I recently had the pleasure of attending the Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation Conference and joining the event chair, Helen Huntley, for lunch. A key topic of our conversations was around how our lives are changing today on a professional and personal level. Here are seven examples of technological disruptors Gartner shared and their bigger picture:
- Quantum Computing: Through this revolution, we’re able to easily answer questions with a clear cut yes, no or maybe. These types of answers are critical in helping us in medicinal fields where we can detect cancers faster and design new drugs based upon quantum computing algorithms.
- Counterfeit Reality: We’re potentially only a few years away from counterfeit reality (e.g. fake news) outpacing AI’s ability to detect it. This could lead to added layers of skepticism and distrust with digital content from a consumer perspective. Unfortunately, as it stands, the ability to detect counterfeit reality follows the creation of it. This means we’ll be behind the eight ball and companies will have to figure out how to be considered trustworthy.
- Nano Technology: Through this, we’re able to manipulate matter on an atomic molecular scale. Examples include gene therapy and chemical compounds for drugs and agriculture. With advanced microprocessors, power sources like solar panels will become smaller and have more efficiency. Does this mean more consumers will adopt solar? What will that mean for a utility company?
- Synthetic Life: It is becoming common knowledge that the population of honey bees is on the decline, thus affecting horticulture. This has brought on the rise of the robotic bee and their ability to pollinate. Advances in synthetic life will affect many industries. Think about a farmer purchasing artificial worms that can more effectively aerate soil. The domino effect that synthetic life will have on industries is endless. Pretty neat, right?
- Magnetic and Quantum Levitation: This sounds more complex than it really is. Mull over all of the audio you come across in your daily lives, whether through headphones, intercom, police radio, etc. Through magnetic conduction technology, we’re able to preserve the quality of audio signals and reproduce sounds more accurately. This also impacts the manufacturing process. For example, floating car data makes understanding traffic patterns less expensive and more efficient by eliminating the need for street cameras or sensors. On the quantum levitation front, Elon Musk’s Hyperloop dreams are looking like more of a reality than dream.
- Software Revolution: Open source software like Android OS, Apple’s OS X and Firefox allows developers to create, test and debug software at a much faster pace than closed sources. Ideas are able to come to fruition much quicker and with less of a capital strain for startups. A perfect example would be Uber or Waze using Google Maps’ SDKs and APIs to make their mapping systems functional, which is easily the most recognizable element of these apps for consumers.
- Visual Recognition: We’ve advanced technology so quickly that we can take a photo of something and find out exactly what it is within seconds. Couple this with quantum computing and our ability to use predictive analytics is light years ahead of what it was 20 years ago. Gartner shared the example of TapTapSee, a mobile camera application designed specifically for the blind and visually impaired. Other examples of AI-based virtual assistants revolutionizing the way we live, shop and learn include Samsung’s Bixby Vision, Amazon Firefly and Google Goggles. If you haven’t tried any of them, definitely give it a shot.
From a growth perspective, these are the types of technological advancements that management and boards are spending time figuring out how to:
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- Leverage these advances in technology to improve revenue, speed up R&D and diversify their offerings
- And more importantly, avoid the threats they can potentially bring to their industries and business models
National Managing Partner, Markets, Clients & Industry
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