“Eight business technology trends to watch”, from the McKinsey Quarterly

James M. Manyika, Roger P. Roberts, and Kara L. Sprague have a good short article in the most recent McKinsey Quarterly (free registration required*). The categories include managing relationships (for example, “extracting more value out of interactions” and “using consumers as innovators”, managing capital and assets, and leveraging information in new ways. Clearly written, and solid references. I worked a lot with Kara (and a little bit with Roger) on some of the early Ad Astra projects a year or two ago and so for me it’s doubly nice to see these broader perspectives.

The dividing lines between some of these aren’t quite clear: does the discussion of TopCoder belong under “distributed cocreation”, “tapping worldwide talent”, or a generalization of “using consumers as innovators”? And applying similar ideas within a corporation starts to relate to the discussions of innovation under “using more science as innovation”. Similarly Hippel’s Democratizing Innovation and Florida’s Creative Class work span multiple trends. A different way of looking at it though is that artificiality of the distinctions highlights both the linkages between the trends they identify, and the importance of viewing them holistically: the combination of the trends opens up even more interesting possibilities.

* Update, 1/15/2008: for those who don’t want to register and expose yourself to Mckinseyesque spam [no, I don’t want a premium subscription, thank you very much] Pierre De Vries excerpts the categories and references on Deep Freeze 9.