Going digital is now as simple as bringing out our phone to book a ride home. As early as five years ago before Grab hit the market, this was a fantasy for most people. Our world has been changed by digital solutions and the logical question would be to ask: What’s next?

5 Technologies For The Future

To answer this question, we refer to Cognizant’s survey of over 2000 C-level professionals in Asia to tap on their collective wisdom. Such knowledge will be beneficial to both investors, consumers and even business executives would want to stay on top of things.

Source: Cognizant

The top of the list would be artificial intelligence and this has found commercial applications in autonomous drivings such as the testing of nuTonomy in Singapore. The possibility of driverless taxis would be exciting to transport operators and reflect a radical new experience for consumers.

Wearable technologies such as smart watches and fitness tracker would help insurance companies to track the health risk of their insured. For those who adopt a healthy lifestyle, they can expect lower premiums and this is expected to grow over the next five year period from 2020 to 2025. This will give early adopters the competitive advantage in terms of lower payouts and cheaper premiums for their pool of healthy clients.

Drones and blockchains are expected to have intense commercial interest from now until 2020. Drones are used to reach tough places and blockchains are being used to simplify and quicken payments. This is the period when such technologies mature and companies have to be ready to tap onto such technologies.

Also read: Artificial Intelligence 101: A map to understand where we are now

Blockchain is the key fintech activity that banks are pushing to improve their business process from payment to SME financing activities in Singapore. The point of the game is to be faster and nimbler before competitors disrupt their current business model.

Big rewards for going digital

Such technologies improve our lives by increasing the convenience and productivity. According to the survey, such benefits will add in US$1 trillion of revenue to the Southeast Asian economies over the next 10 years. This will add another 40 per cent to the ASEAN economies and companies are responding by leveraging on digital channels to build new revenue models and reach out to new customers.

They are bringing in US$263 million of revenue by leveraging on new technologies. For instance, mFish is an app that helps Indonesian fisherman to find the right spots of fishes. This amount will grow by 400 per cent to US$330.8 billion by the end of 2018.

Source: Cognizant

This expected revenue growth applies to the six different industries surveyed by Cognizant. In other words, Cognizant expects revenue to increase exponentially when digital solutions are applied. On the other side of the coin, back office expenses are expected to be cut drastically in 2018 as digital solutions are implemented.

Source: Cognizant

The cut can be seen most acutely in the retail sector with self-help checkouts of items at supermarkets, RFID-enabled stock taking for swift inventory management and electronic price tags for quick updates. In Australia, mining giant saved millions by using drones, driverless trucks and trains.

The human factor

If machines are capable of doing everything that a human can do, the big question is this: What can humans do to make our living? This is a reasonable fear which has been repeated throughout history. While machines can take over routine jobs that are previously done by humans, analytical jobs which requires constructive thinking (e.g., conducting research and creating art) will always be done by human. Yes, our world will have changed by 2025 but somethings would still remain the same.

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The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your post here.

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