IBM Questions for New Innovation

IBM Questions for New Innovation - Flash in the pan or true...

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Flash in the pan or true innovation? Twenty questions to evaluate new technology June 2003 Executive Summary – Categorizing, understanding and filtering the latest information on emerging technologies can be made easier if you know what to ask. Here are twenty questions that can help you quickly ascertain whether a closer look could be important to your business. When you open the newspaper and see an article on antigravity or human cloning or teleportation, should you take it seriously, or just laugh? Though all are common now, concepts ranging from identity theft to kids with cell phones to computer chips embedded in pets may have made tabloid headlines a decade ago. Each has implications for businesses worldwide: the larger view of identity theft includes encryption, privacy legislation and profiling for direct marketing; similarly, the proliferation of cell phones is creating new opportunities for games, messaging and "virtual mobs"; and the chips in pets are just a piece of the wave of new smart tags for inventory control, market research and security. Granted, some of these seemingly strange developments may end up having as little impact on your business as cold fusion – yet others will rival the Web. Futurists use simulations, models, structured interviews and systematic research to separate the wheat from the chaff, but – short of launching a detailed and potentially expensive survey – what can you do to identify significant new advancements? Instinct and common sense will take you a long way, but here's a game of twenty questions that may impart some structure to your guesses. It nets out experience from analysis of over sixty emerging technologies, and while it doesn't provide the full range of insights, it may be a good start. When you encounter a new technology, ask yourself: 1) What's new? Sometimes the answer is nothing. Hype is often used to dress up an old product. Or to push an offering that is already available from a competitor. "New and improved" may actually be neither. Still, a novel combination may have a great impact. Arguably, no single element of the first Web browser was completely novel, but it brought together the elements with such elegance and insight that the Internet had to make room for everyone. 2) Is it real? Often there's not enough information to answer this one, but that's not an excuse not to ask. Some dotcoms would have gone nowhere if investors had bothered to push for proof. ibm.com /bcs Executive technology report
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3) How far along is it? Is it a proposal to a standards body? Is it a prototype? Is it in production? Most new technologies make little impact or fail outright. The path to adoption is not as long as it once was, but it is still arduous. The further along the technology is, the more seriously you should take it. 4) Where's the push?
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IBM Questions for New Innovation - Flash in the pan or true...

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