When Marc Andreeson wrote his article on “Why Software Is Eating The World” he provided some unique insights as to the economics of change driven by software technology. If you are interested in disruptive innovations, you should not find yourself wanting these days. While the economic indicators and jobs numbers do not indicate full recovery, the recent economic hibernation has given rise to enormous waves of disruptive thought that could carry us into a new economic cycle. Much in the way, the printing press ushered in the Renaissance, the steam engine catapulted the agricultural age, cheap labor/energy spurred the industrial age, and the Internet introduced us to a global economy.

My intent is to provide technology centric areas of interest that you should consider building base knowledge around if you are interested in transformational disruption.

A. Programmable Networks
Why are we seeing new initiatives like Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Cloud compute take root. What problems do they solve and what will determine the winners and losers. Consider the current business Eco-systems and technology cycles that will be turned upside down by this disruptive paradigm shift. Looking at business agility economics are driving hardware virtualization, network convergence, control, management and service planes optimization.

B. Big Data
Information is power and power is knowledge. Speeding up decision making, providing predictive analytics or automating business functions will radically change every business. There is certainly lots of hype in this area but if you look behind the hype you will find many transformational use cases on how information is empowering radical change. Machine learning is fantastic but also check out deep learning and symbolic systems to understand the neural science, cognitive functions, humanistic impact of data science. Move beyond meaningful data to predictive data and actionable data by integrating feedback and control systems. Think about focusing your business case based on time to insight, logistical impacts and productivity improvements.

C. Internet Z.0 (7+ Billion people & 52+ Billion devices)
-Internet of Everything (sensors, smart cars, and embedded devices)
-Industrial Internet (business, infrastructure, supply chain)

D. Quantum Computing
Beyond Moore’s Law and binary compute cycles. Lots of interesting work being done in material sciences to accelerate super positioning these days. Advances in ceramics and Graphene could bring some to you sooner than you think.

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