A year of work in progress – day 189

Day 189 – 4 November 2014

The train was quiet as it pulled out of Newcastle station. There were not many people about at 4:45 in the morning, just a few railway staff and the odd sleepy passenger. I was on my way to the Nimbus Ninety Ignite conference.

I don’t like London. I get the buzz and the vibe and all the great and cool things that go on there but I just don’t like going. It’s too busy, too rushed, too hectic. I was OK until I was crammed into the tube from Kings Cross to Edgware Road. The place is crazy and I don’t understand why people put up with it. Oh for the wide open spaces of the north. I was alright again when I got on the train to Parson’s Green. I could get a seat.

The conference was packed. It was at The Worx, London’s leading contemporary venue and studio hiring complex apparently. It was an interesting location but the WiFi was rubbish and the room not ideal for presentations. They must have realised as they came round and gave out the password to an alternative connection. That didn’t work either.

The content was interesting though. The main theme was ‘delivering digital transformation during global disruptive innovation’. The presentations were on changing trends and business models within the digital industry or, putting it another way, what’s changed and what are going to do about it. Of course digital is the big disrupter.

The reputation of our organisations is now held on the smart phone. Soon it will be wearables. By 2020 there will be fifty billion connected devices worldwide. Customer engagement strategy apps are becoming the beating heart of who we are. They are the way that people expect to transact and it goes without saying that the customer’s view of service shapes their view of the organisation. And it works for our own people too. Starve our staff of information and they won’t give good customer satisfaction. So we better get some good apps.

The world is speeding up. Four out of five organisations are in the process of digital transformation and it is not a journey with an end. McKinsey reckons that of the twelve disruptive technologies, five are digital. They are: mobile internet; automation of knowledge work; internet of things; cloud technology and; advanced robotics. The rest are in material technologies. Did they forget data?

The future is both thrilling and terrifying. Part of me doesn’t know if I’ll be able to survive in the coming age while another part wishes I could be reborn today.

These are some of the things we all need to watch out for: predictive personalisation; wearables woven into fabrics; wearable drones; embedded sensors in your hands; molecular level technologies and; bio hacking.

Unplugging – the development of technologies to keep you off the grid- could be a huge growth area.

Why do we need it? Because it is human evolution

Learning points for today: A brontobyte is 10 to the power of 27; 50% of millennials will want wearable technology by next year; the largest market for smart watches is China and; we always overestimate what will be coming in the next two years but always underestimate what will be coming in the next ten.

Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – the flowering of new possibilities.

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