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What’s the Next Big Thing? Tech Opportunities to Watch

by Samantha Kalany

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

You never know where lightning will strike. There’s no exact formula for predicting the next big opportunity for technology solution companies (TSCs). Looking back at late 2019, few people expected the skyrocketing demand just a year later for video conferencing and telehealth solutions, self-service kiosks, online grocery ordering, and QR code payments. TSCs that were prepared to capitalize on those tech opportunities were at the right place at the right time for revenue growth.

So, What’s the Next Big Thing?

No guarantees, but here are a few contenders for the next tech boom and what could propel these solutions to the top.

  1. Artificial Intelligence

AI is permeating all industries. Customer service chatbots powered by AI provide 24/7 service, while machine vision systems perform quality assurance on minute electronic components and image recognition systems find anomalies in medical images. AI quickly and accurately performs repetitive tasks, freeing humans to focus on higher-level work.

The Potential for Growing Demand 

Businesses and enterprises seek solutions to help them operate with smaller teams. As of July 31, 2022, there were 11.2 million job openings in the U.S., and resignations totaled about 4.2 million. AI solutions that enable automation or assist employees in doing their jobs can solve pressing problems in a range of vertical markets.

  1. Robots and Cobots

Supply chain operations still rely heavily on human labor, from driving forklifts to picking orders and staging parcels for shipment. E-commerce enterprises have deployed robots to retrieve items from high shelves, transport items to employees, and remove empty totes and materials for recycling from work areas. Although some warehouses and distribution centers have deployed robots for specific processes, they’ll begin to take a more holistic approach, creating connected, automated systems to operate more efficiently.

The Potential for Growing Demand

Customers have increasingly higher expectations for faster service. Automating processes with robots or cobots can help improve supply chain performance. For example, boosting key performance indicators (KPIs) such as picking accuracy, total order cycle time, fulfillment accuracy rate, on-time shipping rate, and cost per order. These systems also improve safety and customer satisfaction. The global market for warehouse robots is poised for a 14 percent CAGR through 2026 to reach $9.1 billion.

  1. Cryptocurrency

Merchants have seen consumers’ payment preferences shift since early 2020. Payments with mobile wallets and contactless cards appealed to people concerned about disease transmission. Rising prices led to a boost in buy now, pay later (BNPL) use. Those trends confirmed that payments are consumer-driven – and now, consumers have cryptocurrency.

The Potential for Growing Demand

Fintech Stilt reports that 76.46 percent of cryptocurrency users are millennials. More brick-and-mortar businesses accept bitcoin, including KFC, Subway, and Pizza Hut. Additionally, PYMNTS and BitPay found that consumers who purchase bitcoin don’t only consider it as an investment; 80 percent of crypto owners use bitcoin to pay in-store and online.

  1. EV Charging

Green, sustainable systems are trending, backed by government regulations and incentives. Although innovative technology solution providers will find ways to meet this growing demand in various ways, one promising opportunity is deploying EV charging stations.

The Potential for Growing Demand

As more electric vehicles hit the road, consumers will look for EV charging stations. Forward-thinking restaurateurs and retailers will install them in parking areas to give their customers a convenient way to charge while they dine or shop. Grand View Research predicts the U.S. EV charging market will grow at a 36.9 percent CAGR from $2.85 billion in 2021 to more than $35 billion in 2030.

  1. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and the Metaverse

There’s a lot of buzz about the Metaverse, promising the ultimate immersive experience for gamers and providing a new way for people to interact within a virtual world. And some of those interactions may involve purchasing clothing their avatar tries on, making in-game purchases, buying music, or even “test drive” vehicles to use in the physical world.

The Potential for Growing Demand

According to Verified Market Research, the growing momentum behind VR, AR, and mixed reality (MR) will drive the Metaverse market size at a 39.1 percent CAGR through 2030 to reach $824.53 billion worldwide.

Can Technology Solution Providers Predict the Future?

Of course, the answer is no. Looking back on pandemic-driven tech opportunities, it’s easy to understand them. However, no one can claim to have known in advance that they’d happen.

On the other hand, savvy TSCs will learn about their markets’ challenges, study trends, and position themselves for growth. You can’t predict where lightning will strike, but you can see the signs of a storm, put out a lightning rod, and increase the chances of where it will hit.

Position your business to catch the next big tech opportunity.

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