The World Economic Forum “The Global Risks Report 2017: 12th Edition” initiated a discussion on Emerging Technologies. It commenced with “The emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will inevitably transform the world in many ways – some that are desirable and others that are not” and went on to discuss the following twelve key emerging technologies.

WEF 12 emerging technologies

  • 3D printing
  • Advanced materials and nanomaterials
  • Artificial intelligence and robotics
  • Biotechnologies
  • Energy capture, storage and transmission
  • Blockchain and distributed ledger
  • Geoengineering
  • Ubiquitous linked sensors (IOT)
  • Neurotechnology
  • New computing technologies (quantum and biological computing, neural network processing)
  • Space technologies
  • Virtual and augmented realities

Whilst we may disagree with some of the perceived benefits or adverse consequences of the technologies that made the list, it is clear there are significant risks for all enterprises with the accelerating emergence of new technologies.

How to govern these emerging technologies is a complex question. Governance regimes need to be sufficiently robust without being constraining. As the report makes clear, the governance of emerging technologies is patchy, both from a regulatory point of view, where the legal profession just is not keeping pace, and commercially.

Emerging technologies exacerbate both global and enterprise-wide risks, but their potential benefits are also huge if managed correctly. To do this you’ll need to assess the risks and manage them. Independently test and, where needed, refresh your governance arrangements. The old accepted norms don’t give you the balance and agility required. They will either impede progress or expose you to unintended consequences. Be prepared to embrace new thinking and exploit emerging technologies better than your competition.

Cambridge Advisory Partners was founded to provide clients unfettered access to the type of innovative thinking only possible when you’re constantly observing and analysing how different worlds intersect and collide, and when you are informed by experience but energised by the future. CAP doesn’t provide “repeatable propositions” delivered en mass. Everything we do is re-imagined for your specific circumstances and delivered by Partners recognised for their relevant expertise.

2018 has to be the year to revolutionise your business. Be bold, stand out and lead from the front. Contact us to find out how we can help you realise this.