Predictions for 2008 … Eight business technology trends to watch

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by: Christian Smagg

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While every day seems to bring a whole bunch of predictions and thoughts for this new year (and the decade to come!), I have selected this excellent article from The McKinsey Quarterly entitled “Eight business technology trends to watch“. In a Nutshell, this article provides an extremely interesting overview of emerging technology-enabled trends that will shape businesses and the economy in coming years.

These trends fall within three broad categories, namely managing relationships, managing capital & assets and leveraging information in new ways, and include:

1. Distributing cocreation
2. Using consumers as innovators
3. Tapping into a world of talent
4. Extracting more value from interactions
5. Expanding the frontiers of automation
6. Unbundling production from delivery
7. Putting more science into management
8. Making businesses from information

Executives looking for some prescriptive recommendations for 2008 and beyond, should closely watch these trends – many aimed at enhancing the way the Internet is being used – with an objective to change how companies innovate, managers make decisions, organisations lower costs, tap talent and realise new business opportunities.

I can not agree more with the bold statement from the authors that “technology alone is rarely the key to unlocking economic value: companies create real wealth when they combine technology with new ways of doing business”. It is indeed critical for creative leaders and executives to not only closely follow these trends and identify which patterns may start to reshape their markets and industries, but also work out how new technology-enabled options can be used to craft their strategies.

The bottom line advice is that executives should learn to catalyse change and shape the outcome of their strategies rather than just react to it.

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