OVERVIEW OF TECHNOVISION
TechnoVision categorizes technology trends into six well-defined containers, offering a snapshot of innovation from different perspectives (the “what”) – ranging from user experience and collaboration, via data and process automation, all the way to infrastructure and applications. A seventh container offers a series of overarching design principles to successfully apply to the trends and create transformational impact (the “how”). These principles help to build a sharp mindset, ready for any portfolio, program, project, architecture, innovation initiative, or idea. Those familiar with earlier versions of TechnoVision, will notice that we have discontinued the framework picture we have been using for years, which to some – unintendedly – suggested a sequential transformation from the more systems-orientated (infrastructure and applications) to the human-centered side (user experience and collaboration). Others thought they saw an architectural diagram. To stay true to one of the key themes of this year’s edition, we upcycled a somewhat older framework: a holistic, circular version, firmly placing You Experience and We Collaborate at the heart of the technology-driven exchange. This core foundation is surrounded by the more functional containers – Thriving on Data, Process on the Fly, Applications Unleashed and Invisible Infostructure. All wrapped up with Balance by Design, as the overarching container to be considered while working with the others. Within each container, trends are presented as one-page summaries, designed to be crisp and to-the-point, yet appetizing enough to warrant further study. Balance by Design follows a similar principle, offering a view of how to shape balance within an organization using easy to digest one-page principles. The seven TechnoVision containers are summarized below:
IMMERSIVE, LOW-TOUCH, EMPHATIC
You Experience forms the very definition of a highly personalized, seamless user experience. As technology entwines itself in our daily lives, the user experience is no longer a separate discipline. Fully immersive, it is now an integral part of life: at home, at work, or even in leisure time. Organizations can no longer take the well-loved “customer-first” route, but must consider “employee-first,” and even “partner-first” routes too, emphatically considering user experiences from a holistic, end-to-end perspective. Loyalty, advocacy, and satisfaction remain buzz words, joined by talent retention, engagement, emotional connection, sustainability, and inclusiveness to boot.
TEAMED, DISTRIBUTED, CREATIVE
Many realities have changed irrevocably since the pandemic – how businesses operate and collaborate being one of them. Many aspects of value delivery are now entirely independent of location and time. People work together in different ways, increasingly at the very edges of what used to be considered the “core organization.” Consumers and employees expect creative, integrated experiences. It requires a new level of cross-organization, cross-sector partnering to meet these expectations. Distribution is the leading design principle, together with mesh-style, loosely coupled collaboration. And as the physical and digital fuse, it’s no longer clear where technology ends, and business begins.
ALGORITHMIC, FEDERATED, SHARED
It’s no wonder organizations aspire to thrive on data, to be data-powered enterprises. With every business now being a de facto Technology Business, data is at its core. Dare we say, every Business is a Data Business? Data powers superior customer experiences, highly tuned operations, and smart, self-optimizing products and services. Data provides resilience, predictability, and effectiveness, but equally enables organizations to achieve their sustainability ambitions. It’s tempting to declare data to be the new, corporate asset. But assets tend to be stacked, isolated, and safely put away. It’s much better to see data as a first-class product; owned, managed, and activated by business domains, and shared in lively exchanges inside and outside the organization.
BINDING, PORTABLE, SELF-DRIVING
Strategy tends to be eaten for breakfast, by culture – but also by a lack of operational execution. Organizational aspirations simply “blah blah blah” without any ability to turn insight into action, quickly respond to events, or go with whatever flow the corporate purpose supposes. And all that goodness must be delivered against a scarcity of skilled resources and a need to reduce travel and energy consumption. This is where Process on the Fly shines brighter. Having been less in the spotlight than its complementary container, Thriving on Data (ever heard of “Big Process”?), breakthroughs within intelligent automation and a taste of touchless execution, firmly places this container center stage.
MESHED, HEADLESS, AUGMENTED
At the heart of any Technology Business is its applications portfolio. A thriving heartbeat of the organization – part of the business, responsive to every demand. These applications mirror the new business dynamics, built, and continuously changed at high speed, to a high quality, and in whatever incarnation necessary. Yet, many applications no longer look like the ones we used to know, as they morph into a connected mesh of microservices. With agility and minimum viable products no longer the “new normal,” but the “well and truly established,” the quality of application services needs to be at enterprise level, with a continuous, flawless deployment throughout all business operations.
OMNIPRESENT, AUTONOMOUS, INVISIBLE
The odyssey towards a truly invisible IT infrastructure remains ongoing, but progress is made. For many organizations, the pandemic accelerated a move towards the cloud; a signpost of increasing “invisibility.” To keep up with the pace of a Technology Business, IT infrastructure needs to be omnipresent, fluently adjusting to the whimsical ways of the time. A software and AI-driven, nearly autonomous supply chain is key – reliability built in. It also deals with the scarcity of skilled experts and excess energy consumption. But IT infrastructure also expands its reach, integrating Operational Technology and “things” at the edges of central IT, showing yet again that “Infostructure” is not a spelling mistake.
OVERARCHING, TRANSFORMATIONAL, PURPOSEFUL
The essence of designing a Technology Business is to find and preserve several balances in parallel: balance between the interests of stakeholders, between short and long term, centralized and decentralized, friendly and authoritative, purposeful and spontaneous. Besides the WHAT of technology trends, TechnoVision offers a view of HOW to shape these balances within the organization – by purposeful design. The principles within this container aim to provide control questions for executives, a bouquet of perspectives for architects, and a systematic checklist for anybody involved in a Technology Business portfolio, program, project, or initiative.
As always, the authors have had their way hiding copious references to rock, pop, movies, and other cultural and societal phenomena. The reader is invited to find as many of these “Easter Eggs” as possible. It should not be ruled out however, that Generation Z and their “OK, Boomer” colleagues – blessed as they are with quite different frames of reference – may find completely different hidden gems. If you still possess an appetite for more, the TechnoVision Expert Connect community caters for a variety of detailed posts and articles about your favorite 37 building blocks. And by all means, read our sister report “Applying TechnoVision” for various means of using, applying, and playing with TechnoVision in a unique and entertaining way. Finally, to dive even deeper into the TechnoVision universe, watch out for our sector and domain specific TechnoVision Playbooks to be released throughout the year.