The number one driver of progress for human civilization has been technology. Technology is what allowed humanity to move from a group of nomads to a collection of farmers thanks to inventions like the plow. The invention of machines allowed for the age of industrialization which paved the way for large cities and middle income lifestyles. This evolution of human civilization is still happening today in the internet age with even more amazing technology that was once something only dreamed of in science fiction.
Thanks to new technology, the world is becoming an increasingly globalized economy. Here is an overview of just a few of the factors that are shaping the future for the tech industry and its global position.
Robots were once only seen on the cover of pulp magazines many decades ago. Today, robots are a reality and are helping shape the global economy in a significant fashion. 1.3 million industrial robots will be in use in factories by 2018. There has been a big investment into robot automation in North America, Asia, Europe and all other industrialized economies.
Robots are being used in ways they never were before. They construct products quickly that previously had to be crafted by hand one by one over a much longer period of time. They have even started replacing human beings in facilities other than factories, like shipping warehouses. Amazon, for example, is famous for using robots to prepare customer packages for shipment. Soon, the use of robots and conveyor systems may supplant the need for workers in Amazon shipment centers all together. Employees will then only come into play when the technology that performs the actual work needs to be repaired or maintained.
Another kind of tech that is making a big impact on the global economy is big data. Big data refers to the use of high tech server architecture and software to collect, store and analyze large amounts of data so significant that computers from only a few years ago couldn’t handle the sheer volume of information. Just how big is big data? Big data can’t really be properly measured in terms of gigabytes. It’s better to measure it in terms of quintillion bytes of data. A quintillion byte is composed of 2.5 billion gigabytes. IBM suggests that human beings currently create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day.
How companies collect and analyze data has become a serious source for creating competitive advantages in many industries across the globe. It can help predict consumer behavior with an accuracy that wasn’t achievable when far less information was available to analyze. Sales trends can be plotted out for years ahead now thanks to this information. It also allows companies to provide a more customer centric approach since more customer data is available. Customer service reps can instantly access information from a single customer’s interactions with the company going back many years. That kind of information can now be saved for the long term in large quantities.
While there may still be some debate on the issue, global warming and climate change has certainly become a concern for government and industry at large. This isn’t only the case in the United States. China plans to spend trillions on developing new green technology. There may soon be a 'green race' between the west and Asia. Overall, this will be good news for the environment, which is certain to benefit from technology that allows industries to create products with minimal impact for animals, plants and nature in general.
The global economy is currently going through many different transformations simultaneously including in regards to automation, data collection and environmental concerns. Whatever the future may hold for mankind, technology is sure to keep improving and leading to a more efficient and interconnected global economy.