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Are We Ready for Intelligent Technology?

3 Jun 2015 by Ken Lamneck

Our everyday experiences are being turned upside down by innovation. Just think about it:

Uber is the world’s largest taxi company — yet it owns no vehicles.

Facebook is the world’s most popular media company — yet it creates no content of its own.

AirBNB is the world’s largest lodging company — yet it owns no real estate.

And who would have thought that the mobile phone you carry in your pocket has more computing power than the technology that landed astronauts on the moon 40 years ago — in fact, even more than what was onboard the space shuttle. But as much fun as it can be to post pictures on Instagram and listen to Spotify on our phones, the reality is that we spend the vast majority of our time at work. And that’s where the deepest, most meaningful change is taking place.

As CEO of a $5.3 billion company that lives and breathes technology across various industries and organizations — businesses, schools, hospitals and more — it’s clear to me that the nature of our jobs and economy is being dramatically altered. The world is shifting from “information technology” or “IT” as we know it (a term born in the 60s) — to “intelligent technology,” where tech plays a much wider and more pronounced role in every element of the workplace.

This shift has ramifications for policymakers, business leaders and everyday workers alike. But we aren’t thinking seriously enough about it because intelligent technology operates largely behind the scenes. We need to find creative new ways to make the most of this paradigm shift.

The arrival of intelligent technology is not going to be a singular moment in time. It’s not a phone, tablet or watch launch. Instead, it’s an ongoing evolution that’s already underway. For example, consider the “Internet of things” — a movement that’s only just beginning and holds real promise for transforming business and everyday life.

Just like Uber and AirBNB have turned their respective sectors upside down, intelligent technology is going to drive deep, lasting changes in how we work every day. IT is ready for us — the question is: are we ready for IT?