How Will Technology Change Your Business? Part 2

Rapidly emerging technologies are driving economic growth and reshaping the marketplace at the same time. Businesses that learn to capitalize on these innovations will thrive in the days ahead. McKinsey & Company recently updated their list of formidable technologies that are creating the future even now. [1]

Today I’m covering the second half of a list of 10 emerging technologies. For a review of the first five technologies, see part 1.

6. Engaging the next three billion digital citizens – Smartphones adoption has been moving and expending rapidly from nation to nation. Developing cultures are connected, opening the door even wider for increasing income, new markets, and greater trade possibilities. In spite of the dramatic economic growth in developing nations, the potential ahead is even greater. According to McKinsey & Company, “several emerging markets have experienced double-digit growth in Internet adoption, enormous growth potential remains: India’s digital penetration is only 10 percent and China’s is around 40 percent. Rising levels of connectivity will stimulate financial inclusion, local entrepreneurship, and enormous opportunities for business.”

7. Charting experiences where digital meets physical – In all of our daily experiences from driving to work to shopping to entertainment and more, we’re utilizing digital, online access in real-time via smartphone apps, vehicle sensors, GPS tracking and more. This blurring of digital and physical opens a wide range of possibilities in every field and can potentially reshape working patterns to boost productivity and increase responsiveness to customer needs. At the same time, it also opens wide a door of possibilities for expended service and selling between business and consumers.

8. ‘Freeing’ your business model through Internet-inspired personalization and simplification – In this new digital world, customers are getting used to faster and more transparent customer service, a range of free-services, and instant gratification through on-demand downloads. This new playing field challenges businesses to rethink their business model to include a range of profit streams that go beyond typical one-time exchange (such as paying for services instead of pay for a specific product). Businesses must utilize the emerging big data and advanced analytics to make decisions faster, respond to customer needs more effectively and develop more effective product delivery methods.

9. Buying and selling as digital commerce leaps ahead – Payment and monetization systems are changing. At the same time, consumers are learning to new ways of doing business. Peer-to-peer selling networks like Etsy, Ebay, and Craiglist have opened the possibilities for individuals to start thriving businesses in their homes.

10. Transforming government, health care, and education – We’ve already begun to see new ways of engaging government, healthcare and education through various online portals. With the range of emerging technologies, we’ll see new unprecedented possibilities for exchanging services, learning, tracking and healthcare.

Business leaders face the challenge of adapting to expanded customer involvement in the product and service development and delivery. Businesses must be ready to adapt by investing top talent (from big data analysts to creative thinkers and developers). At the same time, businesses face the challenge of security, privacy and rapidly developing organizational structures.

[1] Jacques Bughin, Michael Chui, and James Manyika. “Ten IT-enabled business trends for the decade ahead.” McKinsey & Company, May 2013 <http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/ten_it-enabled_business_trends_for_the_decade_ahead>

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