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This report forms part of Ovum’s Digital Economy in 2025 series and examines the most disruptive technologies and technology issues in the decade ahead that we can identify today.


  • Disruption intensifies when technologies combine: Each of the technologies discussed is disruptive in its own right, but when combined the level of disruption increases exponentially. For instance, IoT requires connectivity to cloud-based analytics platforms to fully bloom.
  • Lower costs will push technologies into the mainstream: Increased availability and competition in supply will reduce costs of these new technologies, thereby creating a virtuous circle of economies of scale.
  • Security will become an increasingly important technology component: As more of the world is connected, the risk of security breaches increases

Features and Benefits

  • Evaluates the technologies deemed most disruptive by Ovum over the next decade
  • Assesses the evolution of these technologies across the business and consumer segments, in emerging and developed markets

Key questions answered

  • What will be the most disruptive technologies to 2025?
  • How will the most disruptive technologies evolve over the coming ten years?
  • How will technologies combine to accelerate disruption?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages
  • Recommendations

IoT will drive digital transformation

  • Particularly transformative when combined with other technologies
  • Industrial application growth much faster than smart living
  • Security breaches present a significant problem to enterprises
  • IoT needs standards to truly thrive
  • Smart infrastructure brings efficiencies and improved customer experience
  • Smart living to impact the way we live
  • Wearables will create new use cases

Cloud will underpin digital transformation

  • Software-as-a-service (SaaS) to replace traditional licensing
  • Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) will become a de facto requirement
  • Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) less widely used than IaaS or SaaS

Connectivity essential to the Second Digital Revolution

  • A foundation of digitalization
  • Public Internet no longer fit for purpose as more data is managed

Security risks will rise dramatically

  • Threat detection goes real-time
  • Privacy protection closely aligned to security threat
  • Protect identities to protect privacy

2015–25 will be a decade of rapidly increasing automation

  • IT automation becomes a central tenet of delivering IT
  • Business process automation a major trend
  • Cognitive automation builds on artificial intelligence developments

Artificial intelligence will make huge strides

  • Many different flavors of AI exist
  • True replication of human intelligence is still some way off
  • Artificial intelligence will make significant progress in assisting, or replacing, humans

The rise of the intelligent machines

  • Impacting productivity and efficiency
  • Combination with AI highly transformative
  • Semi-autonomous vehicles will be on the road by 2025
  • Civil drones appear following common use by the military

3D printing will revolutionize manufacturing

  • Great strides already taken

Quantum computing promises radically different approach

  • If available, quantum computing will lead to an explosion in innovation
  • Potentially hugely disruptive

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain to rise in popularity

  • Blockchain attracting a lot of attention
  • Financial respectability will help drive cryptocurrency investment


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Authors

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