IPMA International Project Management Association
8 February 2019 / 9:00

Tech Trends 2019. Beyond the digital frontier

With its 10th Anniversary Edition of Tech Trends 2019, Deloitte provides insights about what is already available, what´s coming next and what in future. “Over the last 10 years, cloud analytics, and technologies empowering digital experiences have steadily disrupted IT operations, business models and markets. Though these now-familiar forces may no longer qualify as »trends«, their impacts cannot be overstated, and their storylines continue to evolve. Recently three new technologies – blockchain, cognitive, and digital reality (AR, VR, IoT, and others) have taken up the »disruptor« mantle. Today, each is poised to become a distinct macro force in its own right. Meanwhile, three foundational forces make it possible for organizations to harness innovation while maintaining operational integrity: modernizing legacy core systems, transforming the business of technology, and evolving cyber risk strategies beyond security and privacy. These nine formative forces are the backbone of technology innovation past and present. Their individual futures are advancing at a rapid pace, while the controlled collision between them compounds their overall impact to drive purposeful, transformational change…”

What´s the impact of new technologies on project management? Actually, it is manifold. New technologies are being used as product of the project and for its creation. Automated Driving Systems are developed through utilization of new technologies. The product and / or project managers need to take this into account and fulfil a minimum of know-how in these technologies for organizing the realization processes. New technologies are fuelling the creative processes, yet require self-organisation, co-creation and agile leadership. Adaptive project management is the answer, choosing the right approach for a specific product or process to be performed in a given context. One size does not fit all circumstances, project managers need to be virtuoso. Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence will change the way projects are managed. Repetitive tasks of project management, such as generating reports, developing schedules or analysing the real progress of a project can be automated, supported by data analytics or Artificial Intelligence. However, key tasks of project managers, such as facilitating collaboration, dealing with ambiguous situations and building trust towards important stakeholders will remain with human beings as machines are not able to perform those.

But what´s next? What do we need to expect beyond the digital frontier? Deloitte summarizes it as follows: “Digital transformation has become a rallying cry for business and technology strategists. To those charged with mapping the future, it promises a triumphant response to the pressures and potential of disruptive change. Yet all too often, companies anchor their approach on a specific technology advance. To fuel impactful digital transformation, leading organizations combine technology with other catalysts of new opportunities – from emerging ecosystems to human-centered design of work. Why? Because the technology trends that aspire digital transformation efforts don´t take place in a vacuum. They cross-pollinate with unexpected outcomes. Developing a systematic approach for identifying and harnessing opportunities born of the intersections of technology, science, and business is an essential first step in demystifying digital transformation, and making it concrete, achievable, and measurable. It is time to move beyond the frontier of random acts of digital.”

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Reinhard Wagner

Author of this post

Reinhard Wagner has been active for more than 30 years in the field of project- related leadership, in such diverse sectors as Air Defense, Automotive Engineering, and Machinery, as well as various not-for-profit organizations. As a Certified Projects Director (IPMA Level A), he has proven experience in managing projects, programmes and project portfolios in complex and dynamic contexts. He is also an IPMA Certified Programme and Portfolio Management Consultant, and as such supports senior executives in developing and improving their organizational competence in managing projects. For more than 15 years, he has been actively involved in the development of project, programme and portfolio management standards, for example as Convenor of the ISO 21500 “Guidance on Project Management” and the ISO 21503 “Guidance on Programme Management”. Reinhard Wagner is Past President of IPMA and Chairman of the Council, Honorary Chairman of GPM (the German Project Management Association), as well as Managing Director of Tiba Managementberatung GmbH.