Goldman Sachs has a cool feature on its website titled “25 Ways We Saw The World Change,” which comes from the bank’s 2013 annual report.
The list includes seven “concurrent revolutions within the technology space.” Disruptive technology is having a huge impact on global businesses and the economy that we can’t ignore.
We’ve highlighted the seven key tech trends they think are about to impact the global economy:
E-Commerce platforms: The growth of e-commerce will see “the first real digital generation come into its own.” Online shopping platforms will start competing for a larger share of the retail market. Digital commerce is expected to gain traction with annual growth hitting about 17% in the next three years.
Healthcare technology: Doctors have been able to use technology to detect diseases as varied as cancer to other infectious diseases early. Goldman points to Massachusetts-Based Hologic which has a “3-D mammographic technology” that allows doctors to detect minuscule cancers that they previously wouldn’t have been able to detect.
Cloud computing: The shift to cloud computing has been a gamechanger in both the storage and sharing of vast quantities of data and has even led to new business models. “The most successful cloud computing application companies are the ones that are enabling us to engage with our day job the same way we engage as consumers on the internet,” said George Lee co-head of the technology, media and telecommunications group at Goldman.
An unprecedented growth rate: Tech companies are some of the world’s biggest companies with businesses that have the most impact. “They’re growing faster than many of the companies that came before them, and arrive at critical decision points more quickly.”
Monetization of mobile: Smartphone and tablet sales now outpace PCs and laptops. And companies cognisant of this are trying to capitalise on mobile “whether in mobile payments, mobile content, location-based services or the explosion of valuable data generated by the use of mobile devices.” There’s a lot of scope for companies to monetise this.
Pervasiveness of technology: It isn’t just the growth of technology, it’s also the “pervasiveness.” Over 4 billion people have mobile phones and in the next five to ten years nearly all of them will have access to some form of computing technology. This is changing how people consume and how much they consume. And technology has the habit of building on itself so the growth and pervasiveness will continue.
The next wave of disruption: 3-D printing, big data solutions (in which data is collected from different devices and information is consolidated), and software-defined networking (SDN) are the next wave of disruptive technologies to watch for. “3-D printing will drive greater customisation, reduce costs for complex designs and lower overhead on short-run parts,” according to Goldman. Meanwhile, “SDN liberates networking from expensive hardware, making it easier and cheaper for technology administrators to respond to changing business needs.”