Transplant someone from the year 2000 to our current time, and he or she will be completely bewildered by the advances that we have made since. The Internet, smartphones, AI and other developments have changed our society so drastically.
Go back to the dawn of the 20th century, and things are even more drastic. Consider that, in America: In 1900,
10 percent of families owned a stove, or had access to electricity or phones In 1915,
10 percent of families owned a car In 1930,
10 percent of families owned a refrigerator or clothes washer In 1945,
10 percent of families owned a clothes dryer or air-conditioning In 1960,
10 percent of families owned a dishwasher or colour TV In 1975,
10 percent of families owned a microwave In 1990,
10 percent of families had a cell phone or access to the Internet Today, at least 90 percent of Americans own a stove, electricity, car, fridge, clothes washer, air-conditioning, colour TV, microwave, and cell phone.
And technology marches ever onward. Indeed, the pace of technological advancement in recent years has not only been gathering pace, but is at a positively breakneck speed. There are even more advanced technologies on the horizon, that will make today seem quaint. Of course, many of these technologies are of use to SMEs. Not just because they are a business opportunity – any SME that fails to keep up with the times will be left behind, and consigned to fail.
Nevertheless, these are exciting times we live in. In the next few decades, we will see interesting developments and progressions in pretty much every area of technology that will matter. Enhanced functionality, more capable devices, and new online services will be made available to users on a continual basis.
Not only that, but the nature of work has also changed. Before, one needed to come into the office to get work done. Factories were staffed by armies of workers. Now, work can be done remotely, and just a few skilled employees can oversee an automated assembly line. Video calling and teleconferencing used to belong to the realm of science fiction, but the spread of COVID-19 has necessitated the use of such technology for the sake of public health.
Looking further in the future, there are possible breakthroughs that will dramatically alter the human condition. Sooner or later, medicine will figure out how to cure cancer and other diseases, dramatically increase human life, and directly interface the human brain with machines. Cheap, clean forms of energy will be discovered. Computers will get faster and smaller.
On the flip side, entertainment and media will become more engaging and immersive – and some might say, insidious. New, more efficient ways of killing each other will be invented. Assuming World War III hasn’t broken out before then, we still have the problem of pollution and a degraded environment to deal with.
Futurists thought that as technology became more advanced, our human needs would be more than adequately satisfied, and that we would have more leisure time. Of course, that is not the case now. If anything, we are working more than ever, but we are also more productive than ever. New jobs, new skills, and new demands have grown as a result of technological progress. And as a species, our innate dynamism ensures that we will never stop progressing. Will that stop us from destroying ourselves as well? Only time will tell.
Hence, in this issue, SME showcases our pick of emerging technologies that has the greatest potential to disrupt the business world as we know it.
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Cloud- Driven Recovery
With digital transformation being an important catalyst for Malaysia’s inclusive economic recovery, cloud computing plays an important role that enables . the country to acquire the advantages that technology offers.
Live Werkz: Venturing Beyond Southeast Asia
Being forward-looking in its approach has enabled LiveWerkz Pte Ltd to survive the Covid-19 pandemic, says vice president Tricia Ng. Despite being a Singaporean company, the company does not focus its efforts in the Southeast Asia region. Instead, Greater China and the Middle East become the foundation for its businesses. Ng tells SME the company’s strategies in facing a challenging future.
Singapore's Go Digital Well Received
More than 78,000 of Singapore’s SMEs have participated in the country’s Go Digital programme since its 2017 launch, with more about 40,000 becoming participants last year, including 30,000 that received Covid-19 incentives from the government.
Accountants And SMEs: Creating A Sustainable World
For SME finance professionals, ‘sustainability’ is about achieving longevity. However, there is a confusion over different definitions of sustainability. They recognise the growing importance of tackling sustainability issues but lack the understanding of how doing this can be integrated into day-to-day practices within the finance function.
Rebuilding Our Mental Well-Being In Sales
Sue Barrett is a writer, training provider and entrepreneur who founded Barrett in 1995 to positively transform the culture, capability and continuous learning of leaders, teams and businesses.
Omicron: A Test Of Resilence
Global manufacturers have been facing a supply chain crisis since the start of the year. Just as it appeared that the situation was beginning to stabilise, the Omicron Covid variant reared its ugly head.
Silver Lining In The Cloud
Although RAS Security Pte Ltd’s business was adversely affected by the pandemic, there’s a silver lining in the cloud. The occurrence has necessitated the company to innovate its business model to remain viable and led to the discovery of new areas of security service provision. Managing director Tejdeep Singh shares his journey.
Accelerating Artificial Intelligence
Singapore is introducing two new public artificial intelligence (AI) programmes as part of the strategy to use technology for social and economic good, involving a total allocation of S$680 million to accelerate AI research. The latest initiatives require a funding of S$180 million.
Three Tips For Hiring Top Talents
BIG EGOS LOSE TALENTS First up, when it comes to hiring, you must put aside your ego.
The Economy Is Recovering, But What About People?
All signs are pointing towards a speedy recovery. Contrary to what this writer initially predicted, the economy seems to be genuinely recovering.
HOW NEW ROBIN HOOD CEO BUERY PLANS TO FIGHT NYC POVERTY
Richard R. Buery Jr., is starting his first full year as CEO of Robin Hood. But he’s no stranger to New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization.
BOEING AIRLINER SALES JUMP BUT DELIVERIES LAG RIVAL AIRBUS
Boeing finished 2021 far behind European rival Airbus in deliveries of new aircraft, but sales bounced back after two dismal years caused by the 737 Max crashes and the pandemic.
Blancpain enters the rarefied air of aviation-inspired luxury with its Air Command, a revival of a 1950s military model that now joins the manufacture's regular collection. We test-piloted the latest edition with a titanium case and sunburst blue dial.
MUSCLE CARS ON TRACK
UMI’s 2021 Autocross Challenge brought fast cars, both new and classic, to battle it out.
JIVANA HEYMAN HAS A REVOLUTIONARY IDEA: Make Yoga Accessible to Everyone
FOR THE ACCESSIBLE YOGA COFOUNDER, ANYONE CAN DO YOGA” ISN’T A FEEL-GOOD SOCIAL MEDIA SLOGAN—IT’S A LIFELONG MISSION.
AIRBUS-BOEING DEAL EASES US EU TENSIONS BUT CONFLICTS REMAIN
The deal the United States and the European Union reached this week to end their long-running rift over subsidies to Boeing and Airbus will suspend billions in punitive tariffs.
In Review - 2021: A CHALLENGING YEAR FOR APPLE
Whilst Apple has undoubtedly faced challenges this year amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the Cupertino company has continued to innovate in a number of key fields, pushing forward its vision for best-in-class hardware and software.
Airtags: Next-generation Tracking Technology Has Arrived
Two years after they were first rumored, Apple finally lifted the lid on its tracking device AirTag at its Spring Loaded event in April, designed to help consumers keep track of items that matter most.
2021 in Review
Putting the power back into Apple products
AI and Big Data to Help Feed the World