The Speed of Need

The rule-book for the whole world will be rewritten around the speed of need. Greater speed, value, innovation and closer alignment with demanding customers will be the new normal. How are you speeding up your organization to compete on time to fulfillment? Read on to get your brain juices flowing on potential and emerging opportunities.

Athena’s forecast (robot generated from verbatim forecasts)

Start year: 2013
Likely Tipping point: 2025
Likely End year: 2040
Likely Impact $: Billions
Likelihood: 95%
Most affected sectors: IT, Construction, Manufacturing, Retail, Financial Services, Media & Entertainment, Healthcare, Transport, Aerospace & Defense


What is changing?


  • The US customs system will need to be modernized in a way that balances the need for speed and dexterity against the imperative of secure borders.
  • The speed, capacity and reliability of freight traffic will increase.
  • Autonomous vehicles will be able to navigate just about any road at any time at any lawful speed.
  • The speed of adoption of electrified vehicles will be determined by the interaction of consumer pull (partially driven by total cost of ownership) and regulatory push.
  • Pods carrying passengers will travel through tubes at speeds of more than 745 miles per hour.


  • 3D printing technology will revolutionize architecture in the near-future and allow designers to literally click-and-print complex buildings at a lower cost and faster speed than traditional construction methods allow.
  • The speed and success of multi-cloud adoption will depend largely on the interconnection strategies businesses forge and their ability to securely and quickly connect clouds to people, locations and data in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Supply chains

  • Many companies are reconsidering the risks and complexity of managing long supply chains-and placing greater importance on speed to market and other costs of doing business and less on labor costs.
  • Drones will deliver faster than ever before.
  • Blockchain could speed the often lengthy process of shifting assets from one party to another.
  • 3D printing could speed up work by allowing the printing on site of many small parts.


  • Speed and automation will be key to the future of intelligence collection and analysis.
  • Speed, security and digitisation will be growing trends for the payments ecosystem.
  • Traffic control will greatly improve when road conditions can be analyzed in real time by using intelligent IP-enabled cameras.
  • Speech-recognition software like Apple’s Siri will soon be able to transcribe at conversation speed.
  • Smart glasses, smart watches and smart helmets will usher in a new era of productivity, safety and efficiency for mobile employees.
  • Companies are turning to algorithms that can do high-speed training and predict market trends.
  • Smartphone speeds will nearly double by 2019.
  • Multi-speed will require a new IT operating model with business and IT interfaces driving closer alignment, new governance and change capabilities to allow full decoupling between change systems (channels) and more traditional release-based development.
  • Remote and wireless communication as well as control and monitoring will be an integral part of connected home ecosystems.
  • Nearly 70% of insurance CEOs see the speed of technological change as a threat to growth and more than 60% are concerned about shifts in consumer spending and behaviour.
  • High-speed broadband will have countless benefits to everything including small and rural businesses, disabled citizens, Indigenous communities and industrial productivity.
  • Customer experience and service efficiency will be more critical than service cost.
  • The ubiquitous adoption of high-speed broadband services will enable powerful innovations across different sectors of the economy.
  • Machine-learning technologies will offer a significant boon to security practitioners who seek to decrease time to advanced threat detection and eradication.
  • Technology innovation will always outpace regulatory and standards bodies who want to freeze-frame it in order to put their stamp on it.
  • Quantum-based computers are expected to offer enormous leaps in performance over traditional computers.


  • Business models will rise and fall at a tremendous speed.


  • A standards-based IoT environment could bring about a 27% rise in the number of connected devices within smart cities and could improve thespeed and extent of adoption of smart city applications by 2025.


  • Scientists hope nanocraft vehicles will eventually fly at 20 percent of thespeed of light.
  • Watching biomolecules facilitate life-sustaining chemical reactions at high speed and in atomic detail could teach scientists new ways of producing efficient chemical catalysts.
  • Speed limits, sidewalks and traffic lights could be obsolete because computer-enabled cars and bikes could talk to one another and avoid collisions and pedestrians.
  • Scientists hope nanocraft vehicles will eventually fly at 20 percent of the speed of light.
  • A space-chip could reach Mars in only roughly a half-hour.


  • The speed of technological change could soon outpace agencies’ ability to make small adjustments to the IT that supports their public services.
  • There is a risk that increased speed and ease of payment may do consumers a disservice.

Strategic Questions

How could digital 3D printing improve your innovation, product development, and speed to market?

How are you negotiating the need for increased speed?

How can your firm bring its best knowledge to bear on emerging business opportunities faster than the speed of global business?

Learn more

Find more sources and resources on Shaping Tomorrow , some of which were used in this Trend Alert, or ask us for our ready-made and free, in-depth PowerPoint report or more detailed GIST briefing on this or any other topic of interest to you.

Also, click here to find out how Shaping Tomorrow can help your organization rapidly assess and respond to these and other key issues affecting your business.

Ask us to show you how you can produce similar, private Alerts for your stakeholders on topics of interest to you.


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