Quantum computing and flying cars are two of the top trends that Frost & Sullivan has outlined within its top trends for 2018/19 at its CEO Think Tank in Cape Town.
The company has looked at trends that are changing the way we work and live.
Frost & Sullivan Africa operations director Hendrik Malan said companies should take these trends into account when doing their corporate planning, as they were likely to have a major impact over the next 18 to 24 months.
Rapid advances are expected in quantum computing. It is expected to surpass super-computers within the next 12 to 18 months.
Quantum computing uses qubits, which are able to process vast amounts of unstructured data. Qubits scale exponentially. The processing power greatly accelerates computing capability.
The downside is that the more qubits in play, the more computations become susceptible to errors.
POLITICS UNDERGOES A GENERATIONAL SHIFT
More Millenials are moving into the political arena. Malan says political leaders in their 30s are upending traditional norms and, in many cases, stand apart from the stereotypical Millennial profile.
“We are seeing a new wave of young leaders entering into the political system, particularly young leaders in their 30s,” said Malan.
The ‘30-something club’ includes people like the Crown Price of Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, who is 32; Chinese leader, Kim Jong Un; the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern (37), President of France, Emmanuel Macron (39), Federal Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz (31); and Prime Minister of Ireland, Leo Varadkar (38).
GLOBAL NATURAL DISASTER STRATEGIES
2017 was the most devastating year in the history of mankind in terms of natural disasters. Among them were Hurricane Harvey in Texas, which caused $180-billion in damage; the Sierra Leone mudslide; the Mexico City earthquake; and South Asia flooding.
Closer to home, South Africa experienced devastating fires in Knysna and the water crisis in Cape Town.
Malan said technology was being stepped up to respond to disasters. Insurance companies are getting involved in baseline research on climate change. Seismic surveillance systems are improving, while flying and underwater drones are being used for search and rescue.
RISE OF ENTERPRISE BEHAVIOURAL SCIENCE
The study of human interactions, decision processes and communication between people in a social system is on the rise. The field is advancing very quickly because of access to social media.
“Companies are able to track the way you consume data, and they will feed that,” said Malan.
Uber has been a key example of this.
CORPORATE VALUATION RACE
This year is expected to take corporate valuations to a new level. Apple was the first trillion-dollar company in valuation.
The top five companies globally are collectively worth more than the gross domestic product of every country other than the US, China, Japan and Germany.
These megacompanies have the ability to influence policy frameworks and drive innovation, said Frost & Sullivan.
THE INNOVATION TUG-OF-WAR
As companies gain power, there is a need to see that innovation is done responsibly and ethically. There has been a negative shifting of funds from research and development to paying or preventing regulation penalties.
Fake News has become a buzzphrase. The US election, the British–EU exit referendum, the Nigerian elections and South Africa’s experience with Bell Pottinger, are all examples of this.
Governments are proposing legislation such as the Honest Ads Act in the US.
At an industry level, Frost & Sullivan said there is a need to push large organisations to share information, while on an individual level, we should be able to flag suspect content. Resources are also necessary to fact-check information.
SHIFT AWAY FROM PLATFORM-ONLY MODELS
Companies such as airbnb, Amazon and Uber are moving into new avenues. Airbnb has partnered with an apartment developer on an airbnb–branded apartment complex with a short-term rental philosophy. Amazon has bought Whole Foods to attain grocery store locations. Uber has moved into establishing mall-based kiosks and has set up a deal with Volvo to buy 24 000 self-driving cars.
PERSONAL CONSUMER TRANSPORTATION
Flying personal transportation is to be tested in Dubai this summer.
Malan said Dubai is working towards offering the world’s first self-flying taxi service. The Kitty Hawk Flyer is expected to be available on the market soon.
The cities of Los Angeles and Dallas are also looking into the prospect of flying cars.
The CEO Think Tank forms part of the tenth annual Growth, Innovation and Leadership (GIL) event held in partnership with the Public Investment Corporation.