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Tech trends 2017: The kinetic enterprise

The theme of this year’s Tech Trends report is the kinetic enterprise, an idea that describes companies that are developing the dexterity and vision required not only to overcome operational inertia but to thrive in a business environment that is, and will remain, in flux. This is no small task. Though the technology advances we see today embody potential, only a select few may ultimately deliver real value. Indeed, some are more hype than substance. We need to do a better job of sifting through the noise to identify truly ground-breaking innovations that can deliver value. Then we need to act. Passively wondering and waiting are not options. As in Newtonian physics, the task before us is turning energy’s potential into reality. This is our eighth Tech Trends report. The beauty of following a broad swath of technology advances over time is that amid the incredible pace of change, we can recognize familiar themes. For example, the five macro forces—digital, analytics, cloud, the reimagining of core systems, and the changing role of IT within the enterprise—have remained constant, year after year driving disruption and transformation. Despite the omnipresence of these five forces, enterprise adoption of them continues to vary widely. Some companies are only beginning to explore trends we wrote about in 2010, while others have advanced rapidly along the maturity curve. To the former, arriving late to the party doesn’t necessarily diminish the opportunities you are pursuing. You have the advantage of being able to leverage compounded years of evolution within, say, mobile or analytics without having to work sequentially through the incremental advances represented in our annual Trends reports.