Below Ravi Krishnamoorthi, Sr. Vice President & Head of Business and Application Services at Fujitsu in EMEIA, shares his predictions on the digitally disrupted world including the importance of partnerships in the business ecosystem, enterprise wearables and blockchain – not just for cryptocurrencies.

Without the right ecosystem businesses will fall at the first hurdle

We all understand how powerful technology is, from the omnipresence of Google to digital disrupters Airbnb and Deliveroo. Our recent research found that over three quarters of businesses (86%) are planning for the impact of technology beyond the next 12 months. Businesses will undoubtedly find their ecosystem widen as new, technology-driven concepts are applied to every single market in the world. And as a result, leaders will be forced to access a wider landscape and innovate alongside like-minded organizations.

Businesses must now take a bold approach to the challenges faced by working with entrepreneurs, not against them. Building relationships with digitally inherent businesses will help uncover bold, unique ideas and form entirely new services. This method will not only create a culture of inclusiveness, but breed an entirely new mentality that lends itself to success.

Businesses will begin to invest in enterprise wearables now more than ever

Digital wearables, such as smartwatches, healthcare devices and fitness trackers, were initially introduced as consumer nice-to-haves. Customers flocked to the technologies to keep track of daily activity and communicate. Yet, the move from consumer gadgets to business tools continues to grow; ABI’s research found that enterprise wearables in businesses were in higher demand over the consumer market.

Now businesses are taking the hardware, integrating it with powerful monitoring and management software and ultimately creating entirely new business processes. They are also buying in different ways – they want an end to end managed service, not just the raw tech. It’s no longer about giving someone a vital band or head mount, but building a service that alerts the business of any issues, re-routes messages back to a central hub and enables a reaction. That reaction can be anything from preventing harm to a worker that has fallen asleep in a dangerous location to tracking the well-being of your staff to ensure they aren’t overworked.

Enterprise wearables will come of age in 2018 and businesses’ workforce will be the ones to profit most.

Blockchain – businesses need to look beyond the hype in financial industries

To understand blockchain we must first strip it down to a very basic understanding. It’s simply a standardized way of understanding the change of ownership. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of hype around it as everyone discusses digital currencies. It’s true that blockchain biggest success to date has been in virtual currencies, but it’s highly probable that it will be even more successful outside of financial services.

Complex tasks such as contracting in legal practices and tracking retailers’ supply chain from farm to supermarket could be simplified by a blockchain-style ledger. The security benefits would be vast and a universal application could see the tech turn its trend status into a tangible business benefit. As Bill Gates famously said:

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”

Blockchain is most likely to be a slow burn but its potential impact over 2018 and beyond could be huge.