I believe we are experiencing a fundamental change in the way technology is being used, which will have a profound effect on humanity. Technology in the past has been concerned with automating and augmenting manual processes, now the focus is on mental processes.
For 60 odd years Information Technology has been applied primarily to taking organisational processes and automating or augmenting them. Computing was applied to helping the accountants keep the books, then to managing resource planning, then to customer relationship management. From purchase orders to rolodex’s, these systems on the whole duplicated what people could do with pen and paper. Job done!
If you have a new way to double the speed at which a purchase order is generated, I don’t think anyone will really care. However if you could help someone make “twice as good” a decision, or help designers design ‘twice as good’ a product, or help find “twice as many” fraud attempts; well now people will be very interested.
The job of automating and augmenting the human mind is now the main game!
(Before we get into the esoteric/academic discussion about automating creativity and emotion.. let just agree not go there and focus on automating mundane tasks and augmenting these higher level functions.)
Begin With The Buzz Words
Lets start at the beginning and what is HOT, right now.. which as we all know is SMAC, (not a miss spelt colloquial term for a drug), Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud.
First let’s get rid of one, Cloud. The reason is that Cloud today is synonymous with Cloud Computing and technical Infrastructure. Although the continual development of the infrastructure into a highly scalable, cost effective and agile utility will underpin everything else here, it does not add to my discussion. Cloud Computing is the accepted norm, it is the enabler to what I am going to outline.
Now over the next few posts lets think a bit more about Social Mobile and Analytics and where these are heading in terms of the fundamental value and potential uses as these evolve.