformation was a top priority, for the first time on record as far as I know. All companies are redesigning their processes completely because they have no alternative.
Cloudification. Digital transformation is in reality the cloudification of the business. This cloudification allows for a new performance horizon which eliminates trade-offs making it inevitable. In the end, cloudification will shrink time to instantaneous, like the combustion engine shrank distance, requiring us to operate at a different speed. However, adopting cloud is an herculean task for traditional corporations which needs to be adapted to the type of user. I have seen this myself in the telco sector a key enabler of cloudification through connectivity, with great digital opportunities and the potential to grow connectivity to every device. Even with all these opportunities execution has been challenged. Cloudification might be boring already, but executing on it is the challenge of the 2020s
Beyond Digital. For those who graduate from Cloudification there is much more to come. Six additional revolutions are going to change our world in the 2020s as you can read in my book (Amazon link). However, don’t run before you walk, AI and crypto are enticing but you need to have your business already on the cloud to take advantage of them. Even if you are still focused on cloudifying you should be aware of what is happening. Some thoughts on the Beyond Digital revolutions:
- AI/ML. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are the clear next after cloud. Transistors will be able to supplant neurons in many use cases, and enhance humans in the centaur concept in many more. The low hanging fruit is Big Data, and we are moving fast into process automation and chatbots. Voice assistants might not have picked up completely, but they are setting the stage for a new interface.
- DLT/Blockchain/Crypto. Probably the next transformation technology which will digitize governance and law. It will probably start with cryptocurrencies which will change money and exchanges (and potentially enrich some of those bitcoin speculators). However, it still needs its Netscape to bring it to the wider public. Libra could have been that moment, but regulation stopped it.
- XR. Still further ahead, VR and AR also have potential. But for now only Facebook has been really investing in it.
The Big Techs are the new robber barons that control the railways of the 21st century. Society needs to control them or face the consequences. China has decided to have their own overlords, prescient industrial policy that we should have followed in Europe.