The Technological Evolution: From Luxury To Necessity

Hannah White

What is one thing you could not live without?

Thousands of years ago, the response you would likely get from an average person would consist of items necessary for biological survival such as food or water. Ask that same question today, and you will likely hear responses consisting of the smartphone, computer, car, or some other form of technology. This means that at some point in time, a significant shift has taken place, continuously blurring the divide between what we “want” and what we “need.”

Luxuries of the past, necessities of today

“In our personal lives, we’re becoming used to having our questions answered before we even ask them, and having our needs and wants addressed by recommendations that we don’t even ask for.”
– Kevin Poskitt (SAP Predictive Analytics, Outbound Product Management), in his blog post “What is the Intelligent Enterprise and why does it matter?

Humans crave convenience and efficiency. Basic function throughout and within nearly every aspect of daily life becomes more and more dependent on technology. We live in a culture that thrives on the idea that we can increasingly make things easier for ourselves by creating the right tools and processes.

In a blog post, Kevin Poskitt of SAP argues, “In our personal lives, we’re becoming used to having our questions answered before we even ask them and having our needs and wants addressed by recommendations that we don’t even ask for.” Kevin’s statement is a direct nod to the extent to which luxuries, brought to us in the form of technology, have become so deeply embedded in our daily lives. Our culture’s extensive dependency hinges on the notion that technology is so important because it adds the value of convenience – saving us time and energy.

  • We see this in our homes: Why sweep the floor and empty the dustpan when a vacuum cleaner can collect and dispose of the mess for you?
  • We see this in our schools: Why run to the library to scan hundreds of pages for an answer when you can get one in a matter of seconds by typing a few words into Google?
  • And most recently, we see this in our workplace: Why spend time and energy completing tedious tasks when machine learning and artificial intelligence automation can complete them for you while allowing you to focus on the meaningful work?

Natural selection in the 21st century

“You can never turn the talk back. Humankind is always striving to do more, to be able to generate more.”
– Richard Mooney (SAP Predictive Analytics, Lead Product Manager), on Game Changing Predictive ML Radio Series – Episode 1

While technology is not critical to biological survival, it may indeed be needed for us to survive culturally and socially: Without using the same convenient technology as everyone around you, one is bound to be at a disadvantage (no matter what area of life). The acceptance of this new conceptualization we have of technology as a necessity is almost comparable to notions of natural selection – you can either adapt or die.

This concept of is one that must be brought to the attention of the business world specifically, as we see technologies such as the cloud, AI, and predictive analytics pushing companies to a whole different playing field. We are moving toward a highly automated world – regression is not an option – which Richard Mooney of SAP intelligently encapsulated on-air in the first episode of a Predictive ML Radio Series: “You can never turn the talk back. Humankind is always striving to do more, to be able to generate more.”

… And this is only the beginning.

Predicting the future of the business world

My prediction is this: If businesses want to remain viable competitors in the marketplace in the next few years, with machine-automated data analytics and the rise of the “citizen data scientist,” the insights generated from artificial intelligence are going to emerge as a solidified, culturally produced necessity for organizations’ survival.

Learn more

Learn more about how new tools are paving paths to success for businesses and what “necessities” might be best for yours by reading other blogs on cloud analytics and machine learning topics and visiting product pages.

Tune into the next radio show, July 18th at 2pm EDT on the VoiceAmerica Business channel to hear more from experts such as Richard.

Hear more from the experts mentioned in this article by reading and listening to their intelligent thought pieces:


Hannah White

About Hannah White

Hannah is a Product Marketing Intern at SAP, and is currently pursuing an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree with a specialization in the Communication Studies program at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has many passions and hobbies, including volunteering in her community, reading, and writing.