Technology is driving the innovation required by businesses to pivot and scale. To survive and thrive, there is no shying away from digitization.
Technology has become the backbone of businesses and can escalate their journey through digital transformation. The beauty of technology is that it lends itself to various facets of growth. Whether you want to reach your customer, organize your house better, leverage data analytics for better outcomes or serve customers online or long distance, technology is the ‘be all’ of it. As has been rightly said by the father of the tech revolution, Bill Gates:
“Information technology and businesses are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anyone can talk about one meaningfully without talking about the other.”
The digital transformation of business is evolving at a rapid pace. Testament of the same is the global IT spending in 2021 which was approximately $4.21 trillion, of which:
- Cloud services: $312 tn
- AI Spending: $554.3 bn
- IoT spending: $1.1 tn
- 3D printing: $24.9 bn
In fact, Covid has only increased the pace of this digital revolution, as businesses have realized that remote working, digital sourcing of customers, and online buying of products and services is moving mainstream. To add to this, there is increased awareness and acceptability at the customer end, which in turn is encouraging businesses to grow their digital footprint.
The world has seen some exciting tech disruptions, which have changed the game for businesses as well as consumers:
1) 3D Printing
· This has resulted in transformational shifts in the way products are made, catering to industries such as aerospace and healthcare. 3D printing is currently at a market size of $12.4 billion and is estimated to reach $34 billion by 2026.
· It grants the ability to create highly customized products and quickly respond to demand shifts. It has shifted from niche uses such as prototype creation to mass manufacturing in traditional industries.
· 3D printing has been used explicitly by corporate giants such as General Electric in producing fuel nozzles at scale for jet engines. Boeing has incorporated several 3D printed parts for the Dreamliner. This also applies to more consumer products such as footwear and fashion, where companies like Adidas and Nike create highly customized products for their customers.
· Karkhana.io is an online B2B design and manufacturing platform that provides customized solutions for prototyping and production. It aims to solve the inefficiency and underutilization in the manufacturing industry. It was founded in 2017 and offers services in 3D printing, vacuum casting and CNC machining. It has raised $1.5 mn by Vertex Ventures in its seed round.
2) Artificial Intelligence – increasing use cases across industries
· AI is disrupting several industries and is increasingly being used in more areas of decision making, as it can process and synthesize large quantities of data at a scale and speed leagues faster than the human brain can fathom.
· AI has been shaping areas such as Customer Relationship Management. AI can detect tonal variations to identify whether customers are stressed or happy. This helps in better serving their needs, thereby increasing customer retention.
· Finance is one of the biggest beneficiaries of AI – by providing data-based predictions, it can help sourcing customers for loans, assessing creditworthiness and predicting defaults.
· AI is rapidly transforming healthcare – it aids improved diagnosis, prescription, remote treatment, higher precision during surgery. For instance, AI can assess symptoms much faster, allowing for more efficient and lifesaving decisions. It is also helping doctors cater to a larger no of patients due to faster diagnosis and prescription, thus aiding healthcare ecosystems in countries where doctor penetration is low.
3) Cloud Computing
· Cloud computing is steadily replacing more rigid software and services licensing models in both small and medium businesses.
· Cloud computing is disruptive to the standard IT practice of maintaining all infrastructure locally on a third-party hosted platform allowing enterprises to scale operations without investing in more physical assets such as server rooms and computers.
· Use cases for Cloud computing include SaaS, testing and development, big data analytics, cloud storage and data recovery
· GupShup is a popular cloud platform startup that has reached unicorn status recently. It is a dedicated conversational messaging platform for companies to manage customer interactions. It processes over 6 billion messages daily and caters to services such as Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WeChat and Skype. They have raised approximately $340 million from investors such as Tiger Global, Fidelity, Helion Ventures.
· The concept of blockchain has caused a revolution in the way accounting and financial services will be conducted in the future. A blockchain represents a network of digital ledgers, and all transactions conducted between ledgers is accessible and visible to all ledgers in the chain.
· The transparency of blockchain can help streamline trade finance or supply chain financing in a multi-party network setting. It also provides a solution when many parties need to access, create and maintain records over an extended timeframe.
· Polygon, an Indian startup founded in 2017, provides an Ethereum based blockchain platform that app developers can create decentralized applications. Applications built on this blockchain have much higher scalability and performance relative to non-decentralized counterparts. They recently received funding from US billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban.
To sum it up, technology is driving the innovation required by businesses to pivot and scale. To survive and thrive, there is no shying away from digitization.
Source: Business World