Disruption — It’s great when you’re the disruptor, but it’s scary when you’re the one being disrupted.

 

We call this disruptive set of strategic technology trends the intelligent digital mesh. Strategic trends are those with broad and potentially disruptive impacts that are reaching key tipping points and demand a fresh look as part of any strategic business and technology planning.

By 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse. With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and conversational user interfaces, we are increasingly likely to interact with a bot (and not know it) than ever before. The digital experience has become addictive by entering our lives through smartphones, tablets, virtual personal assistants (VPAs) or the entertainment systems in our homes and cars.

Three high level trends emerge from the predictions for our future:

  •      Digital experience and engagement will draw people into nonstop virtual interactions
  •      Business innovation will create extraordinary change from mundane concepts
  •      Secondary effects will be more disruptive than the initial digital change

How do we equip ourselves to stay ahead of the curve….

This disruption has moved from an infrequent inconvenience to a consistent stream of change that is redefining markets and entire industries on how we interact with each other. A great example is astonishing rise of “Pokemon Go” that demonstrated accelerated digital change into areas such as augmented reality (AR)

The practical approach is to recognize disruption, prioritize the impacts of that disruption, and then react to it to capture value

Augmented and virtual reality technologies are still new, but how quickly are they evolving?

Augmented reality (AR) can be effectively used on a smartphone or tablet, as well as other dedicated devices such as head-mounted displays (HMDs). Users can hold these devices up to a sign, for example, to see it translated, or in front of equipment to see its maintenance instructions. Training and education are also great use cases, with the virtual world being a mockup of equipment or situations to simulate a real-life situation.

In 2018, 26% of HMDs will be designed for business use.

Virtual reality (VR) immerses the user in a full digital environment. Users can snap their smartphone into devices such as Samsung’s Gear VR or the upcoming Google Daydream-ready headset, and hold it to their eyes to see and interact with virtual worlds. More-sophisticated immersive VR experiences come from dedicated HMDs such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, but these require a high-end PC. In consumer markets, gaming, events and movies as well as 360-degree immersive videos will be the primary areas of focus for developers and content creators. Here, easy access to content and distribution will be critical success factors.

Figure. Forecast for Sales of Head-Mounted Displays, 2015-2020

Source: GARTNER (October 2016)

 

Recommendations

Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders using enterprise architecture to master emerging and strategic trends must:

 

  • Plan for a radical, long-term (2020 to 2025) evolution of the user experience for both customers and employees as conversational systems, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and continuous/contextual user experiences radically change the way people interact with systems.
  • Explore opportunities to create new systems that require AI and machine learning, and showcase their intelligent feature systems (such as virtual personal assistants [VPAs], robots and autonomous vehicles), and augment existing apps and things (for example, customer service, enterprise applications, consumer electronics and medical devices).
  • Examine specific, targeted and high-value use cases to apply AR/VR, build digital twins to support IoT initiatives, and embrace block chains and distributed ledgers in 2017 to 2019.