Chris is a principal and Chief Technologist for the US firm’s Advisory practice, where he is responsible for technology strategy, enterprise architecture and innovation, and the development of thought leadership reflective of PwC’s point of view on trends and innovations in technology. He works directly with senior executives on their most complex and strategic technology issues, helping to explore the opportunities presented by emerging technologies, define the IT function and organization, deploy IT governance and management practices, and develop business and technical architectures. Among his accomplishments, Chris has global experience helping CIOs be more innovative, and has helped design and lead the implementation of high-value technology initiatives for his clients, most recently in the property and casualty insurance, health insurance and consumer products industries. Chris is a leading technology blogger, and also leads the development and analysis of PwC’s annual Digital IQ Survey, which measures how well companies understand and capitalize on the value of technology and leverage it to meet their business and customer needs.
How to use accelerators and incubators as a tech scouting tool
Engage in the VC ecosystem to stay on top of emerging tech.
Are you keeping up with your tech-savvy customers?
Vala Afshar of Salesforce on the new rules for delighting—and keeping—your customers in the digital age.
The role materials play in powering the 3-D printing revolution
As resolutions improve, material choices expand, and methods to control their properties evolve, 3-D printing will find uses beyond rapid prototyping.
Sportifying STEM through robotics to stimulate learning
What can businesses learn from programs that use robotics and gamification to spark kids’ interest in math and science?
3 approaches to emerging technology experimentation
The key to effectively experimenting with emerging technology is to link innovations to specific business goals.
Not quite ready for the (fourth industrial) revolution
With few businesses prepared for Industry 4.0, it’s time to hone your strategy for emerging technology.
Garage university for emerging technologists: Quadcopters
What inspired makers tinkering in their garages can teach businesses about effectively experimenting with technology.
The power of picking the right prototype
How to overcome some common challenges of using prototypes to test out product ideas.
Field service workers could fix wearables’ PR problem
Why wearables are tailor-made for field service workers, who could become the technology’s biggest advocates.
6 technology innovation sources for outside-in learning
How to stoke the flames of innovation in your company by bringing the outside in.
Businesses Banking on Breakthrough Innovation
Post co-authored by Rob Shelton, Global Innovation Strategy Lead. Last year if you asked a CEO what he or she is doing to achieve growth, the answer would have been investing in China. This year the answer is innovation. Business executives are banking on bold innovation to meet aggressive growth targets, so they are taking innovation more seriously than ever before. In the spirit of Peter Drucker who said, “innovation is work,” business executives are focusing less on informal processes that produce incremental improvements to internal operations and more on formal innovation approaches that generate “breakthrough” and “radical” innovation. In our latest innovation study, 69% of 1,757 senior executives contend having a well-defined innovation process is important to establishing a culture of innovation. This rigor is necessary to improve the chances of innovation success. To make headline-worthy innovations happen, a significant percentage of companies are looking to new innovation models such as open innovation (collaboration with outside partners), design thinking (looking at the need from an anthropologist’s perspective), corporate venturing (investing in startups), and incubators (small groups of intrapreneurs that use rapid prototyping). Corporate venturing is the most popular approach among technology companies. To meet tenacious growth targets, established technology companies …
The Discipline of Digital Disruption
Nowadays, virtually every time I turn around my wife is watching some home improvement show on TV. I must confess that I get glued to the house remodels. After watching quite a few of them, I’ve begun to notice a pattern. Invariably, demolitions unearth unexpected issues that cost extra time and money. Knob and tube wiring, ancient leaks, and termites, oh my. It reminds me of the problems enterprises face as they start swinging the hammer of disruption when pursuing emerging technology. If you think about it, houses are a lot like enterprises. If you want to tear down a wall to make an enhancement, you better carefully examine the blueprints and devise a plan that ensures success, minimizes costs and reduces risk. The last thing you want to do is rock the stability of your structure by removing a load-bearing wall. Or, in the case of an enterprise, abandon a critical legacy system or disable a critical business process. Yet, senior executives are barreling into emerging technology implementations without consulting business designers with a bird’s eye view of the organization’s operations. They just know in their gut that a particular technology is going to give them an edge and …
4 Customer Experience Disrupters
I firmly believe that the more opportunities you have to reinforce your brand promise with customers, the better your balance sheet. So, I see the proliferation of customer touch points as a positive development for businesses. Organizations that are committed to cultivating a customer-centered culture can gain a significant edge over the competition. Recent research proves my point. According to the Watermark Consulting 2013 Customer Experience ROI study, customer experience leaders outperform laggards by 43% when indexed against the S&P. That’s a massive difference and a major opportunity to leverage the art and science of customer experience to distinguish your company from the competition. Innovation will always be important, but customer experience is clearly the number one factor in determining your market valuation and validity as a business partner in today’s digital marketplace. It’s never been more important to empower employees across the board with the information and inspiration they need to live the brand promise in every customer interaction. Making that happen will require more than expanded and enhanced resources. You must build an integrated organization that is infinitely capable of delighting customers consistently across multiple channels. New strategies, culture change and different corporate governance processes are necessary to …
Are you Chasing Technology or Leading the Pack?
Emerging Technology is a beautiful thing. We can achieve more than we ever dreamed possible with today’s array of options and information. Whoever thought an organization could partner with the general public to tap Big Data to unearth Genghis Khan’s tomb, for example? But with massive benefits come daunting drawbacks. The amount of choices is staggering and keeping pace with technology-empowered consumers is perpetually demanding. Like a pulsating drum, consumers, employees and partners are driving enterprise innovation from the outside in. As a result, executives can end up feeling like they don’t know which way is up. Maybe your business is moving so fast and furiously that you start to ask: are we using technology or is technology using us? On the flipside, are we a deer in the headlights facing disruption from a fierce competitor? Overall, are we acting proactively or reactively and effectively balancing dreaming big with playing it safe? Most executives have a general idea in their minds if emerging technology investments are aligned with strategic business goals. But, a loose mental sketch is not enough. You need to take a robust look at the latest technology through a business filter as well as imagine all the …