The new Renaissance and the second Machine Age
Blog: Capgemini CTO Blog
Fear for tech
In the news, a lot of things are wrought with fear. This is mainly to get your attention in the tsunami of stimuli. The news also propagates fear of new technology, for example algorithms taking over Matrix-style. But are things really that bad? Changes that take place will always have ups and downs. Solutions create new problems that take time to solve on their own terms. However, as technology becomes more social, it becomes more difficult to do really bad things. “Social” in the previous sentence refers to it is becoming harder to do bad things alone or in a small group. Take a computer mouse for example. “There is not one person on the planet who knows how to make a computer mouse. You need a metallurgist, a plastics guy, a software engineer, you need people who do supply chain management, you need hardware – all of it.” As more stuff, entities, and people are needed to make your product, there is a bigger chance that someone will not comply with your bad idea. Back to technology. Technology will bring us to the next sphere. We’ve already moved from the geosphere to the biosphere. Now we are moving from the biosphere to the technosphere.
Technosphere in the making
Knowledge about how to get the most out of twenty-first century technologies may be building up behind dams that will soon burst. Let me give some examples:
- Composites that are stronger and cheaper than steel and concrete, by combining nanotechnology, 3D-printing and rapid prototyping.
- Nanofiltration for purifying water.
- Sensors and AI getting cheaper and cheaper today.
- Precision irrigation and smart grids for water, using sensors and AI in chips.
- Drones that monitor assets, like windmills, pipelines or railways.
- Drones that deliver medical supplies or parts to remote areas or isolated communities.
- Robots that take over jobs that humans hate and free them from repetitive work to make them available for more interesting work.
- A chip on your skin or needing just one drop of blood or saliva to detect hundreds of diseases.
- AI to crunch the ever-increasing stream of data to a way you can use the data to your service and (personalized) needs.
- The economic empowerment of people through smartphones.
All these innovations are igniting a second renaissance, wherein information is the new oil.
Promoting innovation is therefore key to staying relevant in the future for your clients and customers. If you don’t innovate, you become boring or your service/product becomes (nearly) free. Because technology has launched the process of demonetization: everything we used to pay for is now essentially free, (music, video, access to the internet, etc.). Innovation management is necessary to be able to use your resources intelligently and not fall into the ad-hoc innovation trap – a trap in which a lot of cool things happen that don’t necessarily match your culture or values, let alone contribute to your brand and its brand value. Innovation management does not kill innovation by adding management; it links your innovations to your strategy. By following our three-step approach, only the best innovations that match your strategy, culture, and values will enjoy proof of value and serious investments while bringing you the most value.
Feel free to reach out to us for more information or to arrange a workshop for applying innovation management at your company.
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