Reigniting Value through Frontier Technologies (IoT/ML/AI/AR/VR/Blockchain) - Harvard Business School MBA Program

Reigniting Value through Frontier Technologies (IoT/ML/AI/AR/VR/Blockchain)

Course Number 1944

Professor Rajiv Lal
Spring; Q3Q4; 3 credits

This full course replaces the following two courses previously offered: The Business of Smart Connected Products (1945) and Field Course: The Business of Smart Connected Products (6194).

Course Overview

This course focuses on developing an understanding of the impact of a series of frontier technologies (Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Autonomous Vehicles, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, and Blockchain) on your business. These technologies will not only disrupt many industries but create new sources of value in a wide range of markets.

The class is not only for those interested in technology. As you will learn, frontier technologies have broad applications in every industry. They will be woven into the daily fabric of our careers and personal lives. While blockchain has become famous for powering cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, students will see how blockchain could dramatically change the supply chain. Virtual reality is not solely for immersive gaming experiences but can change how organizations train their workforce. While IoT can improve manufacturing operations, the technology also helps farmers improve their harvest and NBA athletes avoid devastating injuries. Students will discover how to use frontier technologies to build cutting-edge products, improve efficiency, and create new business models.

Understanding the challenges of implementing solutions with frontier technologies is critical to realizing its potential impact on your own organization. What will the BMW brand stand for in the world of autonomous vehicles? How will digital assistants like Alexa and Siri control the smart home of the future?

One of the unique aspects of these technologies is that they completely change a firm’s relationship with its customers. Companies can now monitor the use of their products on a continuous basis in real time. This type of data is made available for the first time through these technologies and forms the key ingredient to build new businesses. While these data form the basis of new product and service innovations, they also present significant challenges to existing approaches to go-to-market, customer adoption, and monetization. Enabling existing operations and building new businesses through this data is the essence of the course.

The class is essential for general managers, entrepreneurs, consultants and private equity players to understand how to capitalize on these frontier technologies rather than be disrupted by them. The course will act as a testing ground for concepts developed in other classes such as BSSE, TOM, Marketing, and Strategy. The lessons learned in those classes will be further refined for students.