Every day brings new stories about the impact of digital technologies on every aspect of the world around us, including their transformative impact on companies in just about every industry. Some of the articles are about the creation of innovative new technologies and applications, while others are about the creative destruction such innovations leave in their wake. Lately, the latter kind of stories seem to predominate.
For a while now, companies have been racing to try to keep with the relentless advances of digital technologies. But, the race keeps getting tougher every year. We seem to be heading toward a kind of digital perfect storm, where four major IT trends are each gathering speed while interacting with and amplifying each other: mobile devices, cloud computing, social networks and big data and analytics.
These widely discussed technologies are still in the early stages of deployment to a greater or lesser degree. Mobile is furthest along while cloud adoption is taking off. Data science applications are starting to get deployed, although we are just beginning to appreciate their profound implications. And while consumer social networks have been thriving for years, their use in business has been slower than expected.
The disruptive impact of this digital perfect storm is already being felt by technology companies as well as by those in industries whose transformation is already underway. And perhaps most important, we know that even greater disruptions are in store in the not too distant future. The resulting creative destruction makes for interesting stories about the changing fortunes of companies as well as their leaders.