I’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple of decades thinking about the organization of the future – every now and then I bump into people or read something that renews my interest in this crystal ball-gazing habit of mine. I’m sensing a real acceleration in the need for, and occurrence of, organizational change. External factors (the GFC, the changing face of the workforce) alongside internal ones (the need to increase the velocity of innovation and demands for more, with less) are causing the “new organization” to be coming closer every day.

I’m super excited then to be heading to Defrag next week – defrag is a conference that explores technology, the organization, society and the intersection of all of those today and into the future. It really is an amazing couple of mind expanding days. AT Defrag I’ll be facilitating a conversation that, in part, germinated from a blog post that event organizer Eric Norlin wrote in which he posited that we’re in the middle of a 20 year cycle of innovation that begun shortly after the end of the dot com boom – the vaguely shifting start of this cycle occurred around the time of the introduction of Amazon Web Services (theme “cloud as an enabler for market disruption) and the launch of Box (theme “collaboration and democratization as enablers for disruption).

If Norlin is right, then we’re roughly half way through a cycle of upheaval and innovation, with the corresponding fact that the second half of the cycle will see widespread disruption of existing players, technologies and current thinking. The question (of course) on every technologists, every investors, every industry executives lips is: what are the innovations that will mark the second half of this cycle. That question (and a potential answer to it) neatly segues into a post by Mark Cox, the CEO of Appsecute (disclosure, I’m an investor), in which he asks whether PaaS is in fact a disruptive technology (spoiler alert, he says it is, I think he’s right).

The session I’ll be facilitating raises the question as to whether Enterprise IT is in a 20 year Cycle of Innovation. I’ll be joined by Laura Merling from AlcatelLucent; Kristen Galliani, from Meshin; and Mike Devery from Silicon Valley Bank – three different people with different drivers and perspectives on where innovation is occurring and what it means for all concerned.

I’m genuinely excited about the session – it’s going to help to develop my thinking on the topic. As part of our preparations for the session, we’d love to hear readers’ thoughts on whether we are, in fact, in the middle of this cycle, and what the next ten years holds, in broad terms, for enterprise IT. The document, a collaboratively created experiment, can be edited here.

And, as an incentive to think about the topic, I have two free passes to Defrag to give away to the best suggestions or comments – have at it!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.


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