12 disruptive technology innovations

31 May 2013 by Scott Middleton

McKinsey’s Global Institute has released a report listing 12 technologies that will have the greatest impact on the global economy over the coming years.

The top 4 apply to every business so we have analysed them and discuss their relevance to Australian business below.

Mobile Internet
This is expected to have the greatest impact by far and cannot be ignored. However, businesses need to go further than making their website mobile-friendly. Over the coming years the value of the Mobile Internet will be captured by businesses that look to mobile to increase productivity and improve their offerings. Two examples of this are salespeople presenting on iPads and the use of smartphones for field workers to record information.

McKinsey also expects value to come from the 2 to 3 billion new people due to use mobiles to access the Internet globally over the coming years. However, this will most likely have little impact on most Australian businesses because Australia is already a mature Mobile Internet market.

Automation of knowledge work (what is this?)
Automation has already swept through simple tasks but now technology has advanced to the point where complex work can also be automated. For example, our client Metropolis Inc. has developed a system to automate the work of graphic designers (read more at the end of this email) and there are interesting things underway at NICTA to automate statistical modelling that reacts to changes in the market, a task previously performed by people with PhDs.

Internet of Things (what is this?)
More and more things are being connected to the Internet, such as babiesmedication and our bodies. For businesses, this means anything can now be easily connected. Some interesting examples of the Internet of Things in use by businesses: using a remote sensor to monitor client stock levels and alert head office when a re-order is required, monitoring delivery trucks and, finally, triggering an event to occur remotely such as a gate closing on a farm.

Cloud technology
The benefits of the cloud and its impact have been discussed at length by most popular publications today. What we want to add, is that many cloud services have matured. Both Amazon Web Services and NetSuite have advanced offerings that can cater to most needs in the marketplace (which is why we’ve selected them as partners). So, the question is now “why wouldn’t we move to the cloud?” rather than “why would we move to the cloud?” for every technology decision.

Take a look at the image below to see all of the technologies and their impact.

Read an easy to digest summary of the report here or read the original report.

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