Apparently we are living through a time of disruptive innovation, with the creation of new value and the destruction of old norms. Cloud computing, Big Data, the rise of open source and the internet of things are all examples of this – or so we are told. But whilst we all have inertia to change, disruption implies that the change is unexpected, even unpredictable. However, if you have 20 years to plan for something, can you really call it surprising, random or unexpected?
Alas, it turns out that companies are being disrupted by broadly predictable changes. But how can this be? The problem is poor situational awareness to the point of blindness. In this keynote, I will present the general principles of industry change and describe what can and cannot be predicted. I will then examine how companies can better understand the environment around them and by anticipating the nature of change then manipulate the market in their favor through open techniques.
Simon Wardley is a researcher for the Leading Edge Forum focused on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies. Simon is a seasoned executive who has spent the last 15 years defining future IT strategies for companies in the FMCG, retail, and IT industries—from Canon’s early leadership in the cloud-computing space in 2005 to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the #1 cloud operating system. As a geneticist with a love of mathematics and a fascination for economics, Simon has always found himself dealing with complex systems, whether in behavioral patterns, the environmental risks of chemical pollution, developing novel computer systems, or managing companies. He is a passionate advocate and researcher in the fields of open source, commoditization, innovation, organizational structure, and cybernetics.
Simon’s most recent published research, “Clash of the Titans: Can China Dethrone Silicon Valley?,” assesses the high-tech challenge from China and what this means to the future of global technology industry competition. His previous research covers topics including the nature of technological and business change over the next 20 years, value chain mapping, strategies for an increasingly open economy, Web 2.0, and a life-cycle approach to cloud computing. Simon is a regular presenter at conferences worldwide and has been voted one of the UK’s Top 50 Most Influential People in IT in Computer Weekly’s 2011 and 2012 polls.
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