As new technology breakthroughs happen, there is always an enterprise willing to be an early adopter. Bleeding edge technology is hardware, software, or concepts that are new and untested. My enterprises choose to become early adopters in the hope of gaining a competitive advantage over their competitors. Two examples of bleeding edge technology beginning to appear in enterprises are grid computing and real-time decision support systems.

Grid computing is the combination of heterogeneous systems into a virtual system. It takes advantage of the proliferation of low-cost computer hardware to provide computing power that was once only available in the realm of supercomputers. Grid computing now offers a low-cost solution to enterprises seeking to engage in data mining operations that require high computing power. Additionally, grid computing allows IT departments to utilize resources more efficiently rather than dedicating entire platforms to single applications (Coffee, 2004).

Real-time decision support systems categorize many different products. It includes systems such as straight-through processing systems for optimizing supply chains, enterprise nervous systems for coordinating operations, and real-time customer resource management. These systems provide up-to-the-moment information for decision makers. This allows decision makers to respond quickly to a changing business environment. Reducing reaction time gives an organization a competitive advantage (McNurlin & Sprague, 2006).

Unfortunately, early adoption is not without risk. The technology could fail miserably and result in less efficient operations. This would turn a possible competitive advantage into a disadvantage. One problem that many early adopters face is hardware or software that has not been thoroughly tested. Often, late adopters enjoy the benefits of trailing edge technology without suffering through the problems that early adopters helped fix.


Coffee, P. (2004). Grids in the Enterprise. eWeek 21(6). Retrieved November 9, 2009 from Associates Programs Source Plus.

McNurlin, B. C. & Sprague, Jr., R. H. (2006). Information systems management in practice (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.