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Technology Industry Opinion

Traditional industries on the verge of an innovation boom

Many industries are sometimes viewed as 'stuck in the past', but some are very much on the verge of a technology revolution.

Traditional industries on the verge of an innovation boom

"The uptake in remote learning is only the beginning. Advances in virtual technology could create new environments for education that truly revolutionise the way we experience learning."
Sharon Fishburne

Businesses in our mind’s eye tend to fall into two categories. We separate traditional, ‘old-world’ industries from the new and modern. But the lines are becoming blurred.

In the past, any heavily digitised business that relied on heavily on tech was in the latter category, but this is now becoming the norm. Many industries that fall into the category of ‘traditional’ are being dragged, sometimes kicking and screaming, into a new era.

Sectors of our economy often written off as stuffy, stuck in their ways, are now on the verge of a modern revolution. In this article, I’ll go over a few of them and discuss exactly what’s changing.


The education sector has been turned on its head this year, and all it took was a global pandemic. Thanks to restrictions in nearly every country, the accessibility of education everywhere has been accelerated.

The uptake in remote learning is only the beginning. Advances in virtual technology could create new environments for education that truly revolutionise the way we experience learning. All the big players in the tech world are fighting for a piece of the pie, including Google, Facebook, Samsung and more.

Many businesses are now building digital-first learning platforms, sped up by the demand during COVID-19. Over the coming years, we will see similar stories with the use of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and augmented reality all combining to create a very different education sector from the one that has existed for thousands of years.


Another traditional industry is mining, which is more important than ever. Even as the world becomes more sustainable, we still need raw commodities for all of the new technology we are building. Steel, copper and aluminium are not going anywhere, even as we move towards more renewable energies and green materials. 

Companies like Jiangxi Ganfeng, Chaired by Li Liangbi, will produce huge amounts of lithium for the next generation of battery-powered cars, while gold for semiconductors will be supplied by companies like Mzi Khumalo’s Metallon Corporation.

A study from Deloitte found that mining companies were unanimous in their belief that they need to become more innovative in order to compete and grow. Mining companies worldwide are being pressured into putting more investment into ESG and creating greater social impact.


The origin of finance can be traced to the start of civilisation. As an industry, it’s as traditional as they come. However, finance is becoming more and more streamlined with the advent of new technology.

It almost seems as though every other start-up on the scene right now is in ‘fintech’. The Global Fintech Marketplace report estimated that the industry will reach $190 billion by 2026, growing at 13% year on year.

Challenger banks, cryptocurrency and online payment services are just a few of the examples of how finance has been changing in recent years, and this may only be the beginning. What was once an old-school market is now heavily digitised and full to the brim with exciting tech opportunities.


Medicine as an industry is always forced to advance. New discoveries, technologies and challenges present themselves constantly. But we have sought out cures to our ailments for as long as anyone can remember.

Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has given the medical industry even more reasons to adapt. New vaccine technology has allowed cures for viruses to be found in record time, while health tech companies continually reinvent existing technologies.

With the advent of 5G across the world, we may soon see the point where we could have remote surgeries performed regularly. Likewise, increased global connectivity will increase access to healthcare worldwide, even in the most remote and hard to reach locations.

These are just a few of the more traditional industries that are on the verge of huge change. Businesses and governments all over the planet are striving to revolutionise their industries and bring about massive changes that will affect all our lives.


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