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Digital Transformation

At the Gartner Portal and Collaboration Conference

Gartner is holding their Portal and Collaboration Conference this year in Baltimore.  Since this is one of the few conferences I attend where I am simply here to listen, I should be able to make a number of posts.  The first keynote is always interesting.   Tom Austin of Gartner always leads off and gives some great and though provoking comments.

  1. Enterprises do not control everything inside of it
  2. Third party contractors, suppliers, and other firms are not completely beholden to you.  They have a lot of other competing interests.
  3. Business lives in a complex fabric of interconnections that no one controls completely.  The further from “the center” of your enterprise, the less control you have.  For example, people with common opinions may choose to push their views contrary to what you hope. (e.g. have you ever seen those list of 10 dirtiest hotel in America?…or, think of Toyota)

No man is an island.  The flat world will not become less flat.   So what this means is that if you cannot control it, then ride with it.   Case in point, think about all the changes that have occurred since even 2005 .  iTunes, iPhone, facebook, YouTube, etc. have all brought significant change.  All of these technologies actually give you less control at the periphery.  With that Tom Austin ended and left it to Matt Cain to prognosticate.  His views on world in 2020:

  • Much more emphasis will be placed on non-routine work. On you automate enough processes, it’s time to think about ad-hoc.    (Note: I agree with this.  Many collaboration tools focus on this very thing.)
  • “Swarming”   Use your large extended network to attack the issues of the day.  Since the people in 2020 will have grown up with facebook, they have a large extended network on which to call upon.
  • Computing power will allow for a lot of simulation, solution modeling, and pattern seeking.
  • “My Place” is where you are.   We will be even less tied to location than we are now.
  • Privacy may be sold to the highest bidder.  (so just who will be able to sell my privacy? me or the company mining me?)

So as technology changes and capability increases, what happens to the next generation?  Matt’s response is more of the same.   The next generation will use these tools as natives and not even think about.

So enough with the far future, what’s happening with the near future.

  1. Gartner speaks about the use of cloud based technologies in the next few years.   There will be a semi-gradual change as the cloud goes from single apps to multiple apps to clouds of interconnected apps talking to each other.
  2. Context awareness is finally coming into its own.  Think of all the sensors in your mobile device.  It knows where you are, how fast you are moving, etc.  The phone has the capability to act differently based on that information.   Why shouldn’t apps on the cloud or in your enterprise act on that information as well? ( What’s interesting is that i see our capability to not only sense but react.  It’s only in the past 2 years that I see companies really interested in personalization.  Before they expressed interest but never really did anything to personalize the experience.)
  3. Technology is getting to the point where the keyboard interface is about to improve.   Check out the MIT project sixth sense.
  4. Interesting discussion on types of company cultures.   Those that are command and control are not great places to start Web 2.0 projects.   It leads me to think about talking to clients not necessarily about the art of the possible but about the art of the possible in their context.

All in a all a good start to the conference.  I’ll continue to publish as I hear good nuggets of information.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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