Watch Out: Business Technology Disruptions Ahead!

Date: July 15, 2016 Last Edit: September 07, 2016

5 disruptive tech trends poised to shake up the status quo—and potentially shake up your business.


“The only constant in life is change.” French author François de La Rochefoucauld wrote that back in the 17th century, and the guy is still spot-on. 

INFOGRAPHIC: 5 Tech Trends Small Businesses Can’t Ignore in 2016

Keep an eye out for these five disruptive techs that could totally change the way we do business:

1. Instant Delivery

For decades, the idea of reasonably priced same-day delivery remained a consumer dream and a logistics nightmare. Today, Amazon even offers loyalty members free same-day shipping, and Instacart deploys an army of shoppers to deliver groceries to customers’ doorsteps. Driven by the rise of big data and sophisticated algorithms, more startups focused on instant delivery are entering the market. For businesses that deliver locally, that means the competition is tougher.

RELATED: Amazon Exposed: Business Practices You Probably Want to Avoid

2. 3-D Printing

Prices are plummeting: You can now get a 3-D printer for $350—pushing more businesses to rely on 3-D printing to make products and parts. Analysts predict that some industries, such as toys and footwear, will find printing locally is cheaper than shipping from afar. And companies may eventually have an in-house printer to generate replacement parts for crucial equipment.

RELATED: New Technology for the Office Can Change the Way You Work

3. Freelance Everything

Apps like Handy, Fancy Hands and TaskRabbit connect users to independent contractors willing to assemble furniture, spring-clean offices or act as personal assistants. There are 53 million freelancers in the U.S., about 34 percent of the workforce—a number that’s expected to hit 50 percent by 2020, according to Forbes

RELATED: A Rising Gig in the Economy: Freelancers

4. Sharing Economy



PwC predicts the sharing economy will top $335 billion in revenue by 2025. “The real magic and secret sauce behind collaborative consumption market-places like Airbnb … is using the power of technology to build trust between strangers,” says author Rachel Botsman in her TED Talk. There has been a surge in sites where people can rent out something they’re not using—from cars to Wi-Fi networks.

RELATED: 6 Lesson a Small Business Can Learn from Uber’s Triumphs—and Failures

5. Robotics


Investment in industrial robots has increased by roughly 50 percent since 2008, according to McKinsey & Co. As robots get cheaper, more dexterous and safer to use, they’re making their way into more roles in manufacturing and maintenance—lowering costs across supply chains.


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