The fourth industrial revolution is bridging essential gaps between companies and consumers, and suppliers and producers. In many cases, this drive toward digitization and the upsurge of a score of different and interconnected technologies are breaking the boundaries of how industries operate and what they focus on.
After a set of industrial revolutions driven by particular technologies – the first was pumped by water and steam; the second was powered by electricity; the third was governed by electronics and information technology – now, the fourth industrial revolution is reshaping the world with a variety of different technologies growing simultaneously and exponentially.
By 2020, mobiles will account for more than 50 percent of internet access revenue across three-quarter of the globe, a PwC report confirms. The report also states that more than 2,000 industrial products companies worldwide predict 3.6 percent cost reduction per year through the next five years due to automation and better digital connectivity. Technologies such as augmented- and mixed-reality are also revolutionizing industries. At Boeing, factory trainees putting together a mock airplane wing worked 30 percent faster and 90 percent more accurately using AR-animated instructions compared to those using PDF documents.
In a world where technologies are constantly reinventing the wheel and are establishing faster, and more efficient work methodologies, the question that needs to be answered is: Which industries will stand the test of time and bear fruit in the future?
The global renewable energy market is likely to reach $1.5 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 6.1 percent between 2018 and 2025, according to Allied Market Research estimates. With the hydrocarbon-rich Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region looking to diversify away from oil-based revenues, and countries such as Sweden, Austria and Denmark taking a lead in harnessing hydroelectric power, wind energy, solar energy, bio-energy and geothermal energy, the industry is expected to witness sustained growth in the coming years. Already, the European Union has increased its green energy target to 32 percent of its total power spend by 2030.
“As countries in the Middle East work to diversify sources of national income in a bid for economic diversification, the financial services profession is emerging as one of the strongest drivers of regional economic growth. In H1 2019, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) welcomed an additional 250 companies, an increase of 14%, bringing the total number of DIFC companies to 2,289. This has positively impacted the profession, generating 660 new jobs, which has resulted to a total number of professionals to 24,000,” said Matthew Cowan, Chartered MCSI, Regional Director Middle East at the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, while speaking to AMEinfo.
The red team has constantly been ahead of the blue team in recent times. With the dawn of the internet and the democratization of data and information, it has become increasingly easy for nefarious actors to attack as organized units or lone wolves. A survey conducted by Mimecast and Vanson-Bourne showed that although 69 percent of UAE respondents agreed on the importance of cyber threat intelligence, about 32 percent of businesses in the UAE are not even using a firewall gateway for basic information security. The need for enhanced cybersecurity is now greater than ever, and there is a clear shortage of the required skill sets. The cybersecurity industry – that’s right, it’s now an industry – is in such high demand, that experts expect it to be worth $165.2 billion by 2023.
“Fortunate news is that luxury never gets dented. Through any recession, downturn or any challenge in the economy, luxury retains its anchor and its strength. The strength of a brand, when it comes to luxury, is viewed as a sustainable investment – so it becomes even more aspirational. People tend to trade up, and those who are loyalists to the brand realize that it is about quality, and it is about an experience. This is why luxury retail always rides the wave of any sort of dent,” said Asil Attar, CEO, Damas Jewellery, while speaking to AMEinfo.
Analytics and Big Data
With a strong impact across all sectors, the data gathering, aggregating, and analytics industry has begun to boom as information begins to migrate from paper to binary code. Digital transformation has enveloped every single aspect of the industry from the entry point of HR to business roles, sales, and marketing. Currently, big data and business analytics (BDA) solutions are churning a worldwide revenue of $189.1 billion in 2019, a 12 percent increase compared to 2018, according to the Worldwide Semiannual Big Data and Analytics Spending Guide released by the International Data Corporation (IDC). The BDA market will primarily be driven by IT services, hardware purchases, and business and financial services. By 2020, there will be 2.2 million data and analytics–related jobs posted in the United States alone, PwC projects, and organizations will struggle to find talent that has industry-specific experience in addition to analytics skills.
AI and Virtual Reality
The next big leap following the collection, aggregation, and analysis of data is having artificial intelligence lead the data-driven decision-making process. The days of making decisions based on gut instinct and experience are long gone. Now comes the age of data and AI. While a human 1,300-gram, 20-watt brain can comb through a few pages if intel in minutes, a ‘smart’ AI machine can comb through 200,000 pages of data in three seconds, and offer predictive insights, proactive solutions, and can even execute real-time analysis-based action if permitted to do so. The nascent, yet rapidly growing, AI industry is expected to be worth $9 billion by 2025. From healthcare and transport to household utilities, connectivity, and even drone technology, the AI industry is beckoning change across all sectors.
From completely transforming food processing and the pharma industry, to potentially creating new energy sources and better use of waste materials, biotechnology is far from the black sheep that people believe it to be. In addition to healthcare, industrial processes and agriculture that biotech is usually associated with, this industry is also altering the way we perceive computational science and defense technology. During two months in 2018, biotech startups raised more than $758 million in funds through shareholders – which is more than what startups accomplished through the whole year 2013, a Forbes article shows. The global biotechnology industry is expected to grow to a whopping $727 billion by 2025, according to Research and Markets projections.