As 2013 drew to a close, we asked some of our Xconomists to ponder innovation, past and future, and to give us their predictions for the breakout innovations they expect to see in their respective fields. Here’s what they had to say:
Texas Xconomist Blair Garrou, managing director at Mercury Fund in Houston:
I’m excited about an investment theme we’ve been working on closely—the consumerization of the industrial Internet—which we believe will truly start to take shape in 2014. The traditional “consumerization of IT” theme has really only taken hold in progressive industries such as financial services and high tech. Industrial companies (energy, utilities, and manufacturing) are much slower to change, but now have begun embracing emerging trends in cloud, SaaS, mobile, and social, and the all-encompassing “Internet of things.” The difference is that these platforms must conform to meet the industrial company’s needs—where conversations occur around “assets” rather than people, and mobile app frameworks are built around infrastructure that is secure, highly scalable, and can guarantee “4 9’s” SLAs [IT service-level agreements available 99.99 percent of the time].
Ramesh Rao, director of the San Diego Division of CalIT2:
The single most sobering event of the year was the large-scale loss of trust in online privacy safeguards. I think this will have far-reaching implications for IT infrastructure. I realize that this is a dark development to highlight, but Edward Snowden’s actions will unleash a new era of technology measures needed to re-engineer trust.
Wisconsin Xconomist Laura Strong, COO of Quintessence Biosciences:
The breakthrough innovation of next year isn’t new, at all, but improved use of existing technology: social media. Pharma and biotech are on the tailing edge of using these tools to add value to their customers, whether you consider them to be patients, doctors, or payers. In oncology, patient-focused groups are leading the way in creating places and situations where patients can share and learn, not only from each other but doctors and researchers. As with all innovation, the need to invest for the long term and the risks of failure are working against adoption. I hope 2014 will be … Next Page »