Scanning the horizon to anticipate what our future will look like

What will our workplace be like five years from now?

Today’s digital world is changing more rapidly than ever. New ideas and technologies are now being created and released so quickly that patents and copyrighting can no longer keep up. A new pattern is emerging of the organic enterprise – a collaborative approach to innovation where open relationships and co-operation is the key to competitive advantage.

Navigating through this constantly changing landscape has never been more difficult, and with new, potentially game-changing technologies appearing on a near daily basis it’s vital to be able to focus on what is important, to concentrate our efforts on these areas to work towards a successful future.

Sopra Steria's Aurora horizon scanning team add that all important layer of focus to technical innovation. Through identifying the key topics which are going to shape our world in the next three to five years, we can nurture the innovative thinking and help seed new ideas which will remain relevant in this future.

In 2016, we approached our research from two angles: vertically, we looked at the world around us from the perspective of the individual, the business and the world as a whole while horizontally, we explored the technologies transforming our lives.

Through taking this approach we are able to explore not only the six topics, but also the intersections between them giving us 15 lines of enquiry for 2017:

Horizon scanning topics for 2017. See text description below

(See a text version of this diagram)

Do you know how far you are along the the digital journey?

This digital journey is both technological and ideological and at Sopra Steria we are exploring the ramifications for our clients at a cultural level as well as from an IT perspective. Our London-based DigiLab is a great place from which to scan your own digital horizon and where we can assess how far along the digital road your organisation has travelled to date and what more you need to do to prepare for the challenges and opportunities on your digital horizon.


Aurora's horizon scanning topics for 2017:

Vertical view

  1. The digital human: interacting with services and each other through ubiquitous devices and data-driven experiences
  2. The organic enterprise: flexible, distributed, collaborative and networked organisations
  3. A smarter world: a crowded, ageing, more connected and fluid world

Horizontal view

  1. Intelligent insight and automation: the increase in the application of prescriptive analytics and automation to augment or displace human activity
  2. Ubiquitous interaction: the growth of sensing and interface technologies that make interactions between humans and computers more fluid, intuitive and pervasive
  3. Distributed disruption: the growth of decentralised processes enabled by the adoption of technologies which assure and automate security and trust


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