A beautiful study by McKinsey reveals which 15 advanced technologies are currently being adopted by companies the most. They range from quantum computing to investments in clean energy. But I’m going to make a selection of mine here: the technologies that are the basis and will be the future of business connection. They are: Applied AI, Advanced Connectivity, Future of Mobility, Web3 and Immersive Reality Technologies.
The study considers Artificial Intelligence as a technology isolated from the others, but it is not. It is embedded in all the technologies listed in the study and is, in fact, a complex, intricate and interconnected set of several layers of digital technologies based on algorithms. But OK.
The analysis also focuses primarily on the part of AI called Machine Learning. And even though this learning is indeed relevant, it’s just a piece of AI. In this case, coincidentally, the piece that most interests us here.
Machine Learning, you already know, is the ability of machines to learn. More than that: they learn to talk to us. It’s a cognitive piece of AI.
Even more: it is incremental learning. The more trained, the more algorithms acquire knowledge and skills in understanding and interacting with us.
The impact of this on companies is obvious. Machines will have more and more presence in the corporate world, performing tasks that were previously performed by human beings.
Yes, there will be unemployment for this. But also new positions and functions will be created.
Whatever happens on this specific side of the job, the increase in speed, accuracy, measurability and profitability of these technologies for companies is already being significant.
In them, US$ 165 billion were invested last year. It is the third largest investment among the sectors analyzed by McKinsey.
The expression “applied” adopted by the consultancy has to do with the fact that a lot of academic and business research is being recurrently done and will continue to be done indefinitely, because investments in technologies will never stop being made. And these investments are not computed here. Only those that are refer to the effective application of AI.
All technological advances by companies will have an AI layer embedded in them. That’s why we should keep an eye out and follow the advances in this area with its applications for the corporate world.
The 5G/6G protocols of cellular telecommunication technology will allow the advancement of the Internet of Things and the Internet of Things will be in all areas of our lives and the lives of companies and industries. Furthermore, as a base of telecom infrastructure for these networks to start operating (which is already happening in Brazil, you are following), heavy investments are being made in low power wireless networks, low earth orbit satellites and other technologies supporting a range of digital solutions, which can drive growth and productivity across industries.
Investments in this area totaled US$ 166 billion last year, including the study. But most importantly, connectivity is driving advances in a number of related areas. The entire purchase, sale and distribution chain of companies is being directly affected by these advances. Ditto marketing, consumption and retail. The supply chain of industries as well. Cities will be smarter because of this. Ultimately, every dollar invested in Advanced Connectivity generates dozens more in countless other business sectors.
Future of Mobility
Fully linked to Advanced Connectivity technology, the Future of Mobility is, in fact, the most palpable and permeable expression of connection advances. Its most explicit manifestation is right here in our pocket or purse. And inside each smartphone, an endless number of possibilities for integration with those smart cities I mentioned above, integrated on and off consumption, ubiquitous and omnichannel as well. Mobility is not just a physical attribute of locomotion, logistics and shopping. It is also an open door to the entire entertainment and games industry, which together today mean a volume of business generated in the order of US$ 500 billion.
According to McKinsey, last year US$ 236 billion was invested in the Future of Mobility. And just like investments in Advanced Connectivity, every dollar invested in this sector also multiplies in many others in related and interconnected segments.
Buying, selling, moving around, consuming leisure and entertainment, among many other things, will be completely different activities and much more advanced than today in a very short time.
For companies, this means a giant opportunity for diversification, expansion and increased results.
Web3 is the immersive internet supported by Blockchain, which gives rise to the Metaverse (a parallel digital reality), to a whole new economy and decentralized finance (DeFi), based on smart contracts and transforming the power of control of citizens, users and consumers , who will be masters of their data and digital security in a way never before imagined for and by the internet as we know it.
For companies, obviously, this new internet anabolized by a speed many times greater than that of the Internet today, in addition to being ubiquitous and around us as if we were no longer outside it, means an endless number of new possibilities for communication, sales and management. An environment in renewed permanent expansion, with directly proportional business opportunities.
Last year, US$ 30 billion was invested in it, according to the consultancy. But it is to be assumed that these investments are still timid and that, as soon as this new environment in which the virtual and the real no longer have borders thanks to the immersive realities by which it is technologically constituted, they will grow exponentially. Like Web3 itself.
Immersive Reality Technologies
Immersive Reality Technologies use spatial sensing and computing protocols to help users “see the world differently” through mixed or augmented reality (AR/MX) or “see a different world” through virtual reality ( VR). You know.
$30 billion was invested in advancing these technologies last year, McKinley tells us.
Immersive realities, as explained above, are one of the most fascinating moments and environments in Web3 and the Metaverse. They are your most intoxicating amusement park.
For companies, it is about generating equally immersive environments for their products and brands, but also for their entire industrial, logistics and trade management.
It might be fun (and it is), but it’s no joke. It is a whole environment of interaction with social and business reality, which will transform the dynamics of how companies relate to citizens and consumers, in addition to how they conduct their own management.
As I believe I have made clear, these 5 technologies are separated here only for didactic purposes and to facilitate our analysis and McKinsey’s analysis. But in truth, all of this is a single thing, totally connected, integrated and changing mutually and recurrently. Endless, in fact.
Companies in general need to be aware of all these movements and engage in them, at the risk of losing productivity, market and profit.