Lexicon Systems, LLC Blog

lex'•i•con: the vocabulary of a branch of knowledge. Thoughts on environment, health & safety (EHS), sustainability and information technology to support them.


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Internet of Things and other innovations help electric utilities to survive

Image courtesy of 2nix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of 2nix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Most Americans take reliable electricity for granted. Electric utilities can no longer count on customers to use more and more power, as conservation efforts and alternative energy sources gain popularity.

To survive, utility companies must focus on efficiency and cost control. The Internet of Things and other innovative technologies will help them to improve and survive despite slow market growth.

Deloitte University Press just published an insightful report,  The power is on: how IoT technology is driving energy innovation.

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Business + technology + innovation = opportunity

woman surfingTechnology is a great business catalyst. My high school friend’s three kids—a surfer, a fashion designer, and a digital designer—raised $20K through a Kickstarter campaign to take their business to the next level. They sell surfing bikinis to urban women in San Francisco. Their claim to fame is that the bikinis stay put! See Kinda Fancy Bikinis.

Get your shift togetherA management consultant friend of mine writes writes books on intergenerational workforce issues. She self-publishes books and sells them on Amazon.com, alongside the books by thousands of other authors. Self-publishing shortens the time from concept to market by months or years. See Get Your Shift Together.

A silver and gold jewelry designer uses 3D printers to fill customer orders on demand, saving thousands of dollars that otherwise might have been tied up in inventory and precious metals stock. This designer has loads of artistic talent and communicates well with the engineers who translate her concepts into jewelry.

Business + Technology + Innovation = Opportunity

Each of these businesses cases is an example of disruptive technology. An entrepreneur takes a business idea, adds technology and innovation to create new markets, smashing traditional barriers to entry. Definitely not your mother’s or father’s business model!


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Confronting disruptive innovation article available

Confronting Disruptive InnovationIT departments today must deal with several emerging technologies at once–social networking, mobile/BYOD, cloud and big data/predictive analytics. All of these are disruptive innovations, aka disruptive technologies.

Many organizations encourage disruptive innovation. Take Google for instance. Can you imagine life without Google search, mail, maps, Chrome, earth and other tools? These innovations first appealed to “fringe” markets of “techies” and later moved to the mainstream. simply did not exist just a few years ago, and they have changed the way we live and work.

Other organizations encourage the opposite–sustainable technology that improves the performance of existing products meant for the mainstream. Take Microsoft Office for example. Yes, the interface has changed dramatically over the years and we see new features, but this is a mainstream product with a purpose that changes little.

Read Confronting disruptive innovation to learn more.