Trends are trending

December 16, 2015
Aaron Polmeer

By Thornton May

Having assessed the landscape in my role as a futurist, I have concluded that trends are trending.

But not all trends are created equal. “This is a trend you should know about” is different from “Our competitor has stolen two key customers on the basis of its application of prescriptive analytics,” which in turn is different from “This trend requires action in the next two weeks.” In the second case, urgency has been added, and in the third, the urgency is buttressed by a time component. For leaders in IT and other areas of the enterprise, trends with some urgency are the ones likely to get our attention.

But not all trends that get our attention pan out. Timing matters. It’s possible to identify a trend long before it develops into something you need to pay attention to. It’s been reported that in 1931, inventor Thomas Edison weighed in on energy trends, commenting, “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. … I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out, before we tackle that.”

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