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Technology: Outlook and Opportunities 2016

20 January 2016

Managing innovation, growth and shareholder expectations

The technology sector continues to innovate and consolidate. This brings new products and services to customers and challenges to service providers as they choose how to invest and cost-effectively grow their market share. All of this must be done within regulatory constraints and with proper vigilance for data security.

Increasingly, opportunities to integrate services and form technology partnerships present themselves. Scaling and integration of new offerings presents new challenges to organisations large and small โ€“ diversification is ever evident โ€“ offering multi-service, multi-platform services in the market place, using metrics to control cost and quality and realise target return on investment. As it becomes possible to perform more  tasks using laptops, tablets and smartphones, the importance of providing fast, safe, seamless experiences for customers is paramount;  designing apps that are intuitive, empowering and experiential for mobile users and which complement the web platforms.

How will the design of our smartphones, tablets, laptops and newer sensor driven accessories evolve?

Strategically, businesses need to keep their product and service portfolio vital and attractive while embracing emerging possibilities from the Internet of Things and 5G rollout from 2020.

Ali Palmer, Consultant

Ali Palmer is a Consultant in the Technology Practice, read Ali's profile.


Categories: Technology, Entertainment & Communications

Comments

Victoria Kalugina at 12/02/2016 11:37 said:

Ali - great food for thought! In my experience, it is extremely important to align technology with overall business objectives. In many cases, there is still poor communication and misunderstanding between business and technology across organisations: they speak a different language. For example, many mobile operators still cannot provide and communicate a simple self-service task of turning one's voice mail on and off. As technology becomes more complex, so does communication. Thus, it is extremely important to focus on developing skills across business and technology to better understand market needs, minimize costs and provide meaningful services.

Ali Palmer at 09/02/2016 10:09 said:

Thank you for all your comments. It seems that many businesses are feeling the same pressures and short term solutions are offered rather than looking ahead. Growth will continue, but at what cost and pace. We shall keep monitoring this and offer our clients the services that they are going to need on this journey.

Matthew Lang at 06/02/2016 11:04 said:

What is the priority?

In my opinion, growth is the number one strategic goal - get that right using technological innovation as an enabler and stakeholders' expectations will be exceeded.

Digital transformation needs to be centered on exploring how new technology can best be harnessed to deliver overwhelming customer service - this will drive growth if the business is brave enough to get 100% behind the new strategy.

Sony was fully aware of the potential that advances in data compression technology afforded music transmission and had even built the first digital media player - the company lacked the courage to cannibalise its existing CD business and allowed Apple to rebalance the music distribution industry in its own favour.

Uber, on the other hand, has leveraged mobile applications on smart phones to its own advantage by building an incredible customer journey which makes accessing its service a fun and easy experience. New entrants do have a lack of history in their favour!

Digital transformation may be all the rage right now but it needs to be backed up by clear strategic thinking across the whole business and a strong dose of courage to challenge and change existing ways of working.

Tim Cook at 05/02/2016 14:38 said:

The issue (which is an exciting one)that most of us face within the TMT industry, is that this sector moves at the pace of 3 calendar months being equivalent to a FULL year.
Whilst innovation is something that we should encourage, it should be "incubated" with the knowledge of Global standards to ensure that the "R&D" resource is recovered in an international market and not just within region/country.
I constantly hear people talk about partnerships and in reality there is no mutual intent intended, in fact it is purely a "supplier-to-client" relationship that is being discussed. When two parties identify incremental synergies to each others advantage, these should be fully marketed as a service and not a commodity.
The true long term value in IoT is not the sensor, but the data that it collects and how this can be monetised by a number of interested parties to provide exponential value.
The rollout of 5G services will potentially compromise existing terrestrial TV services. It is the countries within the African region that will gain immediate benefit from this new spectrum, where their fixed infrastructure is not as robust as the Western world.

Sean Pitches at 05/02/2016 09:54 said:

Nice provocation Ali. From a L&D perspective, many businesses I have been talking to are in the midst of adopting technologies that their millenials have been using for some time and a surprising number are still embarking on laying down enterprise-wide LMS platforms to deliver higher quality technology-enabled learning content. The change agenda therefore remains high together with the demand for interims to help lead this change.

Jayne Chace at 05/02/2016 09:02 said:

Good top level summary and I agree with the conclusions. The pressure often means that results are short term, corporate culture is neglected and marketing (my specialty) is considered a cost rather than a creative driver for the customer to envision a better outcome enabled by the company's product/solution. And while all the buzz words of cloud and social media, digital content are exciting, their value and usage must be weighed in the context of the sales cycle. A clever Tweet won't make much difference in securing a 10 year depreciation on a $10M deal as it would with a gadget.

Andrew Johnson at 04/02/2016 18:26 said:

The complexity that your piece alludes to is only going to increase and the value that business gets from technology needs to be crystal clear to make good decisions. Having fresh and current perspectives that help to focus on the technology that really adds the most value will be critical. We as interims need to keep current and have the ability to assimilate clients situations ever more quickly [and their value add to technology conundrums] identifying Relevance, Feasibility and Return from the technology options out there. We can help to weed through all the stuff on the radar and identify what, why and how it will benefit the business. Its an interesting time for all of us making a living out of getting the biggest tech bangs out of those business bucks.

Richard Lane at 04/02/2016 17:22 said:

The cost of integration across multiple platforms is likely to drive platform/technology consolidation - for example, is there room for Windows mobile and Blackberry when IOS and Android are so dominant? I can only see the business-case for developing on the less popular platforms getting weaker and weaker...

tahir anjam at 04/02/2016 11:56 said:

Great article Ali. Too many businesses, especially below large cap, focus on the short-term, and perhaps unlike their larger counterparts, do not always have a budget to hire visionaries to see the benefits of leveraging these tools to drive revenue and margin. The shame being the impact on the small to medium scale growing businesses could be vast. It's all about the opportunity.

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