Ask most executives what keeps them on edge, and more often than not they’ll say it’s not knowing where the next big shift is coming in their industries. How will their target markets be affected? How will new technologies affect their workforces? Will they provide potentially new revenue streams?
While no one can say definitively what’s ahead, advisory firm ABI Research offers a set of compelling predictions in its second annual transformative trends report.
The report takes a look at 19 technologies the firm considers will be transformative from 2019 through 2025—meaning they will drive deep business changes. They also are expected to help reshape workforces, identify holes in a market, develop new business models, and drive new revenue streams.
ABI Research’s 19 most compelling transformative technologies are:
- 5G and mobile network infrastructure
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Augmented reality and mixed reality
- Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies
- Digital security
- Handsets and devices
- Intelligent transportation and e-freight
- Location technologies
- M2M, Internet of Things, and Internet of Everything
- Robotics, automation, and intelligent systems
- Smart cities and smart spaces
- Smart home
- Smart manufacturing
- Smart mobility and automotive
- Smart retail
- Telco digitization
- Video, virtual reality, and over-the-top media services
- Wearables, usables, and expendables
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and wireless connectivity
Some of the report’s most interesting highlights are about robotics, automation and intelligent systems, smart manufacturing, and smart cities. For example, in 2019 the industry will see robots moving from hype to actual adoption and slowly be integrated into the existing workflow, according to ABI Research. Also in 2019, telecommunication companies will provide 5G as the next-generation wireless technology, touting its low latency and high bandwidth.
In addition, manufacturers will come to understand that an open flow of data between systems will significantly optimize production processes and make equipment more productive.
ABI Research also believes that city governments and urban planners will use smart cities and smart spaces to help foster the sharing economy, automation, and the new smart urban economy. “Smart, driverless mobility, in particular, will not only require redefining how roads are designed, but also will result in the end of the dominance of cars in city centers, freeing up roads and parking spaces for pedestrians, two-wheel vehicles, and green and social spaces,” the report states.
Whether all 19 technologies turn out to be truly transformative remains to be seen. What is certain is that plenty of disruption awaits, and all industries will be affected. That means CIOs, CMOs, CEOs, and CDOs should take a hard look at these technologies and have plans in place to incorporate the ones most relevant to them in the years ahead.