IT Best Practices

5 Waves of Technology Disruption that are Just Getting Started

Many in the business world watch the rapid changes in technology that unfold and are struck with a sense of euphoria, fascination, apprehension, fear, or a mix of all four. From month to month, iconic tech emerges from the fringe of possibility, and its designers disappear and reemerge months later with a complete revision that shatters the previous model. According to Vivek Wadhwa in an article for Venture Beat, in only 15-20 years, many of the now-familiar technologies and name brands will be wiped clean and replaced with a whole new set of innovations and industry leaders in five major categories.

The Five Industries of Disruption

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Finance
  3. Health Care
  4. Energy
  5. Communications

For starters, it appears that the invention and growing affordability of 3D printing has caused quite a disruption in manufacturing. Wadhaw cites the Baxter and UR10 models as instrumental in making many humans and even robots obsolete in the near future, especially in countries like China.

In the financial sector, crowdfunding appears to be the wave of the future, with companies the likes of Bitcoin disrupting the traditional venture capitalism. Additionally, cardless transactions are beginning to change our approach to banking and national lawmaking bodies are struggling to keep up with the pace of change.

In healthcare, companies like Google, Samsung, and Microsoft compete to provide top-of-the-line health informatics to monitor vital signs, predict illness, and interpret data. Eventually, says Wadhwa, smart technologies and machines may even replace most physician responsibilities. There is also room for optimism (and apprehension) in the energy sector. A combination of falling oil prices (due to redoubled natural gas extraction) and the new market viability of solar, we may be headed for a significant disruption in how we pay for and receive energy.

Last of all, communications have been, and continue to undergo, massive transformations marked by the explosion of mobile technologies, growing Wi-Fi, and higher speeds driven by competing telecom giants.

Given the apparent speed with which these changes are unfolding, the future in 15 to 20 years seems scarcely imaginable. Without a doubt, there will be a need for IT experts in every field. In fact, what job won’t be occupied by some kind of IT expert in this technologically disruptive future?

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