The Ten Tech Futures Every Executive Needs to Know About to Thrive in the Turbulent Year

Source: | Technology will enable more productivity and opportunity then ever before, challenging executives to become more tech savvy. There will also be new threats and risks. New competition will emerge. The era of the tech savvy executive has arrived.

There will also be accelerated changes to business due to radical new technologies. In my book Technofutures and in my keynotes, I remind my audiences that there have been more innovations driving change in the past fifty years then in the previous 5,000 years. Bits, atoms, neurons and genes are the building blocks of the next century. The companies that understand this will benefit. Welcome to the Extreme Future of 2001.

Technology will continue to be the key driver of business strategy. New business models, processes and strategies will emerge to reshape the landscape of industry. This work has just begun.

The dot com debacle is just the first stage of a massive technology transformation in business. Don't be fooled by it. This is the experimentation stage. Full integration and business process transformation is next. The revolution has not begun yet.

Seventy-five percent of the world's population has not made its first phone call. The Net only reaches 500 million. Less than one percent of all supply chains have been connected. The Human Genome was just mapped. We don't have the wireless web. We are in the Middle Ages when it comes to mature deployment of technology.

Will you be ready to meet these changes? What is your strategy? As you prepare for the next year here are Ten TechnoFutures that you will need to know about to build a winning strategy.

TechnoFuture # 1. Every Business is an eBusiness

One of the key competitive forces will be your investment in the Internet. eBusiness strategy is all about the fast-shift to a digital organization and the transformation of supply chains. Stop moving paper and move bits. Look at the opportunities for procurement, online collaboration, web broadcasts, online direct marketing and more. Many companies have benefited in cost savings, efficiencies, and better customer service from leveraging the Net. How can you shift the thinking in your organization to embrace the opportunities that eBusiness offers?

TechnoFuture # 2 Look For Online/Offline Synergy

Customer service, marketing, finance, procurement, storage, transactions, inventory management-combine cost-saving efficiencies by combining what you do offline with what you do online. A robust IT architecture will enable this synergy to work.

TechnoFuture # 3 Knowledge Engineering

Data is dumb. Knowledge is smart. Learn to capture, package, and communicate the knowledge that creates success. Set up a data warehouse, conduct customer profiling, deploy customer data mining , create a Knowledge Bank to share best of breed solutions in your organization. How do you share, communicate, and re-use knowledge in your organization?

TechnoFuture # 4 Develop a eCustomer Relationship Plan

Customers Rule. An electronic customer relationship plan drives the organization to think differently about customer needs, such as the integration of customer touch points linking call centers and the web with face to face interactions. What are the key strategies about how you want to serve customers that will shape your organization's future?

TechnoFuture # 5 Wireless Will Be Everywhere

Wireless technology and mobile eCommerce will be everywhere from cars to phones to palm computers and wearable devices. Look for location-based marketing tied to GPS satellites and real-time messaging. How could you use this technology to grow your business?

TechnoFuture # 6 Artificial Intelligence is Coming !

Ready for things that think? Super fast, intuitive, personalized, sensing chips embedded in everything will create a networked " smart awareness". Imagine refrigerators that talk, clothes that are online, reactive windows that screen the sun or homes that self-monitor security and energy needs. How might intelligent materials affect your organization?

TechnoFuture # 7 The Next Fast Net

Fast bandwidth via DSL, satellite, cable modem optics, and fiber will dramatically increase the customer access to the Internet. Internet 2 is coming-a super fast web. Look for over 100 million new high affluent Net surfers joining the 450 million online today. Are you ready to manage one billion more potential customers?

TechnoFuture # 8 Get Ready for Web Broadcasts

Media downloads, video conferencing, live event streaming will be high in demand. Interactive multimedia over the Net will emerge propelled by real-time learning, shopping and entertainment. How could you use web broadcasting to empower employees, agents or customers?

TechnoFuture # 9 Deal With Security and Privacy

The more things get connected the more the potential for security risks. Invest more this year on encryption, firewalls and security. Protect consumer privacy or risk losing their loyalty. Urity committee. Get the message out to customers and employees how important their privacy is. Set up a privacy/secHow could you use your commitment to privacy as a competitive strategy?

TechnoFuture #10 Manage Cultural Change

Every tech innovation brings with it people's resistance to change. A supportive culture can make a new tech strategy work or kill it. Pay attention to the human element, get buy in from the troops, deal with manage change and the stress that affects organization culture through training, education and planning with the folks who will affected the most. How do we plan better for managing change so it is less painful and is more effective?