If you are a technologist and want to invest in emerging technologies, this guide is for you.
Choose the appropriate technology category below, and dive into a list of emerging technology options and what the future may hold:
Emerging Tech… It’s a phrase that is used a lot. But what does it really mean for the future?
The term “emerging technologies” refers to new technologies which are still being researched and developed, but could potentially be used by your business in the near future.
Emerging technologies include artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, 3D printing and wearable technology.
All these technologies are already becoming part of our everyday lives – from smart speakers such as Alexa and Google Home, to e-scooters and self-driving cars. And they are giving rise to new services that could fundamentally change how businesses work.
The first question, then, is: which emerging technologies are the most important? As with all investing, you want to buy low and sell high. A technology that has already been broadly adopted is not an emerging technology, no matter how new it may seem. And an emerging technology must eventually become widely used – otherwise it will remain not just “emerging” but “emerged.”
For this reason we should focus on technologies that are both new and likely to become widely used. Someone who had invested in the development of personal computers in 1975 could have made a lot of money if they’d sold out in 1980. But someone who invested the same amount in 1975 and held till 2000 would have made ten times as much; and if they’d held till now they’d be sitting pretty. The most dramatic returns don’t come from investing in technologies that are just becoming viable, but rather in those that are about to become ubiquitous.
The second question, then, is: which of these technologies have the potential to become ubiquitous? In other words, what problems do they solve? If a proposed solution does not solve a problem that many people care about, few people will use it. Conversely any sufficiently good solution will be used by a large fraction of the population for as long as
What are emerging technologies?
Emerging technology is defined as new and innovative technologies that have the potential to transform business operations, processes and/or solve real world problems.
They can be disruptive, meaning they can threaten or revolutionise existing businesses and industries. These technologies are the future of business, it’s vital for organisations to stay ahead of the curve by identifying and investing in emerging technology that will impact their organisation.
The pace at which technology is advancing means that businesses must keep up with any changes. In fact, in a recent study by PwC, more than 50% of CEOs said they expect their organisations to change radically over the next five years due to digital advances.
Emerging technology is fundamentally changing how we live and work. It can be very difficult to know where to start when it comes to identifying which technologies will impact your business or industry in future. To help you get started, we’ve created a list of some of the most important categories of emerging technology below:
Emerging technologies are technologies that are perceived as capable of changing the status quo. These technologies are generally new but include older technologies that are still controversial and relatively undeveloped in potential, such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis and gene therapy which date to 1989.
Emerging technologies are characterized by radical novelty (in application, function, or perception), relatively fast growth, coherence, prominent impact, and uncertainty and ambiguity. Their most prominent impact, however, lies in the future and so in the short term their implications cannot be predicted (although some critics argue that their implications can never be predicted even for the long term).
Technologies have always emerged from a process of social innovation; information technology in general has been an increasingly central factor of this process as it has become integral to economic productivity. The industries making use of these emerging technologies primarily include those relying on microelectronics, software, digital media and biotechnology. Some specific emerging technologies identified by various experts include:
Gartner has just released its annual Hype Cycle Report, which measures the maturity and adoption of disruptive technologies. It’s a fascinating report, not so much for the technologies it covers (though it does have some surprises) but for what it says about the nature of disruption and how we think about emerging technology.
The Hype Cycle is Gartner’s attempt to look at the world through a technological lens, capturing “the markets likely to benefit from a technology, as well as those that may be disadvantaged.” The report itself is very long (it covers over 2,000 technologies), but there are two parts that I’d like to focus on:
First, there’s what’s called the “Innovation Trigger” for each technology. This is the moment when Gartner believes the first use cases will emerge. If you’re planning to develop a new product or service around an emerging technology, this is your best estimate of how long it will take before you can start monetizing your product. And if you’re an investor trying to get in early ahead of a trend, this is about when you might want to start looking for opportunities in that space.
Some of these estimates are pretty conservative; others seem almost deliberately outlandish (“Embedded Analytics” hits its
An investor must consider a large number of factors when deciding whether to invest in an emerging technology. These can be broadly categorized as “product and market” and “financial.”
Product and Market Factors
Many product and market factors are intertwined. Therefore, we will consider them together, even though they are often treated separately by the financial press.
The size of the market is a major determinant of how much money your company will eventually make. If you have a million-dollar market, you can’t make much money, no matter what your competitive position or business model. Therefore, one thing you should ask yourself is how big the market will be in 5 years. The answer to this question has two parts: projected growth rate (e.g., 10%/year) and current size (e.g., $100 million). A good growth rate is 20%/year; anything less than 10%/year is problematic in most cases. Even if the company grows at 20% per year, it may take some time for the company to achieve significant revenues; therefore you need to know the current size of the market. As an example, if your company has a $10 million revenue run rate at 12 months from now, that’s not