Editor’s note: FM Perspectives are industry op-eds. The views expressed are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect those of Facilities Management Advisor.
The technology industry moves at warp speed. New innovations, disruptions, solutions, and startups burst onto the scene daily, and what’s coming next is anyone’s guess. Since we don’t have a crystal ball to see what discoveries, successes, and stumbles will shape tech’s trajectory in the future, I consulted my own fortune teller: the Magic 8 Ball. From AI advancements to indoor maps, read on for a predictive plaything’s forecasts for the future.
It is an amazing time in tech. Between the advancements in hardware and technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and generative models—and the accessibility of all these cutting-edge solutions and tools—there are fewer barriers to entry into the tech world than ever. Innovators are leveraging foundational technologies to create new derivative tech products with specific use cases. This rapid development of highly specialized solutions will result in the evolution of every industry.
For example, tech advancements are enabling innovations in the indoor mapping space that can transform how we digitally interact with and understand physical spaces, especially large, complicated facilities like expansive corporate offices or multi-level stadiums. It’s a time of massive disruption and, because integration and implementation are so much easier, time to finally realize many of the early promises made by digital transformation.
Reply Hazy, Try Again
With so much innovation happening in every sector—from hardware to software to AI to their convergence—seeing beyond a year from now is impossible.
The rest of the world’s technology innovations are catching up to the Americas region. The ability to build new and interesting products and services is more accessible than ever with nearly ubiquitous access to the internet, scalable infrastructure like AWS, Azure, and GCP and always-improving development tools.
Generative AI is enabling entrepreneurs with very small teams to prove a new concept with minimal investment. The U.S. may still house the largest tech customers, but democratizing access to the resources needed to build new stuff gives visionaries around the globe the means to innovate.
Better Not Tell You Now
This may be a controversial opinion, but Software as a Service (SaaS) has had its heyday. I’ve long been a proponent of SaaS products because of their ability to provide more affordable and easier-to-use software to businesses and consumers. However, the advancements in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and developer tools, expansion of the global developer community, and an increasing focus on teamwork will bring about a shift to more open-source solutions emerging as low-cost, highly flexible options in the market.
This change is already visible in the indoor mapping sector—because of technological advancements, it’s easier than ever for facilities to create their own dynamic indoor maps. As other verticals in the tech space follow suit, commercial organizations will be pressured to drive down the cost and complexity of traditional SaaS solutions.
Concentrate and Ask Again
So, we have all this exciting technology, but what is the most important problem for us to apply it all toward? Whether it’s a mapping software company, or one of our partners that embeds a map to provide a better employee or fan experience, all of our businesses—even the entire global economy—run on the foundation of energy and transportation. Mapping is one component that can assist in the implementation of smarter buildings. The huge shift to more sustainable energy and transportation technologies is the most important problem for us to solve with the application of all of the exciting new technology advancements.
At least in the next few years, I don’t foresee AI destroying humanity.
There you have it, folks—the future of the tech industry as predicted by a toy. The path forward, though foggy, is sure to include both tribulation and triumph as emerging tech keeps breaking new ground. Those ready to embrace whatever the uncertain future holds will be poised for success in the ongoing technological revolution.
Brian Parks is the Americas general manager at MapsPeople, a global provider of indoor mapping.