The CTOvision guide to the business of robotics is designed to provide actionable insights into robots and robotics in a way that informs enterprise technology decision-makers.
Operating along a spectrum of human controlled to semi-autonomous to totally independent, robots are already operating in our world. They save lives in hospitals, are taking the place of humans in dangerous jobs, improve our oil exploration and farming, endure the hazards of outer space and now fight our wars. Soon they will make driving safe. Like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics hold great potential to displace large portions of the global workforce.
We believe all countries should assume they are in a race towards robotics manufacturing and we should plan to win that race. Right now we are not. The US stands the chance of losing to other regions if we do not lead with vision.
A snapshot of the megatrend of Robotics now indicates:
- Robotic and AI technologies are growing more affordable, more capable and easier to use.
- Like AI, Robotics hold great potential to displace large portions of the global workforce. Dec 2016 White House Report makes it clear that these benefits will cause disruption in the workforce. Workers who do not have skills to compete in an AI and Robotic future will suffer.
- Robotic factories are already causing a large shift of manufacturing back from China to the US and we expect that trend to continue (but the bad news is that new robotic plants employ far fewer people).
- Investments in robotic manufacturing will continue with manufacturing growing but employment not. Manufacturing will also begin to shift out of factories and into many other types of business enterprises. Imagine a near future where things are manufactured within miles of where they are sold/used.
- By 2019, 35 percent of non-manufacturing businesses in several sectors will be using robotics to automate other aspects of their operations. Those sectors will include logistics, health, utilities and resources, according to IDC.
- Among IDC’s other top 10 robotics predictions are: 1) growing use of a “robot-as-a-service” business model; 2) more enterprises with chief robotics officers; 3) an increasingly competitive robotic vendor marketplace; 4) growing demand for employees with robotics-related skills; 5) increased robotics regulations for safety, security and privacy; 6) more cloud-based robotic software; 7) development of smarter, faster and more “collaborative” robots; 8) a rise in commercial robots that are connected to an intelligent mesh network; and 9) greater use of robots in e-commerce-related warehouses and deliveries.
- Robotic vehicles are coming, faster than many realize. Estimates are that robotic drivers will displace more jobs than any other category in the workforce.
- More than 60% of surveyed Americans say they are somewhat or very positive about autonomous cars. But safety is still a concern. Currently 63% of consumers say they won’t feel safe in a fully-automated vehicle. We believe those numbers will shift in the favor of automation with time.
Open questions decision-makers should track include:
- Will job displacement be a crisis?
- How hard will it be to deceive robots? Will that make hacking even easier?
- What is the role of behavioral analytics in detecting normalcy in robots?
The Impact of Robotics on Due Diligence:
The trends around Robotics are increasingly important element of corporate Due Diligence since it is disruptive business models.
- On the sell side: Firms should ensure their use of automation including robotics is done securely and that mitigation strategies are in place for issues. Doing this before sale can make a big difference in how well a firm will be valued.
- On the buy side: Buyers should pay particular attention to the deployment of automation to ensure a well thought out architecture that mitigates risks.
Strategically, the evaluation of firms is an art requiring assessment of how unique the capability is and how much in demand it will be in the market. We provide due diligence consulting via our consulting arm, OODA LLC.
A great way to track the emerging developments in this domain is our page on Robotic Companies.
For deeper considerations of the impact of Robotics on enterprise IT it is important to track all seven MegaTrends and consider them together. Dive deeper into all the trends and examine their impact on your organization via a CTOvision Pro membership, available for enterprises and individuals.
For alerts on future posts on this topic see CTOvision Newsletters.
Recent Reporting on Robotics:
- OK I fell for it because I wanted to believe it: Amazon Blimp Delivery
- Disruptive Technology Finder
- Dallas Police Used Robot With Bomb to Kill Ambush Suspect
- Robots are Coming! (soon, to an enterprise near you)
- Record-Breaking Launch of 88 Satellites by Planet: Is there any doubt in your mind that your world is changing?
- Warning Meat Puppets: Robotic Trucks Drive Across Europe In Demonstration Of What Is Possible Today
- Robots are Coming! (soon, to an enterprise near you)
- BBC on Retail Robots
- Robots and the workforce
There are seven key megatrends driving the future of enterprise IT. You can remember them all with the mnemonic acronym CAMBRIC, which stands for Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Mobility, Big Data, Robotics, Internet of Things, CyberSecurity.
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