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Examining the Advantages and Disadvantages of Cutting-Edge Technologies

Examining the Advantages and Disadvantages of Cutting-Edge Technologies

Modern technologies evolve and grow at breakneck speeds. In just a few short years or months, software applications, computing hardware, and IT practices become obsolete as they’re replaced by newer, better solutions. Compared to staple enterprise technologies like cloud, mobile technologies, or even blockchain, innovations like Web 3.0, industrialised machine learning (ML), immersive reality, and edge computing, are still quite new to the mainstream market.

Naturally, businesses and consumers are eager to adopt new tech as soon as it hits the market. The notion is “newer is always better.” But is that always true? Let’s answer that by weighing the pros and cons of cutting-edge technologies and looking at how custom app development can help you leverage the latest high-tech solutions.

What Is Cutting-Edge Technology?

Cutting-edge or leading-edge technologies are the latest and most advanced technical tools and practices that have yet to fully mature or reach mainstream use.

Given that the tech world never stands still, the tech described as cutting-edge a decade ago could very well be obsolete by now. Here are 8 examples of technologies and most significant tech trends unfolding today:

  • Microservices: This is a software development architecture that structures an application as a collection of loosely coupled, fine-grained, independently deployable services. The approach accelerates the design and delivery of complex software products.
  • Low-code and no-code programming: This is a form of software development that uses visual cues, such as drag-and-drop, instead of written code to create and test digital software solutions.
  • Immersive reality: There’s renewed interest in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies. Today’s extended reality systems are more capable, practical, applicable, and smarter than ever.
  • Blockchain: Not a new development but still relatively new in widespread adoption, blockchain is a decentralized and transparent digital ledger system that securely records and verifies transactions shared among computing nodes. It’s used to design and secure decentralised data systems.
  • Applied AI and ML: Applied AI uses machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision to develop intelligent systems that analyze data, automate tasks, make predictions, and enable data-driven decision-making. AI and ML expand the capabilities of software applications, making them smarter, adaptable, faster, and more efficient.
  • Edge computing: This refers to an emerging computing paradigm that enables data to be processed close to where it’s being generated. Edge devices and networks decentralise computing, making for faster data processing.
  • Web 3.0: The third generation of the World Wide Web is meant to be more decentralised, accessible, and built upon the foundations of blockchain technology.
  • 5G: The fifth generation of wireless mobile networks is already here. 5G has a theoretical peak speed of 20Gbps. It also promises lower latency, higher energy efficiency, wider coverage, and better overall performance than 4G.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cutting-Edge Technologies

The Pros and Cons of Using Cutting-Edge Technologies

New technologies are often fascinating and impressive. And many do deliver on their promise of game-changing capabilities. However, adopting new tech without thoroughly researching its technical and economic feasibility can be a huge gamble.

Here’s a pros and cons list to help you figure out if cutting-edge technology is a good fit for your business:

The Pros

Access to New Digital Capabilities

Cutting-edge technologies introduce exciting new features and capabilities that organisations can leverage to improve their digital prowess.

New technologies can help create unique selling points, upgrade existing products/services, and deliver new high-tech solutions to gain a competitive edge. In today’s digital-first world, an arsenal of powerful state-of-the-art technologies could mean the difference between business success and failure.

Improved Business Efficiency

Leading-edge technologies are designed to provide more fitting, dependable, and faster solutions to new and old problems. To a business, newer tech translates into doing more with less, AKA efficiency.

Robotic process automation (RPA), for example, is a popular approach to improving business efficiency. Automating everyday business processes using AI-powered tools presents multiple following benefits like saving time on mundane repeated tasks, boosting productivity, eliminating human error and improving business agility.

Sharpened Competitive Edge

According to the KPMG 2022 CEO Outlook survey, respondents believe that, more than ever, investment should be tied to growth, and 70% of CEOs say they need to be more agile to shift investment to digital opportunities and divest in those areas where they face digital obsolescence.

Seventy-two per cent of CEOs report that they have an aggressive digital investment strategy focused on staying ahead of the tech race. They understand that early tech adopters gain a huge competitive advantage in business.

Reduced IT Costs

A more efficient digital and work infrastructure ultimately leads to cost savings. You stand to save money on operational costs by giving cutting-edge technology a go. Additionally, tech vendors often offer financial incentives to early adopters. So, you might get a really good deal on cost-saving hardware and software in the first place.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cutting-Edge Technologies

The Cons

High Barrier to Entry

Integrating new technology into your digital ecosystem can seem prohibitively expensive or impractical. But the cost should always be justified by the value that high-tech solutions bring to your business. In other words, keep your eye on the ROI.

To appreciate the business value of new tech, you must first understand its scope, pros and cons, and how it fits into your business and IT ecosystems. By conducting a technical feasibility study, you can justify the ROI of implementing a new digital solution to see if it’d be a good fit for your enterprise.

Limited Support

You might have trouble finding skilled IT experts who can properly implement and run cutting-edge digital solutions. And because the tech is so new, the support community may be too small and scarcely informed.

To guarantee ongoing support for your new solutions, ensure you partner with a reputable tech provider. A strategic IT partner will support every step of your digitisation journey, from feasibility studies and development to integration and full deployment.

Stability, Security, and Compatibility Issues

New off-the-shelf software applications are often riddled with reliability, compatibility, and security issues. But over time, such problems get resolved through patches and updates.

To get around these issues, ensure the new solution is compatible with your existing IT infrastructure and security standards through custom software development. A custom system is designed to meet your specific business needs while delivering high-tech capabilities.

No Guarantee of Futureproofing

The final downside of cutting-edge technology is that you never know whether the tech will catch on and survive the early adoption phase. From Google+ to Vines, the tech graveyard is full of ambitious new ideas that initially seemed promising and revolutionary.

The good news is, opting for custom software development minimises the risk of investing in new ideas that won’t survive long-term. Part of feasibility testing is proof-of-concept development, a preliminary prototyping phase that tests and evaluates new tech concepts before taking them to market or adopting them for business.

The Verdict

Back to our original question — is leveraging cutting-edge technologies a good idea? The simple answer is “yes.” If harnessed properly, high-tech solutions can truly revolutionise your business by equipping it with advanced capabilities, sharpening its competitive edge, and improving its bottom line.

Adopting new technologies begins with a feasibility study to see if they indeed offer a practical solution to an existing problem. From there, develop a proof of concept to test the ideas in a business setting. PoC development evaluates new concepts in a safe environment where real-world market viability and economic outcomes can be analysed.

ELEKS will ensure you check all the right boxes when adopting cutting-edge technologies. Our team of highly skilled IT experts will guide you in conducting a thorough feasibility study, developing a proof of concept, and building and implementing a high-tech digital solution.

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