Blog: The Big Tech Bang (part 3): What it means for C-suite and how to get started
By Miguel Alvarez, Director of Technology Services at AnalogFolk
Across parts 1 & 2, I’ve talked about the current state of AI, 5G and iOT, made some bold predictions, addressed what the positives and negatives are for businesses, and explained what you can do to prepare for the opportunities that will be created when the three technologies collide.
In the final part of this trilogy, I look at what the technologies mean for C-suite and finish off with some practical advice on how brands can get a head start with taking the most from the incoming Big Tech Bang.
What does it all mean for C-suite?
As Head of Technology, I’m naturally excited by these developments. And when I say excited, I feel like a kid in a candy store. For executives, however, it’s a different story. What will it all mean for key positions at existing and established companies?
I think, firstly, what it will translate to is a much higher need for interdisciplinary collaboration and unity within traditional business units. As I briefly mentioned in part 1, AI, 5G and iOT are currently living in silos which is already harming businesses and this will be exacerbated if businesses are not proactive.
Here is CMO as an example. There’s been a lot of talk about the modern CMO role and today’s chief marketers have worked hard on integrating data within their existing creatively-led units, which is no easy task. The knowledge needed to overcome all of the complexities in this have shown that the integration goes beyond simply adopting a technology — it has been a major business transformation needing all of C-level to work together.
“business transformation will need to happen at speed, and the sooner this exercise starts the easier it will be to be ready to capitalise on the big bang”
Sadly, integrating data into creativity will look like child’s play when compared with all of the new formats the new technologies will bring. Not to mention the headache that AI and 5G — with its faster connection — will cause when businesses are forced to promote their brand(s) in different ways. CMOs will need to know more about hardware than ever, as they’ll need to be able to both anticipate the integrations needed for their ecosystems and build their own hardware to accommodate IoT (current IoT tends to be very specific).
Either marketing units will need more diverse practitioners, or interdisciplinary departments will need to work together with clear goals and objectives, beyond their respective areas of comfort. For C-level, my key takeaway is that business transformation will need to happen at speed, and the sooner this exercise starts the easier it will be to be ready to capitalise on the big bang caused by AI, 5G and iOT colliding.
Businesses need to build a detailed understanding of each of the technologies separately — starting with these questions:
What are the five major difference between 5G and 4G? What will the new form of IoT be that will disrupt the industry? What are the types of AI that can affect their sector the most and why?
It is time to move beyond buzzwords into a real understanding of the concepts. If businesses are to be powered by technology such as AI, 5G and iOT then those in lead and support roles need to understand these complex technologies in detail.
In part 1, I talked about the BMW iNext, and how I often get the same high-level perspective questions fired my way around standards, data and GDPR, and user expectations.
As promised, below I’ve sketched out an initial blueprint to each question, which should help with the initial starting process.
1: How can we handle gesture standards in new technology?
It all starts with user experience. Every interface needs to be seen through the eyes of the final user. Standards are key — we can’t expect the user to use different gestures for each car they step into or for their speakers and even iOT devices. The real key is having staff testing and learning with new technologies will help to drive businesses’ experience design forward.
2: What about data and GDPR with AI, 5G and iOT?
The first way of approaching this question would be to think of the benefits to the end user. Collecting more data only works when properly funneled. It’s good to acknowledge that data is a snapshot of the past and we’re re-writing the future. After you think properly of what to do with the data from the eyes of the end user, the next step is to look at GDPR for the legal boundaries and legislations.
3: What will clients and users expect from businesses when their cars and devices reach a level of sophistication offered by combining AI, 5G and iOT?
Of the three questions, this is the easiest to answer because we have seen this happen with recent technology. As soon as users could order a taxi with the push of a button (Uber and Lyft), they wanted the same standard for every single transportation and delivery service. One of the best ways to be prepared is to re-think the services that you provide and use well known frameworks for innovation within companies. Key to success is encouraging collaboration, testing the speed of your organisation and working towards improving it with clear goals and minimum overhead.
One final thought
It’s undoubtedly an exciting time for any business that puts effort into preparing for these new technologies. When physicists talk of collisions, they highlight the role of speed and mass. The energy released from collisions depends on how fast the speed is and how large the mass is — the quicker the speed and the larger the mass, the broader and stronger the energy will be that is released.
When AI, 5G and iOT collide, it will be the quickest and largest collision we have ever seen, so hang on tight and enjoy the ride. Just remember — the sooner you start paddling, the more likely it is that you and your business will be able to ride on top of the wave, instead of being crushed by it.
Miguel leads the technology output and direction of AnalogFolk and its clients. Being a full-time technology enthusiast with experience of running teams of up to 120 people with different sets of skills has helped him develop creative thinking and a problem-solving mentality.
Previously, Miguel held several positions, ranging from VP of Technology to Technical Lead, within agencies such as Possible, Critical Mass and Hangar, across brands including Nissan, United Nations, GoDaddy, Citi and Bahamas.
In 2017, Miguel was given the honorary title of Ambassador for Essential Costa Rica for his commitment to the field of technology. He was also named one of the most successful graduates from Central America by Estrategia&Negocious magazine (the region’s leading business and strategy publication).
Piece of technology I don’t miss: “The cord on some remote-control cars; it defeated the purpose and made you run around chasing the car.”