Top 10 Technology Trends for 2015

At their Orlando, FL IT/Expo last October, Gartner analysts identified the top 10 technology trends for 2015. Since the 2015 year is half over, let’s see if some of these trends are coming to pass.

  • Computing everywhere. Gartner predicts there will be a greater emphasis on serving mobile consumers. Yup!
    In April Google released an update to its algorithm to give extra focus on mobile-friendly websites. Called #mobilegeddon among other names, the update one of the more significant updates of the year. Search Engine Land offers a mobile-friendly test tool you can use to see if your website passes the Google mobile friendly test. Apple also released its Apple Watch which is basically a computer on your wrist. More wearable devices are on the way.
  • The internet of things. According to Gartner, “The combination of data streams and services created by digitizing everything creates four basic usage models — Manage, Monetize, Operate and Extend.”
    We’re already seeing these in operation with services like Square and Apple Pay, Uber car and bike services, Air BnB, and cloud services such as Google Drive, DropBox and MS OneDrive.
  • 3D printing. Gartner predicts “Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 98 percent in 2015, followed by a doubling of unit shipments in 2016.” Yup, again!
    Forgot your hairdryer in your rush to catch the plane? No problem! Just order a new one online and it will be waiting for you at the nearest Fed-Ex Kinkos in the city of your destination. We may even see 3D printing machines in places like Walmart and CVS similar to the instant photo and card machines today. Just put in your order, go do your shopping, and come back to collect your 3D object. Then pay with Square or your watch or your smart phone before walking out the door.

You can read about the rest of the trends in the gartner.com article online.

Understanding Change as a Game We Play

By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International 

 Takeaways:  Change is one of many games we humans play.  Games have similar characteristics, including purpose, rules, time boundaries, spatial parameters, roles, and prizes.

Leadingat the Edge of ChaosIn his book, Leading at the Edge of Chaos: How to Create the Nimble Organization, Daryl R. Connor describes change management as yet one of many games humans play. All our games, he says, have certain characteristics in common:

  •  Purpose – they all have a point regardless of whether they are frivolous or serious.
  • Rules – they all have explicit or implicit directions for how to play. Implicit may be the unspoken rules around friendship, for example.
  • Time boundaries – some are brief and others take a long time. Personal development, for example, is a life-long process.
  • Spatial parameters – some games are played in a small physical space, such as your computer, or in a large workspace, like offices or the global marketplace
  • Prizes – all games have rewards of one kind or another, whether it’s a promotion and salary increase or a ranking as winner
  • Intensity – some games are fun; others serious, such as competing for a hard-get customer
  • Emotional reactions – some games are pleasurable, such as achieving financial success, or mere obligations, such as paying taxes.
  • Prescribed number of players – some games are played with older or younger people, or they may be solitary, such as meditation or prayer.
  • Intentionality – participation in some games is conscious, such as dating, while in others it may be totally unconscious, such as intimidating coworkers.
  • Language – most games use terms or symbols to convey specific meanings that are only relevant within a specific context, such as might be created when a team comes together to focus on an innovative new product or idea.
  • Roles – most games include roles everyone plays; there’s always a leader and other types of participants, such as spectators, rookies, experts, or artists.

Managing Change

If we look at managing change from the perspective of gamesmanship, we see that this is just another game we play, and it incorporates all the elements described above. As the pace of change continues to increase, organizations find they must be continually changing to keep up or stay ahead of the competition. This requires leaders at all levels who are nimble and understand how to play this game.

Because businesses and organizations of all types are continually changing and have been doing so “for as long we humans have been building hierarchical structures”, says Connor, the game of managing change has become more and more sophisticated. A new paradigm has been born that forces us to look at this managing change game from a new perspective.

According to Connor, paradigms are created as a response to people trying to make sense of the world around them. So as the world has continued to change and humans try to understand the implications of these changes, new questions and challenges arise, creating a new paradigm.

Ten years ago, for example, few people anticipated the impact the smart phone would have on daily lives. Yet society globally has become more and more mobile, and people are doing more shopping and internet browsing from their phones rather than their desktop computers. This has, and will continue to create, dramatic implications for businesses of all types. It has implications for broadband service providers and cable companies. It has implications for organizations selling their products and services online. It has implications for retailers with physical store locations as shoppers scan QR and bar codes in the store to find better pricing elsewhere.

Yet, despite this consumer trend, fewer than 5% of all websites today are mobile phone friendly, let alone tablet friendly. This is a new paradigm shift in the global marketplace game.

As leaders we need to stay abreast of these trends and consider the implications they have for our own businesses. Are we still trying to use the old set of rules to play in this new sandbox? Or are we adapting and changing the rules of the game to meet these new challenges?

Mobile smart phones and tablets have altered the global marketplace. What are you doing to meet this new challenge in order to play in this new game space?