The purpose of trendspotting is to answer three of the most crucial questions for EA and TI leaders: How can I tell which of today’s technology trends will be disruptive? How do I decide which trend to react to and which to ignore? How do I determine the right moment to respond to a trend for my organization to balance the risk against the potential gain in business value?

Step No. 1: Assess the impact of the trend
Consider the potential impact of a trend across industries and geographies as well as in the context of your industry and organization.

Consider whether new technology capability offers new business opportunities or negatively impacts existing business models; changes how people work or interact with your organization or its products; or disrupts the vendor market by undermining existing vendors or creating new markets.

Step No. 2: Evaluate trend maturity
Your task as a trendspotter is to separate hype from reality
The point at which an organization should consider responding to a trend depends on numerous factors … cost and risk of adoption, the new capabilities the trend offers, and the security and regulation implications of the trend.

Step No. 3: Determine market dynamics
Market dynamics describe the level of investment by venture capital firms, established vendors and early adopters. It also considers the level of market interest and hype, as well as the degree to which the trend, its impact and future evolution are understood and factored into the strategic and tactical plans of mainstream organizations.

Organizations with a high-risk approach might want to invest in emerging trends. …
A situation where the market is full of hype and vendor promotion and has a high volume of startup funding and investment — with little understanding of the trend or its application in business — is a red flag for adoption.”

Step No. 4: Make a choice
What do these trends mean for my organization? How should my organization respond to these trends, if at all, and in what time frame?

The answers come down to what your organization is trying to achieve in terms of its business model and strategy. …Depending on the organization, EA and TI leaders can choose to either ignore a trend, put it on a list for further monitoring, or continue assessing the capabilities of the trend and react to it.