Author: Ken Chapman - GO Productivity

GO Productivity Emerging Technologies Survey Results:

First, thank you for to all those who took time to do our survey on Emerging Technologies.  We are still gathering data from other groups, but we have results we believe are worth sharing.  Recognize this is not a scientific nor statistically valid survey.  It is however an accurate assessment of the replies of those who participated.  Here is what we have learned so far.  I have done some rounding so if you starting adding numbers don’t be surprised if they don’t add up to 100%

 

Want to Learn More About What is Happening?

GO Productivity, in conjunction with the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council, is holding some free half-day workshops throughout Alberta.  They will focus on the impacts, implications and impressions on how businesses will have to adapt to be competitive and take advantage of these emerging technologies.  

 

Here is a link to the time, dates and places for the various regional workshops around Alberta:  https://goo.gl/F3hVZKSpace is limited so sign up right away. 

 

Now the Results!

 

Who Is Engaged and What Are Technologies Are Most Concerning:

There is a high level of interest in these technologies but those progressive and innovation capable companies who “get it.”  That did not surprise us because of the initial people we surveyed. The most responsive sectors were Manufacturing and Oil & Gas followed by the Public Sector.

 

The disruptive technologies of greatest concern overall was Clean Technologies at 25%.  Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 16% with Robotics/Automation and Big Data/Analytics at 12% each.  Drones did not even register and 3D Printing was next lowest at 3.75%. Augmented and Virtual Reality is not top of mind for many coming in at 4.7%. For all the news and hype around Autonomous vehicles, they came in at 7.5%. Rounding out the results is the Internet of Things 8.4% and Blockchain 10.3%

 

What Technologies Will Happen First & Which Are Not That Relevant:

As for what are the perceptions on immediate impacts on responding businesses, it was mostly CleanTech/Renewables (20.56%) and Big Data/Analytics (18.69%). AI and Machine Learning second as a greatest concern, they were 5th in immediate impacts (8.41%).  More impactful in 3rd place was Robotics/Automation (14.95%) and 4th place Internet of Things (14.02%).  Drones were last and the rest don’t matter much at all…at this time. 

 

The Big Four in current “irrelevance” were 3D Printing, Autonomous Vehicles, Blockchain, and Drones, and they dominated the results.

 

How Ready Are We?

Where people are in readiness to deal with these technologies is interesting.  About 22.5 % are at the “We’re considering what to do,” while 20% say they are “aware but have not yet considered the impacts” on their business.  Then we have 17% who are active and taking action to respond to disruptive technologies, followed by another 13% who are in the action planning stages.  There are 15% really concerned but inactive and 13% who say disruptive technologies are “not on our radar.”

 

Finally, 54% are actively assessing new technology and 47% are reviewing operational processes with 30% looking at new technology ROI potential.  About 41% are reviewing how new technologies will impact continuous improvement plans with 23.5% reviewing staffing and retraining implications.  There are about 21% who not paying any or much attention to these disruptive technologies. 

 

Are Alberta Businesses Not Very Engaged in These Issues?

There are two kinds of companies in the Emerging Technology issues, those who get it and those who don’t.  Those who get it are reasonably active in trying to understand the impact and implications for their business around these emerging and potentially disruptive technologies.  The rest who don’t get it, are running risks they don’t even know about yet.  For them it is about the unknown unknowns.  

 

Our survey was sent to companies and groups that GO Productivity already knew were engaged in their own productivity and innovation journey.  It was a highly likely that this group would be aware of disruptive and emerging technologies impacts and implications.  It was not a typical general business audience.  We had a 40% response rate to the survey, not shabby. 

 

However 21% of those presumed engaged companies, who did respond, said they were not paying any of much attention to these disruptive technology issues.   If that is the level of disengagement of these issues from a progressive group of leading companies, what is the level of disengagement from the broader range of Alberta businesses?  I fear it is significantly and dangerously higher.