Technology’s Disruptive Potential
The list of new technologies is growing every day, and even though not every emerging technology has the ability to change the business or social landscape, some of them certainly have the potential to alter the way people live and work. Therefore, it is crucial that business and other leaders understand the way in which certain technologies will matter to them and in accordance with that, prepare themselves.
What is disruptive technology? It is an innovation that significantly alters the way that consumers, businesses or industries operate. Here is a list of some of the most notable disruptive technologies:
- Advanced robotics – the amount of increasingly capable robots grows every day, and they appear with enhanced intelligence: appearing that they can take tasks that once were thought too delicate or impossible to automate. Furthermore, these technologies can provide societal benefits, such as providing exoskeletons that restore functions of amputees and the elderly.
- Energy-storage – those are devices that store
energy for later uses. Those technologies are already implemented in
electric and hybrid vehicles and they could make electric vehicles
cost-competitive over time; they could even
bring electricity to remote areas, etc. Business leaders should take this
into account, and keep themselves updated with the evolving technologies
because they could bring potential benefits to them even though sometimes,
they pose certain risks.
On the other hand, policymakers can use advanced technology to address some of the challenges, such as employing the Internet of Things to improve infrastructure management.
- Blockchain – the technology behind Bitcoin, a distributed ledger that records transactions between two parties. The technology uses peer-to-peer consensus to record transactions, so it removes the need for manual verification. This technology has a huge impact on financial institutions such as banks or even stock brokerages.
- Strategic automation – it is a combination of automation and artificial intelligence to automate business processes and drive efficiency. Strategic automation considers business at a holistic level. Businesses can unify the workings of all individual technologies across their operations in order to fully use the benefits of strategic automation. It is useful in a way that relieves humans from mundane, repetitive tasks so that employees can focus on more meaningful work and thus provide a better workforce.
- Web 3.0 – refers to the next iteration of the Internet. The technology will focus on altering the Internet away from keywords and towards smarter search. It will use Artificial Intelligence in order to make search smarter. If the search is able to filter through irrelevant information to deliver a personal and more specific result – it will most definitely meet the needs of the user. Web 3.0 became more relevant in recent months due to the efforts of the blockchain community.
- The Market of One – rather than targeting markets as a whole, organizations realized that the true power lays in the market of one. What is a better way to meet the needs of the customers than to treat them as individuals? Personalization at an individual level has become a vital capability in all businesses – including healthcare, finance, retail, entertainment. Data allows communicating directly with a consumer. If all of this is coupled with geotargeting and behavioral data analysis – the information about the individuals can be gathered quickly – and then turned into focused insights.
- The Voice Economy – this redefines the way we interact with the machines. This became an entirely new system of marketing, branding, and consumer engagement with the voice, because communicating via voice is entirely natural for consumers. It makes it easier for consumers to engage with products and services in an enjoyable way. We have all witnessed the popularity of Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. If the progress continues during the next years with the Natural Language Processing (NLP) – this kind of activity can demonstrate the exciting future of voice assistants, and the voice economy.
- Ubiquitous Al – this refers to the presence of artificial intelligence in all of our machines, applications, and processes. There is the growing movement of “democratized Al”, a stated aim of all the major technology companies including Google, Amazon and Microsoft. It will fundamentally open up the reach of artificial intelligence beyond a skilled data scientist community in an IT department and will include citizen data scientists and developers.
Opportunities for Growth?
However, people, companies, the policymakers tend to overlook the disruptive technologies because many products that could be considered disruptive take years to be adopted by consumers or what is worse: are not accepted at all. A battle between companies starts in a moment if some of them find a good market and some not or they find a way to integrate some technology. Investing in disruptive technologies is always risky but can be highly beneficial. The more risk-averse position some company takes and adopts the innovation, the more they can gain from it in the future.
Source: McKinsey Global Institute