Tech Contributor (e27, Benzinga, and more)
The current lockdown has given many people time to think about personal and professional improvements they want to pursue. We are currently watching industries being re-calibrated and some come close to the point of failure. Now is a good reminder to always keep in mind innovation and digital transformation. The risk of not doing so leaves companies and full industries at risk of massive failure.
While doing a deep dive on large and stagnant industries, it became clear that there are massive opportunities to improve outdated business models that have suffered from positions of comfort or macro pressure such as regulations. These five industries represent industries that are multi-billion dollar industries and ripe for disruption.
The gift card industry has gone largely under the radar in recent years despite being a multi-billion-dollar industry representing $619 billion in 2019. Out of the $619 billion?, the digital gift card industry is the fastest growing segment with $127 billion hit in 2019. Current issues in the industry range from a lack of reliable secondary marketplaces and over $1 billion lost in value from cards being lost, stolen, and or simply never used.
The rise of blockchain technology has helped to bring initial disruption to gift cards, where companies like Tycoon69 International leveraging blockchain technology to offer a digital marketplace and ecosystem that eliminates fees while increasing the security of transacting digital goods like gift cards. Stefan Hostettler, Tycoon69 International’s CEO, stated that the gift card industry is “perfect for blockchain technology” as blockchain provides the security, trust, and efficiency that is currently lacking in the digital gift card market.
Without the supply chain and logistics industry, physical commerce as we know it would not exist. As seen with the recent coronavirus lockdowns, supply chains can be fragile when attacked by an unforeseen threat or natural disaster. This coupled with changing tariffs and trade regulations creates a tricky situation for companies and regulatory bodies.
Disruption in the logistics industry includes tech related advances that help track goods and services more accurately as well as processes that help reduce and manage risk. Additionally, it is important to realize that supply chains work the best when they are seamless across borders. This is the baseline recommendation based on research done by Kinaxis, a logistics software producer. This research found that the best risk mitigator is to create a lasting global task force that creates contingency plans for when things go wrong.
The legal industry is as stagnant as it is fluid. Over the past few decades, technologies such as LegalZoom and LawDepot have reduced the friction in obtaining basic legal documents, such as trademarks and contracts, by digitalizing the process. Despite these innovations, the legal industry is still outdated in many regards, with most of this friction being tied directly to the legal structures and laws themselves.
The industry is also notoriously opaque and inefficient in the way billable hours are structured and how clients deal with the firms they hire. Most systems are outdated and law firms have not adapted as quickly as financial institutions, for example. This leaves room for disruption in how clients interact with lawyers, to modify the back-office systems that are being used, and how legal services are accessed without having to deal with billable hours.
The healthcare industry has been one of the prime contenders for modern disruption as blockchain technology has become commonplace. Most of the efforts in modernizing healthcare with blockchain are focused on digitizing and securing patient health records in a way that gives patients full control over their records and who they want to share it with.
Other areas for improvement include improving claims management, research, universal identities, patents, and helping improve compliance. Going back to the second industry in this article, logistics and traceability are also critical elements of healthcare. More products are being developed to help companies make sure pharmaceuticals are authentic and not counterfeit. The implications of doing this include the chance to save millions of lives that are lost annually from counterfeit drugs.
The furniture industry is famous for producing products that are marked-up and provide brand owners and manufacturers with fat profits. The global furniture industry is $560 billion and ready for disruption. Currently, companies are working to provide people with temporary furniture solutions. In a nutshell, instead of having to dish out thousands of dollars every time you move, you can rent furniture and return it after you are done with it. Some companies like Rent-A-Center, even allow you to rent your own furniture.
There is a clear gap in the market between young consumers and brands that offer these services. For example, a millennial or even college focused furniture provider that provides a mobile or digital experience to select furniture that can be delivered in the matter of days. This coupled with flexible rental terms, insurance policies, and even used furniture sales could provide multiple income streams for the right technology.
This is one of the few ideas being mentioned in the industries.