How convergence of emerging technologies can transform business

emerging technologies
The convergence of emerging technologies is taking shape globally. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

In the last few years internet of things, artificial intelligence and block chain have become buzzwords in business and IT conferences, seminar at the global arena. But perhaps we are still not aware of the disruption that is awaiting many of the sectors in our economy both in public and private business world if these emerging technologies are to converge.

Never in the history of innovation has the technological transformation been so rapid and exponential than today and with the adoption of smartphones expected to hit 3.8 billion by 2021, we are yet to experience major technological changes around the world.

A look at the evolution of technology in the last thirty years reveals that technology has evolved in a linear speed compared to what is happening today.

For instance in the last three decades we have seen the emergence of computer revolution, internet revolution, mobile and social media revolution but the pace at which the forth revolution where digitisation of industry solutions is happening advanced by the emergence of these three transformative innovations is baffling.

Here in Kenya we already have the disruption of the taxi industry through the integration of Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and mobile money transfer. For instance, you request an Uber cab connected to your smartphone through internet of things (IoT), the driver uses the goggle map and artificial intelligence (AI) to locate your destination and the payment is done through M-Pesa or block chain enabled Libra when it is launched next year. The convergence of the three technology in this case helps to solve the travel and payment problems with ease. To understand what lay ahead in the technology world let’s dig deeper on how these emerging technologies can add more value to our businesses:


First Internet of things (IoT) referred as the nervous system of the emerging technologies involves the interconnection of any device that can be switched on and off to the internet. It entails interconnection of hardware, sensors and cloud analyses systems in order to enhance data exchange and communication between people and things and things with things.

It is estimated that by the year 2022, approximately half of the 28.6 billion connected devices will be through IoT supported applications.

Second Artificial intelligence (AI) referred as the brain of the emerging technologies duet to its capability of helping machines to act intelligently through speech and facial recognition, machine vision, machine learning, reasoning, problem solving and planning.

Lastly block chain refers to the decentralized, transparent, and secured digital ledger of activities that can be programmed to record virtually everything of value. Block chain technology can then be utilized and used to provide solutions, depending on the nature of the business.

In conclusion, the convergence of emerging technologies is taking shape globally and therefore organisation must take advantage of these changes to improve their competitiveness in a changing global market.

While it may not happen within the next one year, the march towards the digital future is here and therefore expect it to be more transformative than the internet.

The writer is a lecturer, Kirinyaga University.