Monday, January 5, 2009

Predicting the Consumerization of Emerging Technologies

My first job after college (long time ago when programmers used punched cards for data entry) was working as a scientific researcher doing macro economic forecasting. Early in my professional career, I learned that making predictions is a very a difficult task and that most of the time people get their predictions wrong - just check "Worst Predictions About 2008".

So, I don’t know why or how 25 years later I am still in the business of making predictions. Just this time, instead of developing complex econometric models I “evaluate” predictions for the Consumerization of Emerging Technologies in financial services.

Maybe because I always have many dots2connect to make predictions !

For the purpose of this post, my view on emerging technologies focuses on the widespread consumer adoption of the services that these technologies enable rather than the actual technological innovation-- a concept that Gartner calls the “Consumerization of IT.”

Generally speaking, you can find extensive literature describing the process and methodology to select and deploy emerging technologies. Less has been written, however, pertaining to the selection process of emerging business applications from the business point of view of the perceived value to the companies that are adopting these applications. As a result, the quantification of the business strategic value of emerging applications presents a challenge for most companies.

As you can imagine, the definition of “emerging” has a certain degree of relativity since business applications that are considered as emerging to one company might be viewed as core technology by another more advanced company. In practice, most emerging business applications are the result of using established technologies in new ways or the disruptive impact of new entrants like was the case with eBay. A simple way to track new entrants and learn about banking technology innovations in financial services is to attend Finovate.

Now back to Emerging Technologies and according to Gartner: “Successful deployment is more about incremental adoption of technologies used in new ways than about technology breakthroughs”

I believe that the business value of emerging applications is derived more from incremental adoption of technologies used in new ways or convergence of technologies to create innovative business applications than from a sudden technological discovery.

Let’s talk about evaluating Emerging Trends and discuss a user needs-driven approach that considers the degree of market penetration of the new technology for the evaluation and analysis of Emerging Technology Trends.

Look around and you will see that today the speed of Consumerization of Emerging Technologies is impacted by a “User Driven World” trend.

The “User Driven World" can be explained using a 2x2 framework that evaluates emerging trends as a way to fulfill a combination of basic human needs. The speed of adoption of emerging technology has a direct correlation with the degree that the use of the service can facilitate the fulfillment of basic human needs. This framework can help us understand the drivers of consumer adoption of emerging technologies.

The speed of technological change and the rapid market adoption of emerging technologies accelerate the fulfillment of four basic human needs: Social & Communication, Personalization, Speed & Convenience, and Security.

Find more about the "User Driven World" in the context of the following topics:

1) User Generated Content

2) Aggregation of Content

3) Social Communities

4) Mobility and Convenience

I also recommend to check Trendsspotting, Netbanker, and 2009 Web Predictions from ReadWriteWeb, three of my favorite blogs to read about internet trends, marketing research and predictions.

And my last thought, every time you need to predict the adoption of new technology keep in mind that:

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future consumer’s adoption of emerging technologies.” my interpretation of Yogi Berra’s original quote.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ilieva, very interesting blog. I will follow this with much interest. Thanks for your insights, Peter Philippens