Technology Implementation

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An Executive Guide to the Summer 2019 Issue

The Executive Briefings for the Summer 2019 issue of MIT SMR give a snapshot of the issue’s close look at the challenges, culture shifts, and opportunities that adopting AI will bring to businesses. Plus: How to make M&A successful; does management style change with age?

People and Machines: Partners in Innovation

Thoughtful adoption of intelligent technologies will be essential to survival for many companies. But simply implementing the latest technologies and automation tools won’t be enough. Success will depend on whether organizations use them to innovate in their operations and in their products and services—and whether they acquire and develop the human capital to do so.

Where China Is Leading the Mobility Revolution

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  • Read Time: 5 min 

China is shaking off its reputation for “copycatting” and establishing itself as a digital leader. One of the key areas where it’s moving ahead of the U.S. and Europe is transportation. China has made strides in electronic and autonomous vehicles as well as high-speed rail in recent years — and its most important development has been to transform itself into an innovation-focused, entrepreneurial hub of technical prowess.

The Digital Future of Strawberries

Technology may hold the answer to two of the knottiest problems faced by the U.S. economy — the shortage of farm labor and the excess of vehicle traffic. But there’s a flip side: It also enables surveillance so widespread and intrusive, companies can track even our heartbeats — and the data collected by these sensors is far from secure.

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Transforming Manufacturing and Supply Chains With 4D Printing

Next on the horizon is 4D printing, an emerging technology that would allow managers to meet supply chain challenges with customized, adaptive, and potentially self-modulating equipment. Manufacturers should start considering how their infrastructure and supply chains might benefit from this technology as it unfolds.

The Perils of Applying AI Prediction to Complex Decisions

While AI is brilliantly placed to solve decisions that are concrete and well-defined, in other contexts it can fail spectacularly, showing connections between facts or events but stumbling when the need to disentangle cause from correlation arises. Human input in the form of subject matter knowledge and common sense are often needed to complement AI. And executives must understand which challenges are right for these new technologies to address.

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The First Law of Digital Innovation

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  • Read Time: 8 min 

Most of us know Moore’s law, that the power of semiconductor chips grows exponentially, not linearly, over time. Moore’s law, though, is only part of the technology equation. There’s another critical law that needs more attention. It’s this: While technology changes quickly, organizations change much more slowly. That means digital transformation is as much a leadership challenge as a technical one.

The Plight of the Graying Tech Worker

High-skilled immigration is dramatically transforming the tech sector in the United States. U.S. tech workers over age 40 have good reasons to be concerned. In addition to competing with greater numbers of skilled foreign workers, older tech workers are now also more likely than younger workers to lose their jobs when technical work moves overseas.

Revisiting the Jobs Artificial Intelligence Will Create

It can be easy to get caught up in all the uncertainty and speculation around the future of automation, but when we focus on the future, we may fail to see what’s happening right in front of us. In this audio interview, MIT SMR editor in chief Paul Michelman revisits the work of Accenture researchers Paul Daugherty and H. James Wilson to discuss what’s changed in the AI landscape and what leaders should be thinking about next.

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Five AI Solutions Transforming B2B Marketing

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  • Read Time: 8 min 

B2B Marketing departments never have enough time, manpower, or money. AI solutions such as automated emails and predictive analytics can help companies push back against these constraints. AI marketing products can act as a force multiplier. Imagine filling your headquarters with thousands of brilliant marketers, expertly analyzing data and providing actionable insights that increase the productivity of your existing marketing team.

Five Insights From Davos on the Future of Work

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  • Read Time: 5 min 

At the 2019 gathering of the World Economic Forum, much of the conversation was about the need for re-skilling and inclusive education, and the ongoing gender gap in the world of technology. Lynda Gratton, a professor of management practice at London Business School, attended the Davos conference as a steward of the World Economic Forum Council on Work, Education and Gender, and shares her insights from the meeting.

Navigating a New Industrial Infrastructure

Converging technologies are realigning how organizations operate in an increasingly connected world. Companies that take the time to understand and invest in crucial technologies will benefit from lower barriers to entry in new markets and sectors and greater ease in developing and scaling new capabilities in the next generation of business.

The Internet of (Wonderful and Scary) Things

The benefits of smart devices are wide-ranging: the IoT-powered communication and analytics have the potential to do more than just add convenience to our daily lives, but to actually radically improve the way we work and live. But without taking the right cybersecurity measures, products can fail before they have a chance to see wide adoption.

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