Let the debates begin! Jim Pinto has published his 2015 prognostications in the latest JimPintoBlog.
Check out his entire list and enter your thoughts on his blog. I’ll highlight some of his thoughts and add some of my own.
Automation Industry Trends
New inflection points will change the leadership lineup.
GM—I do not expect big changes in the automation leadership lineup. Mitsubishi, Rockwell Automation and Siemens are dominant in their home areas and fighting it out in China and India. Siemens has a bit of an edge having been international for a longer period of time. But as automation commoditizes, perhaps some new entrants will grab some share. If Bedrock Automation can market well, watch out for it. On the process side, Invensys is gone, absorbed by Schneider Electric. So the process automation business becomes even more of a minor part of the overall businesses, like ABB, Emerson Process Management, and Yokogawa. The only interesting situation in that market area is Honeywell Process Solutions. But I don’t really expect any change there.
I think 3D printing (additive manufacturing) is a game changer and one of the most important things from last week’s CES. It’s not strictly automation, though.
- Internet of Things (IoT): The Industrial Internet will transform the next decade. Intelligent sensors and networks will take measurement and control to the next level, dramatically improving productivity and efficiencies in production. Growth in 2015 will be bottom-up, not top-down.
- Smaller, Cheaper Sensors: Everyone is looking for or working on smaller, cheaper sensors for widespread use in IoT. Expect fast growth for sensors this year.
- Cloud Computing: Cloud computing technology reduces capital expenditures and IT labor costs by transferring responsibility to cloud computing providers, allowing secure and fast access for data-driven decisions. The significant gains in efficiency, cost and capability will generate continuing rapid growth in 2015.
- 3D Printing in Manufacturing: Today, do-it-yourself manufacturing is possible without tooling, large assembly lines or multiple supply chains. 3D printing is reshaping product development and manufacturing.
- Mobile Devices in Automation: The use of WiFi-connected tablets, smartphones and mobile devices is spreading quickly. Handheld devices reduce costs, improve operating efficiency, boost productivity and increases throughput. More and more employers are allowing BYOD (bring your own device).
- Robotics: Millions of small and medium-sized businesses that will benefit from cheaper robots that can economically produce a wide variety of products in small numbers. The next generation of robots will be cheaper and easier to set up, and will work with people rather than replace them.
- Control Systems Security: In spite of apprehensions over consumer security breach events, industrial cyber security has mostly been ignored due to lack of understanding of solution costs. Many companies struggle to justify what is seen as added cost to secure their operation. Major security breaches will change this attitude.
Business Technology Trends
Gartner’s top trends for 2015 (3) cover three themes: the merging of the real and virtual worlds, the advent of intelligence everywhere, and the technology impact of the digital business shift. There is a high potential for disruption to the business with the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.
Here are the top Gartner trends:
- Computing Everywhere: As mobile devices continue to proliferate, there will be increased emphasis on the needs of the mobile users. Increasingly, the overall environment will need to adapt to the requirements of the mobile user
- 3D Printing: Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 98 percent in 2015, followed by a doubling of unit shipments in 2016, reaching a tipping point over the next three years.
- Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics: The volume of data generated by embedded systems generates vast pools of structured and unstructured data inside and outside the enterprise. Organizations need to deliver exactly the right information to the right person, at the right time, so analytics will become deeply, but invisibly embedded everywhere.
- Smart Machines: Advanced algorithms will allow systems to understand their environment, learn for themselves, and act autonomously.
- Cloud Computing: The convergence of cloud and mobile computing will continue to promote the growth of centrally coordinated applications that can be delivered to any device. Applications will evolve to support simultaneous use of multiple devices.
- Risk-Based Security and Self-Protection: All roads to the digital future lead through security. Organizations will increasingly recognize that it is not possible to provide a 100 percent secured environment. They will apply more-sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation tools. Every app needs to be self-aware and self-protecting.
GM—My take is that the biggest thing in this area is analytics combined with improved visualizations and dashboards that take advantage of smartphones and tablets. Cloud is here. IoT is here. Security will forever be an important part of business.
2015 Consumer Electronics Show
- Wearable Devices: The time is right for wearable devices.
- Practical green tech.
- Sustainability and transportation: Tesla Model X all-electric SUV with the doors that open like a Delorean. Electric-assisted bike technology; electric scooter with swappable batteries and dashboard analytics.
- Kid-Tech: Apps to help teach children science, math, and tech. Fun little robots that teach kids computer programming concepts. Drawing, design, and color patterns to help kids learn about robotics and computer programming.
GM—as I’ve already written, autonomous vehicles could be a game changer and 3D printing was huge. The outlier is drones. Who knows where that might go?
Future Prognostications 2015-2025
Here are ten prognostications for the next decade, picked from the World Future Society (7) forecasts, plus other readings and discussions with Futurists.
- – Education: A major shift to on-line education and certification is already happening, and will continue steadily.
- – Jobs: Advances in artificial intelligence will eliminate human workers.
- – Robot Work Force
- – Middle Class Impasse: delaying retirement, income stagnating
- – Driverless cars
- – Speak to Computers.
- – Robotic Augmentation (exoskeletons)
- – Health & Well-being: sensors everywhere
- – Brain scanning will replace juries
- -Energy: Futurist Ray Kurzweil notes that solar power has been doubling every two years for the past 30 years while costs have been dropping. He says solar energy is only six doublings (less than 14 years) away from meeting 100% percent of energy needs.
GM-There are going to be some disruptions and huge benefits from a number of these. Autonomous vehicles and health advances are fantastic. I wish education would change more quickly that it does. Even those who wish to disrupt education mainly only have the political agenda of “teachers’ unions” and driving down salaries. (Why is it a political agenda to drive down salaries. Shouldn’t we be trying to improve everyone’s lot in life?)
I’m not a fan of Kurzweil. 100% is not realistic—maybe residential, but not everything. Don’t think there’s enough volts there!
I think we are going to need those labor-saving, productivity-enhancing advancements because we’re actually facing a labor shortage in 10 years. Time to start thinking farther ahead.
Humans have a way of adapting to thrive. I am optimistic about the future!
Yes, Jim, I’m with you there!