What Were D/SRUPTION’s Top Lists of 2018?
We reveal the disruptive business list articles which most inspired our readers
Each year, we compile dozens of different short lists from within the worlds of technology and business. In our mission to examine the impact of major technological developments in all sectors, we round up the most innovative technologies, applications and organisations within each one.
Our weekly list articles are based around concrete examples of the most recent business uses of new technology, and provide snapshots of businesses pushing boundaries in their respective fields.
In 2018 more people than ever were briefed and inspired by our concise illustrations of how businesses are innovating in the age of disruption. Read on to discover which were the most popular…
1) Applications of smart contracts
Smart contracts are binding ways of doing business via the blockchain. Smart contracts facilitate exchanges between parties – from a couple of individuals making a single simple agreement, to long chains of complex interactions. Transparency, the automatic way in which transactions are processed, and increased reliability are all major advantages of smart contracts, giving them great potential in a variety of industries.
2) Business uses of virtual reality
Some still see virtual reality as a bit of a gimmick, a technology which failed to live up to the hype in the gaming industry, and which never really took off with consumers. Whilst these claims aren’t wholly unfounded, virtual reality does have interesting applications in business. We might have to wait a few years before the technology truly lives up to its potential, but VR is already being used to great effect in training, data visualisation, manufacture, construction and retail.
3) Industries benefitting from convergence
Industry convergence sees organisations do away with their traditional business boundaries, taking aspects of other industries and working with others to share skills and resources. In an age where no industry is off limits to technology giants such as Google and Amazon, other businesses can follow their lead, seeking convergence as a way of responding to disruption.
4) Industries disrupted by machine learning
The process of machine learning involves giving computers data and leaving them to make connections and find patterns in that information. The applications of machine learning are only as varied as the data you give the computer programme. Feed it your complex consumer data, for example, and it will be able to analyse it for you; feed it images of cats, and it will be able to identify pictures of your favourite furry felines… In short, machine learning has incredible potential to transform a wide variety of businesses and industries, in ever more exciting ways.
From education to healthcare, here are some of the ways machine learning is disrupting industries right now.
5) Technological disruptions to the legal sector
The legal sector is renowned for its slow pace of change. But in today’s digital age, legal businesses can no longer afford to stay behind the times when it comes to disruptive innovation. For one thing, clients need legal firms to navigate the new industries and regulations that are appearing as a result of digital developments. The legal profession is therefore making use of new technologies to improve both existing operations and to facilitate new ways of working.
6) Retail companies using tech to save their operations
It’s no secret that many traditional retail businesses are in trouble. Faced with rising competition from ecommerce, bricks and mortar retailers are seeing falling footfall in their stores and a severe squeeze on their profits. One way for retailers to combat this negative trend is to get on the technology bandwagon themselves. Engaging with consumers via digital, virtual reality shopping, and robot shop assistants are just some of the tactics being explored by retail businesses today.
7) How the IoT supports sustainability
As we become increasingly aware of the need to protect our environment, technology is coming to the rescue. In particular, the greater connectivity provided by the Internet of Things makes it easier to save energy, minimise pollution and facilitate the transition to sustainable sources of power. A failure to act on environmental issues now will have severe consequences for future generations of individuals and businesses. These applications of the IoT to promote sustainability are therefore good news for us all.
8) Charities and technology
Technology has the power to transform all organisations, including those in the charity and not for profit sectors. Recently, forward thinking charities have employed all different kinds of digital tactics to reach their supporters, encourage new ways of giving, and make their projects more effective. From offering digital donation opportunities, to demonstrating their work in virtual reality, technology can give charities a much needed boost when used in the right way.
9) Incumbent businesses becoming disruptors
How can established businesses turn disruption from a threat into an opportunity? One option is to adopt the practices of startups – whether this be via the acquisition of these smaller companies themselves, or the emulation of their business strategies. For large, legacy organisations, taking on the challenges of the digital age can be daunting. But one thing’s for sure: to secure their futures, businesses must adapt now or face becoming obsolete.
10) Applications of AI in healthcare
Healthcare is big business, so it’s no surprise that the industry finds itself at the heart of some of the most exciting applications of new technology. Artificial intelligence has particular clout in healthcare thanks to the enhanced insights it can bring to diagnosis and treatment, and the pressure it can take off overstretched staff. From facilitating innovative business models to creating pioneering medical treatments, AI has thoroughly transformed the healthcare industry in a variety of ways.
That concludes the round up of ten of our most popular list articles from 2018!
At D/SRUPTION, we aim to provide you with the articles that matter to you the most. If there are any areas of business and technology you’d like to see us cover in 2019, please contact us here or tweet us @disruptionhub.
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