Digital and technology innovations offer the promise of progress towards a more sustainable economy. In fact, the World Economic Forum predicts that digital technology could cut global emissions by 15%.
Artificial intelligence offers a range of sustainability applications, including more accurate predictive climate change models. Examples include insurance startup Kettle, which uses swarm neural networks, a subfield of AI, to assess the impact of wildfires on expensive assets.
Our client brief was to identify the key opportunities and provide insights to guide investments in hardware and software for artificial intelligence. The client also sought a shortlist of opportunities, an insight into customer demands, use cases, and enabling digital technologies over a series of time horizons (ranging from one to five years). Understanding key commercial and academic players innovating and disrupting the shortlisted business opportunities was key, as was determining who could be partners or competitors over the next five years.
We assembled a team with expertise spanning sustainable supply chains, decarbonisation, circular economy, and sustainable finance. Together, our experts were published in more than 140 peer-reviewed publications. Our team forecasted customer demands over the next one, three, and five years for each of the four sustainability themes and discussed the various PESTLE (political, economic, sociological, technological, legal, and environmental) drivers for each tech-enabled solution. Additionally, we looked at the risks, overcoming barriers to change, and the key challenges for tech adoption.
After analysing digital technologies and their use cases, strengths, and weaknesses, we evaluated potential digital technology-enabled opportunities for the client. Our team looked at new technologies, existing marketplaces, and new potential marketplaces. We also analysed specific customer demands over the next five years, and identified attractive new products/services for the client’s core and adjacent innovation pipeline, including 17 technology areas and 35 technologies/techniques. In addition, we identified what tech will remain competitive over the next five years and which white space opportunities are most likely to yield a technological competitive edge. The analysis also included a final shortlist of 25 technology enabled products/services that the client should consider adopting into their pipeline within 12, 26 and 60 months of commercialisation.
We created a shortlist of digital technology products and services that could be realistically commercialised. After that, we organised opportunities according to their ability to disrupt a crowded marketplace with additional features, cater to a current marketplace and create relevant use cases that attract customers and create new marketplaces.
Next, we created a shortlist of digital technology-enabled products and services for commercialisation. Our report also identified white spaces, customer demands, use cases, technologies, potential partners and business cases for the client. The result was a shortlist of digital technology enabled products and services to capture those opportunities over one, three and five years.
The client discussed the results of our strategic report over a board meeting to decide which specific identified digital technology-enabled products/services to invest in. Using our insights, the client invested in software and hardware capabilities to prepare their innovation pipelines for the use cases. They also contacted their clients in the highlighted verticals to outline the value proposition of their upcoming products/services.