The biggest trend in business in the past twenty years has been globalization, and this factor continues to influence the markets, but technology and connectivity are emerging as world game-changers. How does connectivity affect business on a global basis?
Connected travel already monitors traffic and routes public transportation. “Smart” travel cards, used in some cities, allow residents to travel throughout the city or between cities on trains, busses, and mass-transit systems, even giving discounts to users. Connected governance is the trend toward offering more governmental services online (as in obtaining Social Security cards, applying for some benefits, paying taxes and other services). Future increased connectivity would bring together all departments of local, state or federal government, allowing people to access the services they need while having the capability of retrieving data from other departments. All of these developments require infrastructures and servers.
Connectivity generates huge returns today and is expected to grow as an industry. Home connectivity already includes heat and security systems that can be controlled through mobile applications. Entertainment is increasingly digital. Those trends are expected to continue. One lucrative addition is in robotics. Today there are robotic units that can help shoppers find products in stores and do simple chores in industry. The home application of robotics is limited because of the cost. By 2020, however, robots that can provide in-home care for the elderly, act as teaching assistants or help with home care and maintenance may cost as little as $1000 to $3000 a unit. Cloud hosting enables subscribers to access data and share it from any digital device (like a phone) to any other device. That allows people to work from anywhere and to make critical decisions without waiting to get back to computer-stored data. In the future, Cloud connectivity will enable the virtual sharing of work spaces saving industry some major dollars. In all, the connectivity market is expected to generate $720 billion by 2020.
Big data analysis is a huge industry today, but by 2025 it is expected to generate $122 billion. This is due, in large part, to “smart technology.” Cloud connectivity makes possible the reality of smart cars that drive themselves. Nissan is looking into sensor data that could result in cars that self-diagnose. The technology is here today: during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, data analyzers looked at Twitter hashtags to determine where the greatest need was for power, fuel, food and water. There are also “smart cities” in existence today. These are cities that rely on at least one smart technology to manage things like power allocation and travel. By 2020, business generated through these cities is expected to be $1.5 trillion.
All of these advances are playing out on a world stage. Challenges to the future of this global connectivity may be ensuring fair trade, economic shifts (China and India are projected to become the world leaders in industry) and governmental restrictions. Professionals such as Shahram Shirkhani who understand global business can offer insight into the ramifications of managing corporations with international connections. Shirkani’s international law expertise can help business people navigate cultural and governmental differences as they anticipate acquisitions and mergers on the global market. The bright, exciting future of business connectivity will demand the skills and knowledge of such professionals.