The Global Language of Business

9 Top enabling technologies that support emerging business trends

Today’s business challenges are incredibly complex and multi-faceted. As a result, no one technology can solve every problem. Therefore, companies must evaluate and invest in many different technologies.

Let’s take a look at the top technology disruptors that are expected to impact GS1 industries today and into the future.

This article is part of a series, based on our white paper: Trend Research 2018-2019: Identifying opportunities for GS1 to address today’s industry challenges


1. Internet of Things (IoT), sensors and biometrics

The IoT has had an enormous impact on every industry, creating a “design platform” that enables the development of a variety of applications.

Key business trends enabled by IoT, sensors and biometrics include : automation and “Smart Everything”, empowered consumers, on-demand logistics and services, traceability and sustainability.


2. Artificial intelligence (A.I.)

A.I. describes advanced, smart computing techniques used to analyse complex problems and data. It helps define patterns in data and provide predictive analytics.

A.I. enables the automation/Smart Everything trend, powering new applications for autonomous robotics, creating new ways of engaging with today’s empowered consumers, and solving ever new challenges in real-time.


3. Open, structured and linked data

Almost any useful business-to-business or business- to-consumer application needs data from multiple sources. Integrating all this information is extremely difficult, especially if it’s unstructured.

The more data can be open, structured and linked, the stronger impact they will have in enabling greater interoperability, especially in business trends such as empowered consumers, traceability, and automation/Smart Everything.

4. Autonomous logistics

In the same way that self-driving cars are disrupting personal transportation, there is a surge of applications that are taking advantage of autonomous systems for logistics.

Robotics and A.I. are other technologies that are contributing to the advancement of autonomous logistics, which is a key enabler for business trends such as on-demand logistics, and automation/ Smart Everything.


5. Blockchain and distributed data

The interest in blockchain has expanded across industry as a way to share data and information across a large number of participants, while offering the possibility of greater data and transactional security.

Blockchain offers new capabilities and is helping to re-ignite interest in other approaches to managing distributed data, such as edge computing and distributed data warehouses.

This technology is being rapidly evaluated today as a potential enabler for traceability, especially in food safety applications.


6. Computer vision

While early advances in computer vision focused exclusively on image recognition, the field has expanded. Vision systems can now observe environments and make decisions and conclusions to support a variety of applications, especially to aid in product quality control in the warehouse.

This technology is enabling many business trends, most notably automation/Smart Everything—and is creating efficiency and speed in support of on-demand logistics and services.


7. Voice recognition

Voice recognition and natural language processing have advanced—and are driving the adoption of personal assistant devices.

This new “conversational commerce” is emerging as a hot new trend that is impacting brands, companies, and marketplaces. These players are increasingly connecting with consumers through apps and voice to improve product research, answer questions and simplify purchases.

This technology enabler will have the biggest impact on the trends: empowered consumer and automation/Smart Everything.


8. Robotics

Robotic systems take on many forms, whether carrying out actions autonomously or semi-autonomously or acting in concert with other robots or people for more complex tasks.

A new trend in robotics is “collaborative robots” (also referred to as cobots or co-robots) in which robots are interacting with people in warehouses and manufacturing settings.

Robotics is a key enabler in the automation/Smart Everything trend. It is also assisting in the scaling of mass customisation.


9. Augmented, virtual (AR/VR) and mixed reality

The ability to superimpose digital images and information into the real world using mobile phones, displays and wearable headsets is helping to improve accuracy and efficiency in industrial and commercial settings.

These systems will have a big impact in driving new advances in the automation/Smart Everything and empowered consumer business trends.

  • Find out more

- Have a look at our first post of the series

- Read our story: 7 business trends transforming industries

- See our Business trends and the GS1 value chain graphic

- Download the full report: Trend Research 2018-2019, Identifying opportunities for GS1 to address today’s industry challenges