Every few years a new movement becomes transformational in the technology industry driving a brand new generation of startups and new businesses. Some of those movements can be technological in nature like social, mobile, cloud or IOT while others like crowdsourcing or the gig economy are more transformational from the social standpoint. Each one of those movements creates many companies that attempt to leverage its principles in a specific domain. How many “Facebook for X”, “AWS for X” or “Uber for X” have we seen in the last few years.
These days, the new Machine learning and artificial intelligence are capturing the imagination of the technology industry. These 2 technology trends seem to be the force behind a new generation of startups in both the consumer and enterprise industry. Differently from other transformational technology movement, machine learning seems to be more efficient at reimagining existing business models than in creating brand new ones.
Let’s setup the right context for the previous statement. There are certainly plenty of new business models powered by machine learning. However, if we pay close attention to the space, we are going to see how machine learning is being used to power the next iteration of many established business and technology solutions. I like to call that the “X with Machine Learning” business model.
The X with Machine Learning Business Model
The “X with machine learning” business model focuses on leveraging machine learning principles to optimize existing business or consumer solutions. Across the board, we are seeing how incumbents in different markets are releasing the new version of their software solutions using machine learning technologies. Additionally, there are also plenty of startups that are trying to reimagine existing business models using machine learning as a first class citizen. Let’s look at some of the most notable market categories that are rapidly incorporating machine learning:
· SaaS: Many SaaS platforms are incorporating machine learning to optimize their business processes. From that standpoint, we should expect machine learning to become a native capability of the most popular SaaS solutions.
· Infrastructure Technologies: Security, operational monitoring, networking are just some of the infrastructure areas that have been optimize with the usage of machine learning technologies. These areas have produced a new generation of startups that have gained meaningful market share in their respective areas.
· Vertical Solutions: Healthcare, travel, public safety are some of the industries that are rapidly incorporating machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. As a result, the vertical solution providers in those industries are reimagining their solutions using machine learning as a core component.
· Hardware: From technologies like Amazon Echo to telematics systems in cars, hardware solutions are being optimized using machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. Combined with the innovations in hardware, this trend should become more and more relevant in the next few years