What are the future 'game changers' for your industry and business?

As a business owner, I make a point of attending a few seminars each year that take me outside of my ‘corporate bubble’, challenge my thinking and ensure I’m working on the business as well as in it.  A few weeks ago I went to a Fast Forward Your Business seminar recommended by a couple of respected business contacts. As it happened I had a busy couple of weeks prior to the Saturday workshop, so I registered without really taking much notice of what it was about, turned up without doing my pre-work and settled into my VIP seat without having considered what I wanted to glean from the day.

The main presenter Roger Hamilton was very knowledgeable and charismatic and he was joined throughout the day by several other successful and equally polished business people. Roger talked about the latest mind-boggling technology and trends, or what he calls the top 10 waves, that will impact the way we live and work over the next few years:

  • Artificial intelligence

  • Mobile payments

  • Touch screen technology

  • Augmented reality

  • Voice recognition

  • 3D printing

  • Global automation

  • Hyper growth markets

  • The consumer shift from ‘search’ to ‘research’

  • The industry shift from ‘market share’ to a ‘shared market’

  • The move from ‘information marketing’ to ‘automated, personalised service’

I admit to being blown away by the ‘futuristic’ technology that is actually available now, especially 3D printing. Wikipedia describes 3D printing, sometimes known as additive manufacturing, simply as ‘a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.’ Forbes magazine explores this game changing phenomenon in its article Will 3D Printing change the world? There’s a useful ABC video story that demonstrates how it actually works and an insight into how 3D printing is being used in the medical field to build replacement body parts.

Available for a decade but now reaching a price point that makes it affordable in the home, this incredible technology will impact the whole supply chain. If you’re in design, manufacturing, retail, transport, logistics – in fact almost any industry, you want to be taking notice and considering what 3D printing will mean to your customers, their customers and your business. I know I am!

Posted: Saturday 31 March 2012

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