Top 10 Technologies to Watch and the Industries That Benefit

Technology: 3-D printing Industries affected: manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, architecture, medical devices, software
Notable players: 3D Systems Corp., Stratasys Inc., Z Corporation

Originally debuting as a technology used only by a few manufacturers and designers to build prototypes, 3-D printing is transforming into a technology that the New York Times says is “spurring a manufacturing revolution.” Big claims aside, 3-D printers and their impressive abilities are making waves in the tech scene.

In fact, over the past five years, 3D Printer Manufacturing industry revenue grew at an average annual rate of 7.1%, which actually masks 13.0% and 20.8% growth in 2010 and 2011, respectively, due to a recessionary decline in 2009. The industry leaped ahead in recent years, driven by rapid technology developments and new applications for 3-D printing. More specifically, 3-D printers are being used in the Medical Device Manufacturing industry, a market where demand is high and stable. Aerospace manufacturers make up another market with strong potential for 3-D printing technology because of its ability to convert designs to 3-D models almost instantly. Although the Aircraft, Engine and Parts Manufacturing Industry is only forecast to grow slowly over the next five years, the industry’s continued desire to reduce the cost of developing models and prototypes will drive future demand for 3-D printed products.

Similarly, companies that provide 3-D printing and rapid prototyping services (OD4581) have expanded significantly. After a recessionary lull, industry revenue jumped 11.6% in 2010 and 18.3% in 2011. Although this particular industry’s consumer market is still in its infancy, it has a tremendous amount of growth potential as 3-D printing and rapid prototyping gain popularity and customers from a wider array of industries learn of their uses and potential. Through 2017, IBISWorld projects that industry revenue will grow at an average annualized rate of 14.0% to $1.3 billion.

Technology: Enterprise software
Industries affected: business analytics and enterprise software publishing
Major players: IBM, Microsoft, SAP AG, Oracle

Until recently, innovation and investment in enterprise software was flat because consumer internet start-ups garnered the largest share of private investment. This trend is changing quickly: According to a quarterly survey by Dow Jones VentureSource, in the first quarter of 2012, venture capitalists invested $2.0 billion in 257 deals with young IT companies. Businesses today have unprecedented amounts of data to manage and need to connect with globally dispersed workforces and customers. The robust internet connections that have made cloud computing possible allow firms to offer scalable, cost-effective software packages that can address businesses’ data and global needs. IBISWorld expects the Business Analytics and Enterprise Software Publishing industry to grow at an annualized rate of 3.8% to $31.5 billion over the five years to 2017.