In more ways than one, 2018 is the start of a renaissance in digitalization across a multitude of business technologies. As processes and strategies have gotten better, certain emerging disciplines have gotten off the training wheels and assumed a strong identity of their own.
Herein, we are listing four emerging verticals that are bound to be extremely newsworthy and profitable this year. Additionally, these segments offer a strong platform for entrepreneurship and innovation.
1) Artificial Intelligence
Suggested free sample download: Insightful deepdive into the global AI market, 2017-2021
After spending an eternity as fodder for sci-fi movies and keynote lectures, Artificial Intelligence or AI has finally come off age in the last couple of years. Per the best estimates, in 2018, robotics will play a key role in fundamental pillars of human civilization like healthcare, manufacturing and transportation.
AI powered devices will likely make a comfortable shift to voice based interactions, will copiously employ machine learning to ‘learn’ from their surroundings, and will make proactive use of other key innovations like blockchain, predictive analytics and IoT to run the show.
No wonder, the investments in AI will increase dramatically, and as expected, a lot of these AI projects will prove to be costly failures. However, backed by a rapidly digitalizing landscape- wherein medium sized and large companies are all going the cloud route- AI will maintain its hold at the top of the food chain of innovations.
2) Autonomous Vehicles
Suggested free sample download: What’s the global autonomous vehicles market like between 2018-2022?
2017 proved to be the year that autonomous (driverless, for the uninitiated) went from an untested concept to solid reality with a multitude of spirited wheels on the ground. Tech giants like Google, Apple and Uber are pushing for autonomous technology to replace conventional driving technologies. Will 2018 be the year when the autonomous lobby score the big victories?
Probably not. Recent events where state-of-the-art autonomous vehicles have crashed or caused casualties have put off the popular opinion about this advancement. Uber has ‘temporarily’ halted its self-driving program, Tesla has maintained a stoic silence about its own crashed car, and enabling technology manufacturers like Nvidia, whose AI technology powers most autonomous cars, are reevaluating their core technologies. This is definitely pushing the march of innovation in this super competitive segment, delaying progress by some years definitely.
However, autonomous driving technology is too lucrative and advantageous for the consumers to remain on the shelf for way too long. According to most estimates, autonomous vehicles will likely be back to full scale testing by late 2018 or early 2019.
Suggested free sample download: Cryptocurrency mining hardware market, 2018-2022
First came the excitement, next the windfall, and now, the market correction. After earning a tremendous following in 2017, digital currency earned legitimacy of sorts with even the Nasdaq CEO chiming in that her establishment was ready to become a cryptocurrency exchange. Yet, mass appeal minus the ‘cryptic’ could be cryptocurrency’s big play in 2018.
According to a highly influential report published by the technology investment bank GP Bullhound, cryptocurrencies will experience market correction rates of upto 90% in 2018. This will essentially wipe out a number of contenders and leave the survivors looking at unprecedented growth and profitability. The current top 3 digital currencies – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, respectively- will retain their spots in terms of market capitalization, while a majority of the remaining 1000+ cryptocurrencies will beat a hasty exit.
Initially, there will be panic amongst investors, but the stabilization will benefit them in the long run. Additionally, the de-cluttering of the market will help new investors align with digital currencies that command a bigger market share, stability and legitimacy.
4) E-commerce based technologies
Suggested free sample download: Glimpse into the lucrative e-commerce payment market, 2018-2022
In 2017, the global e-commerce industry had a watershed year marked by the dominance of smartphones as the preferred medium for online shopping and the intensification of B2B e-commerce. According to industry experts, B2B e-commerce in the US will peak at US$ 1.2 trillion by 2021, while global B2C e-commerce will be worth a staggering US$ 2.35 trillion by the close of 2018.
Big numbers indeed, however the bigger picture here is the innovation, personalization and ease of operation that will render online shopping a smarter choice as compared to the conventionally available options. Omnichannel retail will massively integrate the offline and online formats while AI inspired customization will help build brand identity and loyalty.
In 2018, e-commerce will be analogous with most retail technologies and offer an expansive playing field for both big and small players. Quality will take precedence; social media strategies will define the brand’s popularity and products/ services will lose their localized limitations and appeal to a bigger, more spread out audience.