Use these simple strategies to stay abreast of trends and be ready for the future.
1. Find people who are passionate about tech
Look around in your organisation, peer group, or social circle for that person for whom technology is more than just a career—it’s a passion. Technophiles are always on top of the latest trends, developments, product launches, etc and are more than happy to share that information given half the chance. You’re bound to learn something new and also gain an interesting perspective about it. Industry networking events are also a great way to get introduced to technophiles and their passion for the subject is bound to rub off on you too.
2. Watch those setting trends in the consumer space
A lot of innovations first occur in the consumer space and then migrate to enterprise. CIOs can no longer afford to ignore consumer technologies. Keep an eye out for those attempting to push the envelope. Track the activities of startup founders, VCs, incubator directors, startup platforms, etc to learn about new technologies being used and products developed. This is one way to keep you finger on the pulse of the tech community.
3. Monitor news feeds and social media
The world is now one big global village and social media is a great way to connect with and have conversations with experts and peers in different industries, countries and cities. Find out what they’re subscribing to, who they’re following, etc to get leads on other interesting pages, groups, and new sources. Use all this information to create a curated list of RSS streams, news sources, Twitter accounts, and Facebook pages and accounts that provide information on new tech trends, implementations, challenges, etc and help you stay ahead of the curve.
4. Read from a mix of media sources
Thanks to the Internet there are a whole host of new media sources available and it’s tempting to read everything online. They’re a great way to stay current as well as learn about the political climate anywhere in the world. But you need to supplement this reading with some from traditional news sources as well to gain that much-needed balanced perspective. Also, don’t stick to just your industry publications and sites. It’s never a good idea to limit your learning. Diversify your reading to include other industries as well, so as to learn about new approaches, perspectives, and technologies (they could eventually make their way to yours as well).
5. Pay attention to science fiction and futurists
Read up on futurists who speculate about possible uses of technology and push the boundaries of what is possible. And often future trends seem more in line with science fiction! Remember driverless cars, mobile phones, and tablets were all once part of science fiction before we used science to make them a reality. So pay attention to the future as much as the present.
Photograph: Kaboompics – Freepik.com