New technologies are changing the nature of business in powerful and unpredictable ways. Digital technologies such as mobile computing, social media, analytics, cloud computing and sensor-driven autonomous machines offer both promise and pitfalls. All can be transformative, but none are guaranteed to do anything transformative, or even valuable. Executives need to know which technologies to adopt and how to leverage them.
To address these issues and others, MIT Sloan Management Review assembled an all-star panel: Kim Stevenson, Intel’s chief information officer; Mark Norman, the president of Zipcar, now part of Avis; Andy McAfee, a principal research scientist at the MIT Center for Digital Business; and Didier Bonnet, senior vice president and global practice leader at Capgemini Consulting.
The key to deriving real value from emerging technology is shifting the way businesses work. Intel is adopting swarms, neighborhoods and other ways to create more collaborative workplaces. Zipcar is looking at how far it can push mobile engagement.
While acknowledging the bewildering pace of technologic change, panelists pointed out that executives must engage with technology, think about the opportunities new technologies open up, and then use data to make educated bets on the ones to adopt. Those bets are best made in smaller, iterative steps, with regular assessments.