The fourth industrial revolution is the current environment where disruptive technology trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, Artificial intelligence (AI), Future Cars/Autonomous Vehicles, Blockchain, Cloud Computing, Genomics and Social Media are changing the way we live and work.
Unlike previous industrial revolutions, these technologies are rapidly combining to create an accelerating, virtuous cycle of nearly unlimited disruption. While previous industrial revolutions were often localized, todays is interconnected and global and its impact is already visible in homes and businesses across the world.
The following white papers are short guide to help investors understand the main sectors of the fourth industrial revolution and their features, applications, and growth potential:
1. Robotics and Automation (Artificial Intelligence)
Recent technological advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are disrupting a range of industries from manufacturing, to health care, defence, and transportation.
Robots are fast replacing human workers in a variety of industries and are offering companies massive efficiencies, increased output, 24/7 operations, predictable quality of goods and (in a post-COVID world) less human-to-human interaction when producing goods.
2. Future Transportation
Future transportation is a key theme of the fourth industrial revolution and encompasses a range of new technologies that are making it faster, cleaner, smarter and safer to move goods and people about.
We already have e-scooters, personal submarines, functional jetpacks, wingsuits and electric planes; and sci-fi scenarios like self-driving cars, trucks and robo-taxis operating in smart cities may be coming to your neighbourhood in future.
Autonomous vehicles use artificial intelligence, software, RADAR and LIDAR technology to monitor a 360 range around the car to form a dynamic 3d picture of the environment. By combining sensors, software and controls, the vehicle can navigate, drive and respond to the actions of other road users without the need for human input.
3. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing refers to a wide range of computing infrastructure, platforms, security services and software which are delivered over the internet and that can be accessed remotely and on-demand.
Cloud underpins a massive amount of businesses – everything from Gmail, Netflix, Facebook, almost any app on your smartphone to services that enable large organisations to host all their data and applications, to ecommerce providers – all are reliant on the cloud to continue to operate.
Cloud has seen rapid adoption at the enterprise level as companies seek to build a robust IT infrastructure without the risks and costs of maintaining, staffing and upgrading it themselves. Instead of owning their own IT infrastructure, companies can hire or license services and applications from cloud providers.
4. Cyber Security
The cybercrime threat is often identified by CEOs as the leading risk factor facing enterprises today. As companies grow increasingly reliant on cloud-based software and as billions of new internet-connected devices are launched (Internet-of-Things), the scope for malicious cyber activity is increasing exponentially.
It has become imperative for organisations and individuals to protect themselves against the widespread economic, operational and reputational damages caused by cyber-attacks and investment in cyber security measures is becoming one of the largest spends in IT departments around the world.
In 2020 size of the cyber security market is estimated to be $173 Billion. While analyst estimates vary, there is broad consensus that the industry will continue to benefit from huge tailwinds, reaching anywhere between $250 Billion and $1 Trillion per year by 2025
Almost all human illnesses have some genetic basis, but it is only recently that doctors have been able to take genetics into consideration when diagnosing or treating their patients. It is even more recently that doctors have been able to tailor treatments based on a patient’s unique genetic make-up, or provide treatment for diseases at the genetic level.
Against this backdrop, the Genomics market is expected to be a high-growth healthcare theme. In 2019, the market was estimated to be $19 Billion and is expected to grow to $39.7 Billion by 2024 – a CAGR of ~13.5% .
Genome-based research is already enabling medical researchers to develop improved diagnostics, more effective therapeutic strategies, evidence-based approaches for demonstrating clinical efficacy, and better decision-making tools for patients and providers.
6. Social Media
It is not a controversial statement to say that the internet is the defining technology of our age. Billions of people are now connected to the internet and are able to access and share a previously unthinkable amount of information, media and entertainment. An estimated 4.6 Billion people, over half of the world’s population, now has internet access.
The basic business model for social media is the same as for any other media platform: advertising. The larger the audience, the more effective an advertising platform it will be. The more time people spend on social media, the more impact advertising can have and the more engaged social media users means advertisers gain confidence that their money is being deployed effectively.
The huge success of social media in attracting adverting spend reflects the seismic shift occurring in the way the average person consumes media content.
Many people will have first heard about Blockchain through its association with Bitcoin, but its applications go far beyond cryptocurrencies as it stands ready to create huge efficiencies across almost every industry vertical.
Financial services is the sector that has most rapidly embraced Blockchain, representing about 60% of spending. This is perhaps unsurprising given the importance of transactional data for their business, but Blockchain stands to impact a wide array of industries.
A recent Deloitte survey1 polled nearly 1,400 executives from around the world on their perceptions of, and use of Blockchain. 53% reported that Blockchain has become a critical strategic priority for their company, with 71% citing improved security as it’s key appeal. Of those polled, 40% are spending more than $5 million a year or R&D or implementation.
8. Augmented & Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is a combination of imaging, hologram, motion sensing, 3D technologies and feedback technologies that enables us to experience artificial or remote environments as if we were there. Augmented reality overlays data and information on top of our existing senses to add information to enhance decision making.
The VR and AR markets are at a nascent stage of development and penetration, giving investors the opportunity to get in early on a high-growth potential sector. The overall market is expected to grow from $7.9 Billion in 2018 to $44.7 Billion by 2024, a CAGR of 33.5%4. More than half of this growth is expected to come from hardware sales.
Large technology companies are making huge investments in the AR and VR space such as Facebook’s $2 Billion acquisition of VR headset maker Oculus. Others, like Sony