Is it "live or is it Memorex?" Is emerging technology hype or reality?

Is it "live or is it Memorex" was an ad campaign for cassette recording tapes from Memorex. Could you tell if the sound was genuine, authentic and real from the artist, or was it a recorded copy? What separates today's hype in emerging technology from fact and reality?

crystal globe displaying the united states of america on a keyboard

"Is it live or is it Memorex" was an ad campaign for cassette recording tapes from Memorex. Could you tell if the sound was genuine, authentic and real from the artist, or was it a recorded copy?


Let's start by taking a look at some definitions as a backdrop for technology that can be, and are, misconstrued and misinterpreted today, especially in the emerging technology landscape:

  • Real: actually existing or happening: not imaginary. Not fake, false, or artificial. Important and deserving to be regarded or treated in a serious way.
  • Reality: is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. A still broader definition includes everything that has existed, exists, or will exist.

Emerging technology-hype vs "real" usage

Now, fast-forwarding to the present day.... Fintech, BigData, IoT, Digital are just some of the buzzwords of new technology the CIO has to sift through. How is this impacting the CIO and how can they take advantage of the new technology? Or, is this more hype that is not proven that consumes precious time and resources? Is this technology authentic, or real? What is the overall reality? The answer lies in between, and the CIO is well positioned to leverage this emerging ecosystem of technology enablement to accelerate growth in their organizations, while also meeting regulatory and compliance demand. Or, looking at it another way—real compliance and regulatory demands can tease out and deliver new, emerging technologies and solutions that did not exist before, or were not applied before to their full capability.

Every year, business and IT consulting firm Gartner releases its Hype Cycle for emerging technologies. This maps technology innovation and offers a reality check on which technologies are likely to make an impact, as well as when significant changes might take place. However, hype doesn't necessarily mean that something isn't real or possible – or most importantly that it won't have a significant impact and provide real value at some point in the future. As these technologies advance, organizations that combine them effectively and keep their eye on the big picture are poised for bigger overall gains.

The CIO should think broader in terms of these new technologies, and not focus too much on a particular burning issue in respect to a technology domain, that in many cases is still evolving. Wherever possible, it is best to identify areas of technology convergence to blend solutions to accelerate outcomes for the business. By leveraging the developing ecosystem provided by technology partners, the CIO can use this to close gaps of capability groupings in an organization and to accelerate growth for the business.

The digital revolution as an example

For example, the digital revolution is playing an increasingly dominant role in how we live, work and relate to others. The boundaries of our work lives and private lives are blurring, and how we view work is changing. Society is transforming, and we want and expect to have everything on demand; accessible anywhere and anytime. Underpinning primary emerging technology drivers for the digital revolution can be seen as acting as enablers: big data, expansive mobility, social media and cloud computing. The convergence of these forces is creating new business and reshaping existing ones that must adapt to customers that want it all, anywhere, and want it now. These enablers are also helping to create rapid innovation through new opportunities for the monetization of data, and it's ever-increasing value – data is now the new oil – for better or for worse.

A bank needs to be present to become relevant, and even more authentic and real in the customers life, even when it may not mean an immediate financial benefit to the bank. Being relevant means helping solve customers' everyday problems, simplifying their lives and complementing and enriching their physical interactions. Customers aren't necessarily seeking financial services at the present moment when they engage with a bank. They are simply looking for someone to deliver content or services that are focused on their specific lifestyle and motivations. By developing authentic customer personas through more data on the customer, the bank becomes more relevant and present to the customer.

This is where leveraging the ecosystem of technology partners that provide this enablement is of paramount importance. The new entrants into this technology space should not be seen as a threat, but more as an opportunity driver for the CIO as a way to spring forward to gain more relevance in their customer's lives. There is a linkage that shows that customer experience is the key to achieving growth. Research shows that the top banks rated highly for customer experience are growing faster. Banking relevance and real presence in the customer's life is relevance for the CIO.

Emerging technology positioning for the CIO

Today's and tomorrow's CIO is best positioned to succeed and help drive their organization to further growth by embracing emerging technologies as an extension of the banks own technology to accelerate business, improve capabilities, and reduce risk. This is the reality of the situation in today’s business climate. Those who can best change their mindset from one of competition to one of coopetition and increased collaboration with continuous relevance and presence for the customer will be able to help shape the hype from expectation to reality.

In my monthly blog, we’ll take a look at some of these technologies, and I will provide my point of view, which is just that – my perspective based on my authentic experiences.

Throughout my career I help my teams and clients determine the reality of technology, and how it may be used and applied to solve real-world business problems, whether they are or have been, but also ideally, that may, can or will exist.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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