Exploit Disruptive Infrastructure Technology

New technology will disrupt IT infrastructure, putting your role and your company at risk. Develop a simple exploitation process that prepares for emerging technology before it’s too late.


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Your Challenge

  • New technology can hit like a meteor. It doesn’t only disrupt IT; new technology provides opportunities for organization-wide advantage.
  • Your role is endangered. If you don’t prepare for the most disruptive technologies, you could be overshadowed. Don’t let staff outside of IT rule technological innovation.
  • Predicting the future isn’t easy. Most IT leaders fail to realize how quickly technology increases in capability. Even for the tech-savvy, predicting which specific technologies will become disruptive is difficult.
  • Communication is difficult when the sky is falling. Even forward-looking IT leaders struggle with convincing others to devote time and resources to monitoring technologies with a formal process.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  1. Proactively monitoring, evaluating, and exploiting disruptive tech isn’t optional. It protects your role, IT’s role, and the future of the organization.
  2. Disruptions will hit faster and harder than you think. Intuition and guesswork aren’t enough.
  3. The best technology won’t always win. Don’t focus on the hype; focus on how tech will disrupt your organization.

Impact and Result

  • Use the annual process described in this blueprint with a formal evaluation of new technology that turns analysis into action.
  • Lead the analysis from IT. Establish a team to carry out the annual process as a cure for "airline magazine syndrome."
  • Train your team on the patterns of progress, track technology over time in a central database, and read Info-Tech’s analysis of 2016’s top disruptive technologies.
  • Track metrics that communicate your progress, and summarize the results in a single, easy-to-read exploitation plan.


  • Andrew Kope, Head of Data Analytics, Big Blue Bubble
  • Courtney Smith, Executive Creative Director, PureMatter
  • Erik Bjerklund, Manager of Technical Services, Corix
  • Michael Maguire, Management Consultant
  • Vern Brownell, CEO, D-Wave
  • Brenda Cooper, CIO of City of Kirkland, Futurist, and Science Fiction Novelist
  • Dave Evans, Co-founder/CTO, Stringify and Former Chief Futurist for Cisco
  • David Ferrucci, Former Principal Investigator for IBM’s Watson Project
  • Hanan Lutfiyya, Chair of Computer Science Department, Western University
  • Five additional anonymous contributors

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See how all the steps you need to take come together, with tools and advice to help with each task on your list.

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Get to Action

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should exploit disruptive technologies, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the ways we can support you in completing this project. Then, review Info-Tech’s 2016 Analysis of Disruptive Infrastructure Technology.

  1. Create a working group

    Establish the disruptive technology analysis process and hold an initial meeting.

  2. Evaluate disruptive technologies

    Create a finalized longlist, shortlist, and perform an initial assessment.

  3. Exploit disruptive technologies

    Develop a disruptive technology action plan based on your analysis from phase 2.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a ten call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Create a working group

  • Call #1: Explore the need for a disruptive technology working group

  • Call #2: Review the team name, participants, and timeline

  • Call #3: Review the agenda for the initial meeting

  • Call #4: Assess the results of the initial meeting

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Evaluate disruptive technologies

  • Call #1: Review how you’re brainstorming and sources of information

  • Call #2: Review the final longlist and begin narrowing it down

  • Call #3: Review the final shortlist and assessment

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Exploit disruptive technologies

  • Call #1: Review the next steps

  • Call #2: Review the progress of your team

  • Call #3: Review the communication plan

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Initiate the Disruptive Technology Process

The Purpose

  • Hold your first disruptive technology working group meeting.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Our analysts will run the meeting for you, taking your visionaries and core working group members through the futurist training deck.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Start the meeting with introductions
1.2 Train the group to think like Futurists
1.3 Brainstorm about disruptable processes
  • Longlist of disruptable processes
1.4 Brainstorm a longlist
  • Initial longlist of disruptive technologies
1.5 Research and brainstorm separate longlists

Module 2: Evaluate Disruptive Technologies

The Purpose

  • Cut through the hype to create a longlist and shortlist suitable for your organization’s context.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Leverage our expertise while creating your disruptive technology shortlist.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Converge the longlists developed by your team
  • Finalized longlist
2.2 Map the technologies on your longlist to disruptable processes
2.3 Narrow the longlist to a shortlist
  • Shortlist
2.4 Perform a SWOT analysis
2.5 Assess readiness and value
  • Completed initial assessment and tech categorizations

Module 3: Create an Action Plan

The Purpose

  • Determine next steps for the working group to take after the workshop.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Receive our advice on how best to act on each technology in your shortlist.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Create a list of actions for each technology
  • List of tasks to be completed
3.2 Collaborate and assign tasks to group members
  • Initialized Gantt and RACI charts
3.3 Set realistic goals
  • Project success criteria

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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