7 'crackpot' technologies that might transform IT

Next-horizon technologies have piqued some IT leaders’ interest in terms of the business value they may ultimately drive. Others remain skeptical of the high-risk payoff.

7 'crackpot' technologies that might transform IT
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Innovation is the cornerstone of technology. In IT, if you’re not experimenting with a steady stream of emerging technologies, you risk disruption. Moreover, you can find yourself challenged when it comes to luring top talent and keeping ahead of competitors.

But knowing which bets to place when it comes to adopting emerging technologies can seem impossible. After all, most fizz out, and even those that do prove worthwhile often fall a little short of their hyped potential. Plus, most of what has most recently been considered cutting-edge today, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, is already finding its way into production systems. You have to look far ahead sometimes to anticipate the next wave coming. And the farther out you look, the more risky the bets become.

Still, sometimes a great leap forward is worth considering. In that light, here are seven next-horizon ideas that might prove to be crackpot — or a savvy play for business value emerging along the fringe. It all depends on your perspective. William Gibson used to say that the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet. These ideas may be too insane for your team to try or they may be just the right thing for moving forward.

Quantum computers

Of all the out-there technologies, nothing gets more press than quantum computers — and nothing is spookier. The work is done by a mixture of physicists and computer scientists fiddling with strange devices at super-cold temperatures. If it requires liquid nitrogen and lab coats, well, it’s got to be innovation.

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