What’s Next in Tech?
The spread and influence of technology over the next five years will be a key driver of change across the globe. However, there will be regional differences and some countries will leapfrog traditional cycles of development.
In this paper we discuss these regional factors and consider how technology changes will impact consumers, retailers and consumer-facing brands.
We identified 14 technology shifts in play over the next five years. The top four rankings included:
- The spread of existing technology and infrastructure
- Machine learning and decision making
- Big data and artificial intelligence
- Cashless payment technology
We also ranked the likelihood of future scenarios and outcomes that the convergence of technologies could bring to consumers, retailers and suppliers. The top ranked outcomes globally were:
- Consumers: Technology for convenience; and consumers willing to accept suggestions from devices will likely see a rise in programmatic consumption – tied in first place in the consumer field.
- Retailers: Instant payment – as baskets are captured and paid for as consumers walk out of the store.
- Consumer-facing brands: Using technology for brand building and public relations purposes.
Technology adoption and impact will not be homogenous and there are a number of regional differences that are explained by our experts in terms of consumer, economic, political and other considerations. These factors provide insights to which technologies in which markets may be important to focus on during the next five years.
Expert commentary by region:
In Southeast Asia and India, we could probably say there is currently weaker technology infrastructure than in the Pacific and China and much higher numbers of consumers who do not have access to the internet, smart phones or mobile subscriptions. This could explain why our experts believe the spread of this tech or the shift of Existing technology and infrastructure would logically have more of an impact in these regions
Remaining in SEA and India, we see that the Sharing economy is ranked highly in the top 4 where geographically large informal economies already exist. This again may be a reflection of tech solutions meeting these informal economies to enable a greater scale of transactions and entrepreneurial endeavor.
In the Pacific which in terms of technology is comparatively mature, the inclusion of Robotics and drones, the Internet of things and autonomous transport systems makes sense in a geography where these technologies can be clipped on to existing infrastructure and the cost equation for investment is not unrealistic. Again, there is a logical argument to be made for these technologies to make the biggest impact in this region.
In China where the government has directed a great deal of focus and investment into sustainable energy and a commitment to reducing pollution it makes sense that new energy technology has been ranked as a key shift and key impact.
The two regions of Pacific and China who have ranked Machine learning & decision making as a key shift have a longer history and deeper penetration with smart phones and apps that would lead more swiftly into consumers using suggested consumption cues. This consumer comfort should not be underrated when considering adoption rates as people are simply more accustomed to the technology and where it is leading.
Read the full report for the extended commentary capturing insights into the barriers and opportunities by region, and trends we see changing the way Asia Pacific businesses need to operate.
Download the report above.