Web Summit 2018

2018-11-05, 07:41 Posted by: Elisa Patronen

New tech is future, but what kind of one?

New technologies can revolutionize how business is run and the way we live. They also have a threatening side that has recently been brought to discussions regarding the future of human life and artificial intelligence, for example. But, what exactly is the role of new technologies in finding business opportunities and developing our way of living? What role can organizations take in affecting what kind of disruption happens?

I will be attending Websummit in 5. - 8.11.2018. Websummit is a technology conference comprising of 24 different tracks that focus on tech either from specific industry´s development perspective or cover other topics surrounding the subject. It is a great opportunity to hear specific use cases and learn how people from world leading companies and e.g. European Commission illustrate the future and usage of technology.

When thinking about the roles of new tech and organizations in shaping our future, I would like to highlight a couple of notions to chew over, that I will be reflecting on when going to the summit.

Fuel for ideas

As amazing new technologies and their enabled applications are, in business development context they are that only when the whys of their usage are figured out. It is still your organization, or your stakeholders, that do the disruption and technologies are tools, enablers and catalysts for that. From my experience, finding the true advantage from new technologies is an iterative process of exploring at least two perspectives:

  • What do you want to achieve and why? -This means understanding your environment and the business development goals regardless of potential chosen technologies.
  • What are the new technologies enabling? – With this I mean understanding of what the interesting technologies can do in practice.

In the center of finding new opportunities is to understand your own environment and business goals and the change potential in there: what direction is your value network going to and why, what are your customers expecting, what position you want to take and why. Understanding of the possibilities of different technologies, then, feeds on the ideas of what new can be done within your value network, how you can benefit from different technologies and how they can drive you towards the change you want to make.

Technology is an enabler, you set the direction

What´s important to acknowledge especially from sustainability perspective is that technologies are, as stated above, enablers: They do not set direction or have a positive or negative impact themselves, but it is the way technologies are chosen to be used and the solutions that are chosen to be built, that determine the direction and impact they are enabling and speeding development towards. Technologies can be used to fight climate change and boost fruitful collaboration but also to create solutions that encourage unsustainable lifestyles or pose threats in society.

The enabling nature of new tech brings great opportunities but also great responsibility to organizations and highlights the importance of acknowledging why to drive the change and what kind of change is being driven. Are you transforming your business in a direction that boosts not only your competitive position but also pushes society into the right direction?

What I expect to hear in Websummit is interesting discussions especially about the potential of AI and data and learn what is discussed around API economy and other business enablers currently. But, I also look forward to hearing discussions about how the usage of tech is seen to change organizations and our society, what are the possibilities and threats seen there currently. I´ll come back with takings after the summit, so stay tuned!

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