The Big Picture is a PESTLE analysis providing an overview of innovation over the past weeks. Today we look at Society and Technology. You can also read our previous post for Politics and Economics, “Europe in the mirror and Emerging Markets: form local to global“.
The disrupted society
Big life changes, big questions. “Are Shyp and similar tech start-ups for outsourcing chores the realization of the laziness economy? Or are they the opposite — a giant step toward unleashing the human productivity and creativity that technologists have prophesied? How do we judge whether technology is making us more productive, or just lazy and impatient?” asks Claire Cain Miller in the New York Times. As Julie Hunt reminds, it’s not only for big cities. In Smart Data Collective, she writes “Such services and solutions should be tailored for midsized cities to keep costs down and provide exactly what these cities need for faster, more effective implementations.” As Spyros Salpeas highlights for GulfNews, “Smart city planners need to approach their developments holistically to ensure inter-operability.” On World weighs the market opportunity of our life change: “The smart home has had hundreds of new entrants over the past few years including iControl Networks and Alarm.com that have each raised over $100 million in venture funds as well as Nest Labs and SmartThings that were acquired for $3 billion (Google) and $200 million (Samsung) respectively.” William Sand from Strategy and Business provides an essential thought on cities: “But no matter the indicators we’ve tracked or the elements we’ve added to the mix, one thing has remained absolutely clear since the study’s inaugural year: No single overriding strength can assure lasting growth, or shelter a city from reversals, if social and economic conditions are out of sync. “
Because they have understood the centrality of their play, humans are starting to use technology to create differently. SHAUNACY FERRO as an example reports for Fast Co-Design about an incredibly detailed architecture monuments that you can collect. Carrey Dune from Fast Co-Design relates the mesmerizing work of Jakarta-based Rizkiyanto. He gets inspiration from the Internet and claims “It’s the never-ending resource of knowledge and inspiration, from the most basic design tutorials to ‘out of [this] world’ inspiration.” Mario Aguilar from Sploid takes us on a journey with “Photographer Simon Roberts took to the skies above the North Pole to shoot the sunset in each of the Earth’s 24 time zones over the course of 24 hours.” It is not just about arts. It is also about designing better products, as Dassault Systems experiences with Modul’Air and their strategic partnership to create new transportation systems for Grenoble. Shiraz Datta from Smart Data Collective explains how 3D printing and analytics will disrupt business models while Eyes In mentions “Smarter Than You Think” initiative built for adults and children “to develop children and adult’s appetite to discover their best way to learn and how to maximize it.” Setra from Press Citron introduces the “augmented reality” technology and firm Magic Leap which got fundings from major Internet players.
Sharing and Caring
Technology has allowed another disruption: sharing with others leading to caring for others. Firstly because we identified dangers. Mariel Norton noticed for The Next Web that “Embracing unfamiliar terminology as well as transforming the landscape upon which standard norms of interaction were practised, suddenly choosing the appropriate profile picture became a first world problem whilst others agonised over which hashtags best summed up their tweets.” Secondly because we spotted opportunities. As Jessica Plauds from Mashable explains, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has approved the launch of Airbnb, under conditions. Becky Robinson from Lead Change Group further enhances that we do not have the choice, especially as women. We need to speak up. This brings us closer to reality. Karen Mossburger from The Brookings Institute reveals that Chicago’s Smart Cities program has enabled communities of neighbours to influence investment from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). “The research shows that neighborhoods participating in this digital literacy and outreach program experienced increased rates of Internet use, broadband adoption, and online activities, including job search”. Accessing to knowledge, wherever it may be, even from ancient libraries from the Vatican, as Graham Templeton from Geek found out. Dom Philips from TIME Magazine portrays Pesce, a young Brazilian entrepreneur who went back home after MIT writing “The Girl From The Valley: How Entrepreneurship Can Change Your Life”. “It was downloaded a million times within months of release, going on to sell 53,000 hardcopies and top Brazil’s bestseller list in 2012”, says the author.
As Manuel Rapada from Good reminds about major tech companies in Silicon Valley: “(They) are in a unique position to help narrow the diversity gap in the industry by giving people the education, skills, and opportunities to break into tech”. There was a crying need to better care about our societies. Hadn’t we decided to turn to others, we’d have rejected them, eventually damaging their health. Mandy Oaklander from TIME Magazine explains: “Feeling judged because of your race could have a negative impact on your physical health, a new study finds.” Caring also involves health. Roy Smythe from Forbes warns: “We must avoid, at all costs, simply delivering health care by drone.” Humans need humans? On a larger scale, “The EU has announced €24.4 million from the EU budget for urgently needed Ebola research”, reminds the EU Commission. “The funding will go to five projects, ranging from a large-scale clinical trial of a potential vaccine, to testing existing and novel compounds to treat Ebola.” Health offers plenty of innovation space as Jessica Leber from Fast Co-Exist reports, such as painless blood testing.
The last mile
Instill the right skillset
When deploying a network, the last mile to home is always the hardest to get. As with everything, all it needs is a starting point. HR are a key enabler to recruit the right skills for Big Data. They in turn have to know not only what it means, but how to better use the technology, as Michael Carty from Personnel Today suggests. Then HR needs to chose the right candidates as well. For this, Braden Kelley explains on LinkedIn that “Most people would agree that our education system is no longer up to the task required for maintaining innovation leadership.” The Economist pledges for a massive change in the role technology has in economies. So far, it hasn’t proved successful in bringing sustainable growth, having rather initiated an economic decline instead. Ted Greenwald from the MIT reminds that “it has taken a while for the software that helps people get work done to catch up with the fact that many people are increasingly working on tablets and phones. Now new apps are making it easier to create and edit documents on the go.” Jeff John Roberts from GigaOm explains through the voice of Paul Brody, VP of the Internet of Things for IBM, that the “IoT is still in a bubble phasis”.
Setrag Khoshafian from Information Week suggests a different idea: IoT needs to reach the digital processes to get traction. Matt Asay from ReadWrite suggests data scientists should develop their writing skills to better express their ideas and have a greater impact. Kim Wagner from the Boston Consulting Group has also analysed that strong innovators “demonstrate a consistent commitment, even—or especially—in the face of failure.” Gil Alouche from Big Data Startups recommends to recruit talents able to implement innovative solutions rather than data scientists. Service providers would already have them among their teams.
It may be that what matters most is the value of data. IBM Smarter Planet offers on Forbes a straightforward approach to benefit from it: “Take advantage, Monetize, Enrich and Protect the data.” New managers need fresh views. As Nicolas Glady from ESSEC Business School explains, Orange and the school deployed the “Data-Venue”, enabling researchers, companies and entrepreneurs to connect to a single platform and share knowledge and experience. Elucidat stresses how critical mobility experience is for e-learning, seeing an opportunity to “helping somebody work with and learn with a patient at a bedside, actually as they are doing it.” Ryan Fuller suggests a number of new indicators to evaluate performance, including collaborating times, interactions with managers. As he reports, “Now, with the ability to directly measure engagement, there is no telling what organizations and employees themselves will learn about what drives them.” Indicators should evolve as a result of social changes when unfortunately, other things remained the same. As Robin Ely explains for HBR: “In the end, we found not just achievement and satisfaction gaps between men and women, but a real gap between what women expect as they look ahead to their careers and where they ultimately land.”
Create a Privacy and Security framework
There are also going to be growing security threats, as already analyzed in “More Data, More Problems. More Solutions?”. Net Security reminds that “Most organizations (67%) are facing rising threats in their information security risk environment, but over a third (37%) have no real-time insight on cyber risks necessary to combat these threats.” James O’Toole reports for CNN on Verizon’s use of Unique Identifiers Headers to “keep individual customers anonymous while transmitting information about their interests and demographic background for use in targeted ads by marketers.” Nazar Tymoshyk underlines the need for real-time analytics: “If security monitoring is a data storage problem, then it requires a big data analytics solution capable of analyzing large amounts of data in real time”, he writes for MapR. Gordon Makryllos from CSO reminds how huge the impact could be: “Smarter devices, faster networks and the cloud becoming ubiquitous all combine to power greater consumption of digital content – in short, users want more data all the time and want it now.”
Develop the right Business Models
As a consequence of new tools and new rules, the game is poised to change. Shekhar Mitra relates for Business Standard how Vyome is using a business model that “entails a recursive loop of investment – licensing or partnership, product release and subsequent royalties.” Thibaud Andre from Innovation Excellence presents the ten most innovative Chinese companies, with an overview of their strategies. PADDAY from Intercom has identified a new way of selecting applications which might “end the applications as we see today”. Howard Baldwin notes that Big Data will leave no industry asides in this article for Forbes. Indeed, even the Marinescorp relates how “U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is building an open-source data-mining program that will run automatic keyword searches across a variety of websites and databases, allowing its operators to build a better picture of their operating environment in as close to real time as possible.” Sameer Nori from Smart Data Collective reminds that “Using Hadoop, businesses are able to get a better view of these important behavioral metrics.” It requires to identify the right business models, the right partnerships. US Telecom Media reports on an initiative between Cisco and the city of Chicago to better evaluate metrics in the city, from air quality to traffic. Is it an easy task? No. As stakeholders tend to disagree on the analysis of needs, they potentially prevent objectives to align. As an example, Gregory Ferenstein reports on Bill Gates disagreement over Thomas Piketty economic analysis in The Capital in 21st Century. Who is getting poorer? Who is getting richer? What are the real needs? Stuart Dredge mentions in The Guardian that Youtube may start subscriptions to access its video service, instead of displaying ads. What is the right pricing offer? Who is willing to pay for a service that was free up to now?
CB Insights intents to list key players category of the IoT in below periodic table to highlight the variety of stakeholders involved.
Indeed, the IoT chemistry proves rather complex. As Raja Rao from Tools Journal explains, “The importance of analysing big data has grown multi-fold.” That’s the main driven for “As-A-Service” markets, as Veer Gidwaney reminds for INC. Kavi Guppta also points out for Forbes that “Agencies and brands are no longer sure how the metrics they’ve known for over a century factor into the behaviors of customers today.” This is the eventual result of disruption, showing past can be misleading, and pushing companies and societies to build a better, more adaptative future. Sreenivasa Chakravarti from Tata Consultancy Services has a closing advice to try and bridge past and future through a list of questions we could ask ourselves now:
“Can we take cost out of the system? How can we reduce non-value adding time from every production task?
How can we predict the potential machine failures and issues on the line to ensure proactive response?
What are the ways to ensure compliance to customer specifications in order to reduce the back end load on verification and validation processes?
How can we identify defects early in the production cycle?
What will help ensure that the firm’s most valuable experts are leveraged effectively?”