11 Industries Poised To Be The Next Digital Disruptors

In the last few years, a number of industries have been permanently altered by technology. For instance, remember when getting a car service meant dialing a phone number, giving physical pickup and drop-off points, and hoping the driver would show up on time? Thanks to key disruptors like Uber and Lyft, the ride-sharing industry has transformed into a seamless, on-demand experience leveraging the GPS capabilities of smartphones.

Today’s forward-thinking professionals are constantly looking for tomorrow’s disruptors, speculating about – and participating in – the next big technological shakeup. Below, Forbes Agency Council members share their thoughts on which industries will be next to disrupt the digital space.

1. Image Recognition

After blockchain removes all the middlemen, reduces cost and promises transparency, image recognition will be one of the biggest disruptors. Imagine a world where you scan people in a conference and see their LinkedIn profile on your phone, where you can scan your cousin or a celebrity picture and see every piece of their outfit in destination stores, or scan a plate to measure its calorie content. – Susan Akbarpour, MAVATAR TECHNOLOGIES INC

2. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality may seem like a faraway notion right now, and I admit that we’re not there yet. I do believe, however, that with the heavy investments and research we’re seeing in VR, we will experience a breakthrough that will make us wonder how we lived so long without such technology at our disposal. From virtual tours to conferencing, VR is on its way to make a huge breakthrough. – Ricardo Casas, Fahrenheit Marketing

3. Professional Services

The corporate legal and accounting spaces are being disrupted now with AI and blockchain. This trend will continue and pick up speed. We no longer buy travel from travel agents but instead from computers. In the same way, digital will disrupt traditional professional service industries as computers do the work humans used to do. The best thing businesses can do is adjust to advisory services. – Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group

4. Procurement

Conventional procurement is already a thing of the past. As new technologies drive digital transformation across the enterprise, procurement’s role is becoming more crucial to the business. Agile sourcing technologies are paving the way for heightened transparency and providing access to invaluable data needed to make informed business decisions at the enterprise level. – Michaela Dempsey, Scout RFP

5. Blockchain

Blockchain technology will probably transform the internet more than most people realize. With blockchain technology comes a more transparent and efficient transfer of data, especially in the era of big data. Beyond its financial prospects, blockchain technology could lead us toward a decentralized internet ecosystem and one that opens the door for a P2P sharing network without intermediaries. – Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com

6. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality will be the bridge between the physical and digital worlds, especially for retail brands that want to maintain brick-and-mortar locations. It will enable digital content to support sales online and in-store. Consumers will experience context in the form of video and digital knowledge, not for virtual reality, but simply to layer digital experience with the real world. – Dan Golden, Be Found Online

7. Experiential Marketing

Everyone is talking about segmented data and hyper-targeted marketing strategies, but we’re also seeing a huge growth in the online presence of experiential marketing. Brands that design an event or experience for customers to enjoy, usually without being obligated to purchase anything, makes a splash online because it gives people an interesting story to share with their followers on social. – Jessica Gonzalez, InCharged

8. Healthcare

Despite heavy regulation, I foresee the healthcare industry being the next disruptor in the digital space. Technology is a tool that enables greater consumer experience, and I see a lot of pain on the experience side of healthcare. Creating digital solutions that enable healthcare consumers to have better experiences fulfilling their health needs is right around the corner. – Jeff Grover, BestCompany.com

9. Manufacturing

If anyone is going to disrupt the digital space, it’s manufacturing. The extent to which manufacturers decide to play in the digital world – think smart appliances and the internet of things – will determine the size of our digital universe. As it expands, we’ll need to figure out how to tend our data, but it’s really up to manufacturers to push those boundaries now. – Sarah Mannone, Trekk

10. Insurance

We’re seeing startups like Insurify use chatbots in Facebook Messenger to get auto insurance, and Lemonade’s smartphone app to get users renters insurance in minutes. From claims management and fraudulent claims (which costs the industry more than $40 billion a year) to customer support and marketing, AI will disrupt the way insurance companies do business. – Loren Baker, Foundation Digital

11. Artificial Intelligence

AI is going to be the next disruptor in the digital space. It is already making an impact as we see AI helping to deliver more conversational experiences with consumers, creating a dialogue and building connections. AI is also changing the digital advertising space by delivering more personalized ads to consumers at the right place and the right time to drive those personalized experiences. – Elyse Flynn Meyer, Prism Global Marketing Solutions


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