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Disruptive technology: Trends gaining traction

From the experts | Posted on August 17, 2016 by Tania Stadnik

Where would we be without computers, smartphones, music and video streaming? Likely, we’d still be using decade-old technologies like typewriters, landlines, CDs and DVDs. These newer products are prime examples of disruptive technology: exciting innovations that displace pre-established items, and drastically shake up the way we live, work, interact and communicate.

While a personal computer may now be considered a commonplace staple, imagine what the future holds in this industry. The door to disruptive opportunities has opened as a result of evolving customer behaviours and increased expectations. Smaller, niche companies that develop these technologies must take a leap of faith as they invest significant resources and funds into thinking outside the box. Will venturing into the unknown align with shifting behaviours? It’s a risk, but one worth taking. If consumer behaviours are evolving as a result of technology, companies can either be proactive to stay ahead, or instead struggle to be reactive while their customers look elsewhere. Gone are the days of “business as usual” and outdated technology. Progressive businesses recognize the importance of imagining the future.

Here are six disruptive technology trends that are currently shaping how this happens.

Internet of Things

Existing technologies all contain sensors—from cell phones to appliances, airplanes, automobiles, all of these products are able to interconnect to each other through Wi-Fi and other means. The Internet of Things (or IoT) focuses on this very interconnection, and its expanding growth possibilities in the fields of automation, robotics and more.

Big Data

As we become more connected through the growing number of IoT sensors, mobile devices and the Internet, the information available to us is already astounding. But, some may say we’ve barely scratched the surface. A world of data opportunities awaits, promising enhanced marketing opportunities, in-depth customer profiles and day-to-day application for the end user, too.

Drones

As increasingly affordable and capable drones launch on the market, we can expect to see more and more of these small, unmanned aerial vehicles flying high—for both consumer and commercial use.

Cloud Computing

This technology, while not new, is progressively being embraced by businesses to store and retrieve data on a remote server, with easy access via mobile devices or desktop computers with an Internet connection. . As a bonus, when extra capacity is needed, it can be added effortlessly, without any up-front investment in new hardware or programming. Clouds are also transforming the “work from home” model, allowing individuals to log onto their workplace’s cloud and complete tasks remotely.

3D Printing

3D printers have revolutionized the print world by depositing layers of material (typically metal or plastic) to build a product on demand. While originally designed to build prototypes, these printers are now being used to print final products, such as jewelry, car parts, prosthetics and more. The end result is delivered quickly, in-house and at a much cheaper cost to businesses.

Security Risks from Disruptive IT

This wave of technological innovation has created unparalleled levels of access and connectivity across people, information, systems and assets worldwide. To stay ahead of the escalating risk levels that these disruptive technologies can present, organizations must rethink cyber security across various mediums. A cyber security strategy should address all of the trends discussed above (and more), so that risks are mitigated and all assets are secured.

While the six trends above are definitely not the only technology-driven trends on the market, they’re definitely some of today’s most-used innovations. But, in an industry that is constantly evolving, new products are emerging every day. Smart organizations are staying on top of these trends and thinking one step ahead about adapting them into their business model before their competition does. By staying abreast of (if not ahead of) the disruptive technology curve, your business can set itself up to profit from these innovations and gain just as much traction and the products themselves.

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