Distinguishing the Next Big Thing from the Next Big Sell

A recent article in the MIT Sloan Management Review provides practical guidelines to help IT buyers make better decisions about which new innovations to adopt.  The article points out the risks of being persuaded to invest in new technology by the hype that surrounds it, only to be disappointed by the lack of business value it provides. They advise IT buyers to assess where and how quickly the technology is being adopted, the pace and success of implementations, and value achieved by other companies that have implemented it.

Isurus’ clients are on the other side of the table and charged with forecasting adoption of their offering.  Before investing in developing and taking an offering to market, they need to substantiate that the opportunity is large enough to justify the investment.  Developing an accurate forecast also requires cutting through the hype: IT buyers can overstate their likelihood to adopt when their excitement about the innovation obscures their ability to focus on its business value.  As a result, our research to forecast market adoption measures the extent to which businesses experience “pain” relevant to the new offering and this measurement is done independently of getting their reaction to the new offering.  Businesses typically don’t invest in offerings that don’t solve a challenge, even if the offering itself is exciting, innovative, etc.