Insights on Innovations, Evolutionary Shifts, and Secular Trends
The Digital Transformation of All Businesses and Industries
Most new technologies that come along are mere tools, incremental in impact to a given company or industry. There are certain types of technologies, however, that have the power to transform companies and even entire industries. Academics call these technologies “general-purpose technologies.” Their development and evolution have often been the underlying engine of economic development and productivity jumps. This thought piece focuses on the current general-purpose technologies transforming all industries today, collectively described as Digitization.
The Rise of Advanced Biotechnology in the Age of Genomics
No industry better illustrates the idea of the innovation frontier and the impact of the expansion of scientific knowledge and its driving influence on the evolution of technology than biotechnology. In 1973, Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen (at UCSF and Stanford University, respectively) invented the basic genetic engineering techniques enabling the creation of recombinant biotech therapies such as insulin. Since then, the biotech industry has seen tremendous progress on many fronts, with a series of breakthroughs in the treatment of various diseases, some of which we touch on below.
How Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Speeds Up Innovation Cycles
One of the most important trends in the technology sector is the shift from on-premise software to software-as-a-service, or SaaS, for short. The key difference between the two technologies is on-premise software is installed and run at the client’s physical location, while SaaS is delivered from the software vendor to the client over the Internet via a web browser. This change in architecture has created numerous growth opportunities for forward-thinking, innovative companies and has given rise to a new class of software leaders. At the same time, it has challenged the previous generation of on-premise providers to make the jump to the new architecture. Navigating the shift to a new paradigm is often a difficult transition, and legacy vendors have struggled to adapt, leaving the door open for leading SaaS innovators.