Can Enterprise software-driven consulting help to keep up with Disruptive Technology?

Rumpere (to break, burst, rend or tear) from the Latin language, has spawned all sorts of modern English words, such as bankrupt, corrupt, erupt and disrupt to name a few. In daily usage, these words have a negative connotation, but in the world of technology, disruptive is deemed to be a positive, groundbreaking, gobsmacking new innovation.

When Thomas Edison (well, not him, but he got the credit) invented the light bulb, he put a whole load of candlestick makers out of work. The light bulb was a disruptive technology. Similarly, gunpowder, the compass, the printing press, rail transport, the list is too long to mention, have all changed our world for the better…well, maybe not gunpowder.

While big, established firms tend to avoid innovation, smaller startups are chomping at the bit to introduce their new product to the market. This makes it difficult for a mainstream company to keep up-to-date and relevant.

In the beginning, disruptive technology poses no threat to established businesses, as it is usually a low cost, limited functionality product, aimed at customers who are looking for a satisfactory solution. But as demand increases, the product improves, adds features, and eventually forces the established businesses to adopt it, or fall by the wayside and support a niche market instead. Think Kodak and digital cameras.

Disruptive technology examples

Even Thomas Edison’s invention has been mostly replaced by LED lighting, and it goes to show that we keep moving forward. Here is a list of examples that have, in some way, rocked our worlds.

Smartphones

One of the biggest disruptors in the last two decades, they have removed the necessity of carrying calendars, diaries, cameras and mp3 players, to say the least. With portable GPS locators, online ticket booking and messaging, they have realistically destroyed industries and put thousands out of work. But we couldn’t live without them now. Choosing between laptops and smartphones is a no-brainer. All of the people I polled agreed that the smartphone is the number one communication and information device.

Robotic Process Automation

Traditionally, engineers would have to define tasks that were tedious and repetitive, then create software or hardware that automated the task. Automation has been around for a while, but it is moving further forward by removing the need to create the software to drive it. Robotic Process Automation uses software ‘bots’ to gather information on how humans interact with applications and other actions, then repeat the process automatically with minimal, then eventually zero, input from the workers. Not every business process can use this, but if there is a repetitive, high volume task with consistent rules, RPA has it covered.

Next-generation Genomics

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this particular technology is not my strength, far from it in fact. But an example I can offer of this amazing technology is this: Quite recently, a toddler, who had aggressive leukaemia and wasn’t likely to survive, underwent an experimental procedure in which her genes were edited, in effect re-coding the illness. Apparently, it worked. Now that is disruptive. Genomics can lead to earlier diagnoses and targeted treatment, allowing the medical world to provide the correct medication. CRISPR technology has the possibility to cure repetitive genetic abnormalities.

Energy Storage

Batteries have been around since 1800, but today’s needs for energy storage far outweigh those of 222 years ago. The US is funding private enterprise technology for aviation batteries (will they be called e-planes?), larger batteries for electric vehicles, and grid management for solar power storage, where excess private electricity can be resold, creating profit for the householder. Additionally, although not entirely new technology, Pumped-storage hydro, where water is pumped to a higher level during off-peak electric usage, then allowed to tumble back down during peak times, is having a makeover to produce more power for less cost. Development of Distributed Energy Resource applications will control the grid and manage demand, with remote devices connected to the IoT being able to reduce costs in industrial locations.

Internet of Things (IoT)

It’s all about connectivity. Eventually, everything and everyone will be connected to the internet. A scary thought for some, perhaps, but information is good, right? If you have a device that sends or receives information, it’s going to end up being smarter. And so will you. There are a huge amount of applications for using sensors, tiny pieces of technology that can gather and process data, whether it is wind velocity, water drainage, air quality, temperature and many more. A spider’s web acts in a similar fashion. Wherever the web is touched, the spider reacts. Domestic IoT devices include those smart products like Alexa, lighting and heating controllers so everything is perfect at home, security systems, access control and even cooking and refrigeration appliances. Connectivity to these IoT devices will become more reliable, more cost efficient, and with lower power consumption.

Artificial intelligence

Industry 4.0, or the 4th Industrial Revolution as some call it, is all around us, and AI has a large part to play. The three kinds of AI are ‘Narrow’, ‘General’ and ‘Super’. Narrow is used for relatively simple tasks performed by robots. General is for more complex tasks that simulate human processes and interaction, and finally Super is a term that describes AI as more intelligent than humans. This is marginally futuristic, although it can be said that many Artificial Super Intelligence applications can produce results in seconds that would take hours or days for us, but that’s more about speed rather than knowledge or intuition.

Virtual / Augmented Reality

These two seem to be confusing for most people, but simply put, VR is a total blockage of outside vision (if it wasn’t turned on you would feel blindfolded) and what you do see is controlled by software. AR adds to your vision, using glasses that are opaque, see through, and it places information or icons into your regular field of view. You can even use AR on a mobile phone, whereas VR requires a computer. A good friend of mine bought a VR system recently and has been using it for travel — he’s ‘been’ to the top of Mount Everest and has ‘walked’ along the Champs Elysee. And kids in my village played the AR game Pokemon Go for a long time, looking for those little monsters everywhere.

How does Enterprise software-driven consulting work?

It is absolutely essential that companies have a strong understanding of disruptive technology trends and the ever-changing backdrop of regulatory and business models. It takes a special focus on these just to keep up to date and relevant. However, most businesses only hear about trends and changes a long time after they have come into effect, unless their fingers are on the pulse of leading technology. It’s like having to watch a bank of televisions to find the one piece of news you want. That’s where consulting comes in.

With a team of highly experienced software engineers, trained in different disciplines, and working together, the consulting firm takes the heat from the client and concentrates on making sure everything is running smoothly, while anticipating changes and adjustments to the system, all from a remote location.

A good consultancy firm can bridge the communications gap between tech-speak and business lingo, enabling the client to better understand and feel more in control of their future. They must be capable of taking an advisory role, informing the client of alternative solutions to issues, adding value to their position.

How Enterprise software-driven consulting can help

The prime reason for using a consulting firm is to save time and money. It sounds a little counterintuitive, but it isn’t. Having a software team on standby, ready to throw their vast amount of knowledge and industry experience at any issue, is a genuine benefit. The strength of end-to-end support, coupled with a comprehensive vision of the market, can truly help to merge technology and business into one smooth operation that will continue to remain at the forefront of business. In doing so, productivity at work will increase, as potential downtime issues will be resolved swiftly and easily.

Disruptive technology and new trends can be disastrous for any business. A software-driven consulting firm will provide the perfect safety net.

iteo is an international technology consultancy & software engineering company, founded in Poland. Visit us on www.iteo.com

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iteo

iteo

iteo is an international technology consultancy & software engineering company, founded in Poland. Visit us on www.iteo.com

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