Chapter 3. Career Options - Great Ways to Be a Foresight Leader

7. Information Technology 


The Information Technology department manages the firm’s internal and external hardware and software, and its supplier relationships. It has no primary foresight responsibility in a typical firm, but it does have a need to look ahead, like every department. It has responsibility for the following foresight subspecialty:

1. IT Management (a Management & Leadership subspecialty).

All IT leaders must be aware of, and manage predictable exponential improvements in price-performance in computing, and take advantage of network effects from growing connectivity, IT hardware, software and services are impacting management in every function of the firm. Ideally, this department works closely with Metrics & Planning to do technical intelligence on the best acquisition strategies, and it also can greatly improve knowledge management by creating powerful and user-friendly digital environments.

Changes are constantly occurring in metrics, decision support, ERP, product management, design, procurement, sales, marketing, CRM, HR, knowledge management, learning and development, and ideation, to name a few business tasks impacted by IT. The CTO, CIO, and CSO (chief security officer) are strategic leaders in most companies today, which means they are more in top management than in the IT department itself.

In most firms, IT is a major component of product and service delivery, and for many digital, large, or global firms it can be the key component of product and service management. Since the rise of the Web and embedded and mobile computing, IT is increasingly a key tool of Top Management (think Databases, Business Intelligence, ERP, SCM, etc.) and of Marketing (CRM, etc.) in many firms.

Given what we’ve seen with information technology’s performance curves (Moore’s law, etc.) over the last sixty years, the IT department’s impact will continue to become exponentially more powerful every year, unlike just about any other department in this list. IT experiences constant waves of change, each of which introduces new efficiencies and/or capabilities. IT innovations are usually overhyped and oversold at first, but some are eventually widely adopted and required by the firm in order to compete effectively. Today, cloud computing is rapidly displacing company hosted and downloadable software, which in turn displaced packaged software, and a wealth of new cloud apps offer substantial gains in ease of use, scale, or efficiency for the firm.

Smartphones are also seeing rapid (25%) annual global growth. Just one-quarter of the world’s population (1.76 billion) used smartphones by the end of 2014, and wearable smartphones are just now emerging, so we can expect continued rapid growth in mobile products and services, and service to the bottom three billion as companies like Xiaomi drive costs to new lows.

In the US, difficulties getting sufficient H-1B visas for immigrant IT talent is leading IT-immigration friendly neighboring countries (Canada, Mexico) to court US companies to do “nearshoring” of their IT work, an interesting new opportunity for CTOs and CIOs contemplating establishing offshore divisions, but wishing to avoid time zone and culture conflicts and save on travel costs for local managers.

IT is also enabling increasingly powerful knowledge management, collaboration and prediction platforms, including corporate wikis, CMS’s and social networks. Predictive analytics, data mining to find hidden predictive relationships, is now being applied in many marketing, strategy, security, human resources, education, health care, and other business domains. Eric Siegel’s Predictive Analytics (2013) offers a great survey of this latest example of IT-driven foresight in the firm.

Modern IT can thus strongly aid all twenty foresight specialties in the firm. As we look ahead twenty years, to a future of increasingly powerful machine learning and AI-human hybrid systems, IT could be a great place for any foresight professional looking to have a broad and ever-growing set of career options and responsibilities across all the foresight functions discussed in this Guide.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 2. Personal Foresight – Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 2: Personal Foresight

Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 4. Models – Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 4: Models

Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 7. Acceleration – Guiding Our Extraordinary Future

Chapter 7: Acceleration

Guiding Our Extraordinary Future (In Process)

II. Global Progress: 5 Goals, 10 Values, Many Trends

Innovation: Our Abundant Future
Intelligence: Our Augmented Future
Interdependence: Our Civil Future
Immunity: Our Protected Future
Sustainability: Our Rebalanced Future

III. Universal Accelerating Change

Great Race to Inner Space: Our Surprising Future
Entropy&Information: We’re Running Down & Up
The Puzzle of Meaning: We Have No Einstein Yet
Trees, Funnels & Landscapes: Intro to Evo Devo
Big Picture Change: Five Scales of Accelerating ED
Transcension Hypothesis: Where Acceleratn Ends?
IDABDAK: Social Response to Accel & Developmnt
We’re On a Runaway Train: Being Accelaware

IV. Evo Devo and Exponential Foresight

Seeing It All: Accel., Diverg, Adapt, Convrg, Decel.
Natural (I4S) Innovation: The Evolutionary Drive
Natural (I4S) Intelligence: The Human-AI Partnership
Natural (I4S) Morality: Why Empathy and Ethics Rule
Natural (I4S) Security: Strength from Disruption
Natural (I4S) Sustainability: The Developmental Drive
S-Curves: Managing the Four Constituencies
Pain to Gain: Traversing the Three Kuznets Phases
Hype to Reality: Beyond Hype Cycles to Reality Checks
Exponentials Database: Measuring Accelerations
TINA Trends: Societal Evolutionary Development
Managing Change: STEEPCOP Events, Probs, Ideas
A Great Shift: A Survival to a Sentient Economy

V. Evo Devo and Exponential Activism

Building Protopias: Five Goals of Social Progress
Normative Foresight: Ten Values of Society
Top & STEEPCOP Acceleratns: Positive & Negative
Dystopias, Risks, and Failure States
Three Levels of Activism: People, Tech & Universe
A Great Opportunity: Exponential Empowerment


Chapter 8. Your Digital Self – The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

Chapter 8: Your Digital Self

The Human Face of the Coming Singularity (In Process)

I. Your Personal AI (PAI): Your Digital Self

Digital Society: Data, Mediation, and Agents
Personal AIs: Advancing the Five Goals
PAI Innovation: Abundance and Diversity
PAI Intelligence: Bio-Inspired AI
PAI Morality: Selection and Groupnets
PAI Security: Safe Learning Agents
PAI Sustainability: Science and Balance
The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

II. PAI Protopias & Dystopias in 8 Domains

1. Personal Agents: News, Ent., Education
2. Social Agents: Relat. and Social Justice
3. Political Agents :  Activism & Represent.
4. Economic Agents:  Retail, Finance, Entrep
5. Builder Agents :  Work, Innov. & Science
6. Environ. Agents : Pop. and Sustainability
7. Health Agents :  Health, Wellness, Death
8. Security Agents :  Def., Crime, Corrections

III. PAI Activism & Exponential Empowerment

Next Government: PAIs, Groupnets, Democ.
Next Economy: Creat. Destr. & Basic Income
Next Society: PAI Ent., Mortality & Uploading
What Will Your PAI Contribution Be?

Chapter 10. Startup Ideas – Great Product & Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs

Chapter 10: Startup Ideas

Great Product and Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs (In Process)

I. 4U’s Idea Hub: Building Better Futures

Air Deliveries and Air Taxis: Finally Solving Urban Gridlock
Ballistic Shields and Gun Control: Protecting Us All from Lone Shooters
Bioinspiration Wiki: Biomimetics and Bio-Inspired Design
Brain Preservation Services: Memory and Mortality Redefined
Carcams: Document Thieves, Bad Driving, and Bad Behavior
Competition in Govt Services: Less Corruption, More Innovation
Computer Adaptive Education (CAE): Better Learning and Training
Conversational Deep Learning Devsuites: Millions of AI Coders
Digital Tables: Telepresence, Games, Entertainment & Education
Dynaships: Sustainable Low-Speed Cargo Shipping
Electromagnetic Suspension: Nausea-Free Working & Reading in Cars
Epigenetic Health Tests: Cellular Aging, Bad Diet, Body Abuse Feedback
Fireline Explosives and Ember Drones: Next-Gen Fire Control
Global English: Empowering the Next Generation of Global Youth
Greenbots: Drone Seeders and Robotic Waterers for Mass Regreening
High-Density Housing and Zoning: Making Our Cities Affordable Again
Highway Enclosures and Trail Networks: Green and Quiet Urban Space
Inflatable Packaging: Faster and Greener Shipping and Returns
Internet of Families: Connecting People Over Things
Kidcams: Next-Gen Security for Child Safety and Empowerment
Kidpods: Indoor & Outdoor Parent-Assistive Toyboxes
Microdesalination: Democratizing Sustainable Fresh Water Production
Noise Monitors: Documenting and Reducing Noise Pollution
Oceanside Baths: Sustainable Year Round Beach Enjoyment
Open Blood Scanners: DIY Citizen Health Care Sensor Tech
Open Streaming Radio: User-Centered Audio Creation and Rating
Open Streaming Video: User-Centered Video Creation and Rating
Open Values Filters: Social Rankers, Arg. Mappers, and Consensus Finders
Personal AIs: Your Private Advisor, Activist, and Interface to the World
Pet Empowerment: Next-Gen Rights and Abilities for Our Domestic Animals
Safe Closets: Fire-, Earthquake-, and Intruder-Proof Retreat Spaces
Safe Cars: Reducing Our Insane 1.3M Annual Auto Deaths Today
Safe Motorcycles: Lane Splitting in Gridlock Without Risk of Death
Shared Value Insurance: User-Centered Risk Reduction Services
Sleeperbuses and Microhotels: Demonetized Intercity Travel
Space-Based Solar Power: Stratellite Powering and Weather Management
Stratellites: Next-Gen Urban Broadband, Transparency, and Security
Touch DNA: Next-Gen Home Security and Crime Deterrence
View Towers: Improving Urban Walkability, Inspiration, and Community

Chapter 11. Evo Devo Foresight – Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Chapter 11: Evo Devo Foresight

Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Appendix 1. Peer Advice – Building a Successful Foresight Practice