Technology enabled transformations in 2014

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We’re ending 2014 on a very positive note. Many industries have been affected by disruptive technology. Societies, Markets and Individuals are seeing this impact of disruption in a variety of ways. A few highlights of these important changes that interested me in the past year are described below. I will be post a follow up post in the first week of 2015, with my wish list of major trans-formative changes that I would love to see this new year.

  1. The “Sharing” economy:  While this economy is still in its infancy, several established industries in transportation services, financial services and travel services are already feeling the impact. Brand new markets are being created. Uber, Lyft, Hailo, Airbnb, HomeJoy, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, etc. have seen much traction this year. F!function(d,s,id)%7Bvar%20js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)%5B0%5D,p=/%5Ehttp:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id))%7Bjs=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);%7D%7D(document,%20’script’,%20’twitter-wjs’);” title=”tweet this” target=”_blank”>irms in the sharing economy have effectively used information technology innovations in the form of mobile apps and web services as a means to convert economic surplus into tangible economic value.
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  2. The “Sustainable” economy:
    Natural resources such as sunlight, wind and tidal waves are becoming economically viable sources of energy. For example, Germany generates  more than 3/4th of  its energy from the Sun today. Very innovative business models such as the ones pioneered by SolarCity and SunRun makes installation of solar panels affordable. Smart grids  which make dynamic switching between generation sources, power distribution and power consumption more efficient have seen traction this year.The transition to green transportation gathered more steam this year and was led by Tesla Motors’ Model S. Every major car manufacturer – the likes of  BMW, Toyota, Honda, GM, Ford OR Mahindra has released least one mass market all-electric car this year.
  3. The “Data” economy:
    Accessible high power computing, storage and processing power has made data aided decision making possible at low costs. Because of this affordability, small and medium businesses face fewer entry barriers as far as their data operations are concerned. Such technology enables powerful commoditized data analytic toolsets to assist human intelligence in making important business decisions. 2014 was the year when many firms such as Jive, Hortonworks, Cloudera raised money from markets and private entities. Job titles such as “data scientists”, “data analysts” and “Business Analysts” became common place. Competition among Google, Amazon, Microsoft and the likes of Rackspace, Cloudera in the infrastructure and analytics spaces has seen prices drop significantly.!function(d,s,id)%7Bvar%20js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)%5B0%5D,p=/%5Ehttp:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id))%7Bjs=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);%7D%7D(document,%20’script’,%20’twitter-wjs’);” title=”tweet this” target=”_blank”> Most traditional software (or apps) have moved onto these platforms, earning infrastructure firms recurring revenue, multiples of what software license based revenues could provide. Several data centric startups have seen success in the fields of Mobile analytics, Health Analytics and the Industrial Internet analytics spaces

It is really amazing to see the capability of technology products increase according to Moore’s law. The higher the capacity of processing, storage and connectivity (bandwidth), the more powerful the software (and hence human) applications that use this power are going to be. It is exciting to see what is in store in 2015.