|Every year Frost & Sullivan’s Visionary Innovation team of futurists, consultants and analysts scans the short-term horizon and looks across industries to identify areas of metamorphosis. Technology is a primary disruptor, from the size and power of leading companies to new technologies emerging that have long been thought of as the domain of imagination. Understanding the transformative forces set to define 2018 will allow companies to prepare, compete and invest more effectively.
“In 2018, business conversations will be dominated by several key subjects: science fiction becoming a reality, the clash of technology and governments, rising consumer concerns about technology, and state-sponsored technology,” said Lauren Taylor, Visionary Innovation Group Principal Analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
The recent analysis – entitled ‘The Top Trends for 2018: The Power of Technology and Technology Companies’ – highlights the forces poised to create the biggest impact this year and explores trends spanning geographies, industries and applications to offer a comprehensive view of the change agents.
Five of the ten pivotal trends poised to transform industries include:
1. The Innovation Tug-of-War: We will see increasing struggle between leading technology companies and the organisations and governments that regulate them, creating a tug-of-war on innovation that works to balance consumer protection with the pursuit of innovation.
2. Quantum Arms Race: Quantum computing is rapidly evolving and looks poised to achieve quantum supremacy—the ability to outperform traditional supercomputers. Key areas of focus will be encryption, AI, materials, and qubit generation.
3. Flying Personal Transportation: Flying personal transportation is making notable advances with progressive tests and demos, as well as new competitors entering the space. While not on the public’s radar at the moment, expect this to be the new drone craze.
4. The Rise of Enterprise Behavioural Science: We expect behavioural science to enter the ‘fast-follower’ phase as an emerging function in the enterprise this year, with savvy companies adopting these economic and social science principles to increase worker productivity and nudge consumers toward desirable outcomes.
5. Shift Away from Platform-only Models: Uber and Airbnb have indicated a move beyond platform-only models and into acquisition and partnership with asset providers, signalling a need to differentiate and overcome some of the challenges that a platform-only model presents.
“60% of companies will not see a 10-year anniversary,” concluded Taylor. “As platforms, business models and technologies collide in nuanced ways, and categorisation becomes challenging, these insights can be an essential reference tool for companies to devise short-term strategies as well as set long-term implementation goals.”