03 November 2008

Top 10 Disruptive Technologies 2009

OK so we are into the final stretch of a very interesting 2008 and already the 2009 lists are starting to appear. This one comes from Outsourcing and services giant CSC. I have put a few comments into it to give some context for the ATT market.

According to CSC, a new wave - well almost new - of technologies are disrupting the way businesses operate. Travel will be impacted as in some cases it already has.

1. New Media

The splintering of media types has had a great impact. In some cases it levels the playing fields in others it just makes it way more complicated. One question; is Google a medium? Think about it.

2. Augmented Reality

A blending of virtual and physical reality can boost experimentation in the workplace and spotlight a need for collaborative skills. There is a great need for modeling in the IT side of ATT. Our usual approach is suck it and see. Perhaps now we can start to implement virtually developed tools and services. BTW I think this bleeds more into SaaS.

3. Social Networks

Got a difficult business or technical issue/problem? Do what many companies now do: use social networks to find skilled workers and experts. This works in Ad Hoc. Linked-in is by far the most popular for this. I probably answer 2-3 questions a week already from people I know and in many cases people I don't know. I anticipate this to go up. Not sure it will get really formalized though. I do see Facebook also being used for this.

4. Information Transparency

New technologies and tools bring pertinent data to the forefront, breaking through old silos and giving businesses a clearer vision of information. This one is REALLY tough because of conventional wisdom and airline's tendency to their DNA based obfuscation habits. However I note that Forrester recently did a monogram on BA's IT and Business Change teams. I think this one will run. However will it result in a DNA change at airlines and lead to product and service transparency? Not yet!

5. Web Waves

Software defined- and cognitive radio replace traditional TV and radio, powering new devices to use airwaves as needed. I have no clue what this one is. Someone care to enlighten me?

6. 3D Printing

Too futuristic? Think again. 3D printing will allow anyone to obtain parts and designs straight from the Web. This is already occurring in non-critical applications and between trusted partners (e.g. Boeing's not so successful 787 program). However smaller less ambitious projects could work for physical devices. Not sure it applies really to our virtual world. However we are seeing more walk through services so perhaps a 3D representation of the hotel and service such as a result will help adopt it.

7. Molecular Computing

Bio-medicine gets a boost from technology that allows researchers to better work within the human body. Not really applicable to ATT. However digging into Airline DNA would be a fascinating exercise. Imagine understanding why they do things... hotels too???

8. Cloud Computing

OK so this is the current in vogue tech stuff. Actually we are all guilty of using Cloud Computing - er its called the Internet! Seriously though the replacement of location centric devices with loosely coupled diverse machines is interesting. However the security aspects of this are frightening. Imagine an army of zombie bots attacking your own system.

9. Semantics

Information becomes more useful through semantics and context, which boosts interoperability and innovation in service availability. To me this is more interesting as perhaps Travel and Web 3.0 as the Semantic web. Instead of having to define constantly the complete universe of an application - just being able to develop the context would be a huge win. OTA are you listening here?

10. Web as Reasoning Engine

While the Web itself is not smart - there is nothing to say that it cannot be made to be smart. Our progressive view has always been that there is a natural process progression:

Data--> Information --> Knowledge --> Power

We are still in the first two stages - drowning in data and hardly able to get information reliably out of the web. Making information reliable will lead to a form of reasoning which will develop knowledge. Then it gets interesting.

Comments and thoughts?

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