“Keep on innovating, because the next thing you invent could help make a large statement on the global economy and change the lives of people for the better”- Chris Eldridge.
Over the last decade, technology has created monumental shifts in how we create and consume value. In the same vein, the next two decades will further transform the creation and consumption of value through technology. This means that the rules of commerce are changing and businesses need to find a new rhythm. The ability to find this new rhythm would determine market leaders and define the limits of industry practices.
Every day, tech companies are creating products that are pushing the frontiers of commerce in the digital economy we live in. With technological advances in artificial intelligence and robotics, some economies are ballooning. As a result, there is a hike in demand for talent in software engineering, product design and management and cybersecurity.
The Six Industries of the Future
According to innovation expert Alec Ross, Deloitte Economics, The World Economic Forum and PwC, here are six industries of the future:
1. Artificial Intelligence
AI technology has improved in leaps and bounds over the last few years and expected to evolve even more by 2025 and beyond. Tech companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft are investing heavily into AI, with the industry projected to be worth a whopping $100 billion by 2030! While we have only begun to realize its potential, many are predicting the next two decades to be the era of Artificial Intelligence.
Apple Watches and Fitbits are the beginning of a boom in wearable tech. Despite attrition being a real threat to the industry, the wearables market is experiencing exponential growth. Estimated to be worth $15 billion at present, the wearables industry is projected to grow to $45 billion by 2025.
From a healing bracelet that can send thermoelectric pulses to reduce joint pain, to biometric garments that measure your body’s vitals – the future of wearable technology will not only see a more fantastic range of products in the market, but they will be improved to suit more specific lifestyle needs and offer other benefits. However, at the core of this revolution is the ability for wearables to move the needle in healthcare.
3. Mobile payments
Mobile payments are set to increase in the future. Imagine walking into a store with no cashiers, no queues and no fumbling for your credit card. You take what you need and walk out. Amazon opened a store that does precisely this. Thanks to mobile payment technology and combination of sensors, all you need to do is to enter the store, take what you need and your Amazon account automatically gets charged. They are calling it ‘just walk out’ technology, and it’s expected to revolutionise shopping.
In Nigeria, mobile money operators have more footprint through agent networks that bring financial services to the last mile and deliver financial inclusion (OPay in Nigeria processes $1.4 bn in monthly transaction volumes). Safe to say that the world is embracing mobile payment technology in a huge way.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have completely revolutionised the way money is circulated. But what is cryptocurrency? And what is the fuss about? Cryptocurrencies allow the transfer of money instantly to anyone in just a click. Let’s call it the future of money. 1 Bitcoin is valued at over $30,000. Transferring money securely or even only using your credit card abroad may be a slow and painful process. Cryptocurrency is faster, cheaper and more secure. Money transfer is just one use case – the possibilities are endless.
5. Internet of Things (IoT)
As you’re reading this, it is estimated that over 8.5 billion devices are connected to the internet. Last year the world connected devices managed to outpace the world’s population. By 2025, Gartner forecasts that number will skyrocket to 20.4 billion! The Internet of Things is not coming; it is already here. From smart televisions to connected homes, the IoT creates a vast network of appliances through a combination of sensors, cloud technology and hardware that can communicate with each other and process data.
Robots are already greeting patients at our hospitals, manufacturing shoes and even making pizzas for us. Their entrance into the labour force has ushered in a new era of automation – a seismic change in the labour landscape that will see approximately 48 percent of today’s jobs disappear over the next 20 years. But we should not be alarmed just yet. Experts agree that ever since the beginning of time, technology has been simultaneously destroying and creating jobs. What we are witnessing is the steep growth of a multibillion-dollar industry – one that can dramatically increase the world’s productivity.
A Few Key Questions To Think About For Your Company
- How do you merge the new technologies with your current processes, people and capacities to deliver better outcomes for you and the market you serve?
- Are you using data to spot opportunities for scale and exportability through technology?
- Are you supporting people in your company to improve their skills in order to remain relevant to your mission in light of these changes?
No Industry Is Immune
All industries will need to adopt advanced technology to remain competitive but this doesn’t necessarily mean the walls will come down between all sectors. It is expected that all industries will be transformed by the technology shockwave and that operational efficiency will be improved. It will also help to build a better integration between customers and suppliers. For many businesses, critical metrics are likely to change and barriers to entry will be lowered.
Seun Runsewe is the Product Director at OPay, the leading fintech startup in Nigeria. Prior to OPay, Seun built Switch by Sterling Bank, a digital bank for the middle class and Nigerians in Diaspora. She was the Inbound Sales Lead at Paystack, an online payments company. She started out as a Management Consultant and the Project Coordinator for Project Africa, KPMG’s initiative to push the frontiers of Financial Services in Africa. Seun studied Business Administration at Covenant University.