Rocking the Boat

Disruptive Technology: 5 Categories to Rock the Business World

Disruptive Technology
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You guessed it, 3D printing is most definitely a disruptive technology for business. But which are the other four? All will be revealed.

disruptive technologyAn article by Peter Davidson in the SmartDataCollective has listed “5 Disruptive Technology Advancements Which Will Change Business as Usual”. You can take it for granted that 3D printing has earned itself a place on this list… straight in at number 4.

We’d have ranked it higher, but perhaps we’re biased. The gist of Davidson’s assessment of 3D printing is that:

“Businesses will need to adapt their strategies to better fit the needs of their customers as 3D printing becomes more advanced. These printers could change the way that businesses make almost anything, allowing customers to make products themselves. For this reason, more thought would need to go into organizational marketing strategies in order for businesses to make their products stand out.”

In plain English, we think this means that a modern business will would be smart to anticipate the changes bought about by localized manufacturing. If they don’t position themselves to take advantage of the new possibilities, they’re in danger of being left behind.

Here at ALL3Dp we can think of several examples of business — big and small — which are embracing this new model.

The U.S. Postal Service, for example, has published a very interesting white paper about using 3D printing technology to fundamentally change the logistics of delivering your post. It’s fascinating stuff, and well worth a read.

Elsewhere, we ran an interview with a small design studio in the Netherlands called print+, which has concluded a very successful Kickstarter campaign for DIY 3D printed headphone kits. It’s very cool, and potentially the start of something big.

See? 3D printing is a disruptive technology. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Disruptive Technology: What are the Others?

On Davidson’s list are four more disruptive technologies which have the potential to cause upheavals to traditional business and commerce. By recognizing these technologies, companies are better equipped to evolve and prosper.

  1. Next-Generation Genomics — A combination of the science used for imaging the base pairs of nucleotides (or the units that create DNA) with analytic and computational capabilities. This technology could mean major improvements in our ability to manipulate genes, which would lead to improving health treatments and diagnostics.
  2. The Internet of Things — Everyday objects with network connectivity which will allow them to receive and send data with other objects. A prominent example is the Nest smart thermostat, controlled by your smartphone.
  3. The Cloud – The disruptive nature of this technology is that it’s a centralized computing service, so that company IT departments no longer need to stay on top of software installations, or fork out license fees for upgrades. It also means improved mobility and better storage security.
  4. Energy Storage – Improved energy storage devices will hold onto energy for later use, such as lithium-ion fuel cells. Over the next ten years, it’s expected that energy storage technology will only continue to advance. New products featuring longer-lasting batteries will become the norm, and the first companies to offer them stand to profit immensely.

So, what do you reckon? Are there any major examples of disruptive technology that were missed out? Do you think 3D printing could be the computer in a world of typewriters?