We have it on good authority that the constant in life is change. Yet, given the magnitude of the change we witness daily and the staggering pace at which it now unfolds, the term “constant” seems inadequate as we attempt to define and understand the highly mutable world around us.
For example, 10 years ago, who could have foreseen that aircraft manufacturers would be able to “print” replacement parts onsite in hangars rather than manufacturing them on distant assembly lines? Or that doctors can harness artificial intelligence to improve cancer diagnosis and treatments? Or that preventative maintenance systems featuring sensors and robotics would virtually eliminate unanticipated mechanical breakdowns?
In many cases, such changes are being driven by a confluence of business and technology forces fuelled by innovation. On the business front, globalisation continues apace, with new markets and new customer’s ties swollen by billions of people rising out of poverty. Barriers to market entry are collapsing as entrepreneurs with low capital investment needs challenge established market players.
Meanwhile, on the technology front, five macro forces continue to drive enormous transformation: digital, analytics, cloud, the renaissance of core systems and the changing role of IT within an enterprise. These forces are not just fuelling innovation and giving rise to new business models. They are also enabling historic advances in materials, medical and manufacturing science, among other areas.