Research Library

Anticipating the Future

We hear all the time that we are living through a time of disruptive innovation, with the creation of new value and the destruction of old norms.  Cloud computing, Big Data and the internet of things are all examples of this –or so we are told.  But whilst we all have inertia to change, disruption implies that the change is unexpected, even unpredictable.  However, if you have 20 years to plan for something, can you really call it surprising, random or unexpected?

It turns out that companies are being disrupted by broadly predictable changes. But how can this be?  The problem is not just inertia; it's blindness. 

In this session, Simon Wardley presented the general principles of industry change and described what can and cannot be predicted.  

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01 David Reid – Introduction

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AUTHORS

Simon Wardley
Researcher
Simon Wardley, based in the UK, is a Researcher for Leading Edge Forum and the lead practitioner for Wardley Maps advisory service helping clients anticipate market and ecosystem developments. Simon’s focus is on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies, and he is the author of multiple reports including Clash of the Titans – Will China Dethrone Silicon Valley?  where he assesses the hi-tech challenge from China and what this means to the future of global technology industry competition. His previous research covers topics including Of Wonders and Disruption,  The Future is More Predictable Than You Think - A Workbook for Value Chain Mapping, Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts: Strategies for an Increasingly Open Economy, Learning from Web 2.0 and A Lifecycle Approach to Cloud Computing. Simon is a seasoned executive who has spent the last 15 years defining future IT strategies for companies in the FMCG, Retail and IT industries.  From Canon’s early leadership in the cloud computing space in 2005 to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the #1 Cloud operating system. As a geneticist with a love of mathematics and a fascination in economics, Simon has always found himself dealing with complex systems, whether it’s in behavioural patterns, environmental risks of chemical pollution, developing novel computer systems or managing companies.  He is a passionate advocate and researcher in the fields of open source, commoditization, innovation, organizational structure and cybernetics. Simon is a regular presenter at conferences worldwide, and has been voted as one of the UK's top 50 most influential people in IT in Computer Weekly's 2012 and 2011 polls.    

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