Disruption, often perceived as a threat, can also present multi-billion dollar opportunities. Technological advancements might be a frightening prospect to some companies, but embracing them and tapping into convergence possibilities will yield an advantage.

Frost & Sullivan’s latest analysis on the top 50 most innovative technologies with near-term commercial potential highlights the need to constantly re-evaluate the business structure.

The research company estimates that in the course of the next five years, the global top 50 technologies will generate a combined market potential of $2.8 trillion. In 2013 alone, the global research and development investment for these top 50 technologies accumulated more than $120 billion.

Frost & Sullivan’s TechVision programme is tailored to identify specific technologies which can influence and strengthen a company’s operative business.

“An important aim is to illustrate how a business can collaborate and co-create future solutions with previously unexpected partners,” says Frost & Sullivan’s practice director for Technical Insights (Europe), Ankit Shukla. “A specific case is built to track technologies and to dwell on the multi-billion Euro opportunities arising out of a possible technology convergence.”

Many interesting technology convergence examples have been identified as part of the TechVision programme. Self-healing oil and gas infrastructure opportunities will transpire as a result of the convergence of flexible electronics and super hydrophobic coating. Augmented reality technologies assimilated with wearable electronics will offer an enhanced user experience for the consumer, defence, education, and gaming sectors.

The healthcare sector will profit from 3D printing technology, making customised wound healing possible through 3D printed skin. These technologies will experience a significant adoption rate around 2019-2020.

“Knowing a cool technology is one thing, knowing what to do with it is another,” says Shukla. “It is easy for companies to get caught in a trap of the latest fad that never leads to business ROI. Therefore, it is crucial to identify and innovate your business model with more accuracy and build new concepts for stronger stakeholder return.”