As we look back through history, each major era — from the industrial age through our current age — has ushered in new ways of working, living, and relating to each other. But no era has witnessed more seismic or rapid advancements than the one in which we currently find ourselves, and technology is the lifeline that is accelerating this pulse through industry and society. How fast are things changing, you might ask?
By 2020, we will be more connected, with approximately 30 billion IoT-powered devices in our lives. Fast forward to 2030 and this number will hit 125 billion, according to IHS Markit. By then, we also will:
- Have more neighbors, with 8.6 billion inhabitants on Earth
- Live longer, the average life expectancy will exceed 85 in many countries
- Become more urban, as 60% of the world’s population will live in cities
These macro, sociological changes present a huge opportunity to shape the future of how we live, work, and play. We will continue to expect to receive information on our terms – instantly, anywhere and to any information we seek. These expectations will require both industries and societies to deliver new models to meet individual needs at home, at work, and across our local and global communities.
Changing consumer expectations call for innovation across industries
These macrotrends will continue to push boundaries and accelerate innovation to meet the rapidly-changing needs of our global, and more urban populations. Changes in two parallel tracks are shaping the conversation: industries and technology are converging, and industry boundaries are blurring. Let’s take a look at the impact of each.
Technology is becoming ubiquitous in every industry
Today, it’s difficult to find an industry, be it consumer-facing or business to business, in which technology does not play a major role. The cars we now drive have become powerful computer-networked systems providing entertainment, communications, navigation, and autonomous cars are on the horizon as a leading source of transportation. Our homes have been transformed into sensor-driven ecosystems, allowing us to monitor from around the block or around the globe interior temperatures and premises security. Our televisions now have become multi-channel command stations that enable multi-platform communications and interactions. The clothing we now wear comes equipped with transmitters that can monitor everything from our heat rate to our insulin levels and provide real-time data both to coaches and caregivers. Supply chain manufacturing operations across industries rely on sophisticated integrated and intelligent technology platforms to monitor operations and throughput on the assembly line in real time.
Traditional industry boundaries are blurring
It’s no longer sufficient for a company to have expertise and competency in a single industry or to just sell a physical product. Seemingly disparate industries look to other sectors for innovations and best practices. For example, medicine and healthcare now look across to consumer electronics to integrate mobile app-centric models for exchanging real-time patient data with healthcare providers. Cars are becoming living rooms and offices on wheels. And in 2007, the iPhone disrupted telecommunications by merging simple cellular phone service with full Internet connectivity in the palm of your hand. It was not simply a product but a content exchange system that created an ongoing relationship with the consumer and fueled recurring revenue streams.
Moving forward, customers and consumers will become less and less interested in singular categories. They will look for solutions that help them simplify and streamline the tasks and processes that dominate their increasingly sophisticated and complicated lives and give them instant visibility into how they’re doing. Better yet, predictions on what to expect next.
Innovation in a single industry is no longer enough
At Flex, we’ve been at the center of these macro-economic transformations for decades. Thanks to our expertise across numerous industries in which we operate at scale, we’re uniquely positioned to help you interpret and implement these rapid changes into your business. We can help you deliver on the promises that the aforementioned macrotrends will require from industries, service providers, and social and governmental institutions.
We bring cross-industry expertise
Our broad and deep portfolio across industries and geographies gives us a unique view into this new world. We apply insights and competencies we gain through our deep vertical expertise from one industry to another to create cross-industry innovation that helps you bring your product to market smarter and faster.
We innovate up, down, and across the value chain. Regardless of industry or size, our solutions help you unlock hidden potential and develop intelligent products with greater efficiency and speed using our IoT platforms. Once in market, our ability to provide you with real-time monitoring and analytics through our Flex Pulse® collaboration tool enables you to streamline and optimize your supply chain operations.
We’d love to hear from you. How are cross-industry innovations driving impact for your business today?