Q: Which industries beyond your own do you think have the most growth and innovation potential, and why?

“I’m watching what’s happening in the education and learning spaces because they’re two of the great enablers for growth and innovation across industries. The more we understand about how people learn and the more changes we see in the skills and experience needed in the workforce of the future, the more we’re going to see a shift in how education is organized and delivered.

Also, I believe the underlying technologies related to cloud and artificial intelligence will underpin innovation and growth in industries like health, energy, transportation and financial services. These industries will see dramatic evolutions in product offerings, customer experience and workforce needs.”

—Ted Colbert, president and CEO, Boeing Global Services


To better understand where there will be the most growth and innovation, the question should actually be: Which companies in which industries have the ability to drive measured business differentiation by: (1) optimizing an organization’s key business and operational processes; (2) mitigating compliance, regulatory and security risks; (3) finding brand-new sources of customers, solutions and operational value; and (4) creating an undeniably differentiated client experience.

“In our evolving digital world, it’s data—and the ability to lever- age its economic value for customers through analytics—that will deliver the best outcomes.” The industries with the most companies that have figured out how to use the renewable resource of data (‘the new oil’) will have the most growth and innovation potential.”

—Renée Lahti, senior vice president and CIO, Hitachi Vantara


“I see renewable energy as a growing and innovative industry. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, renewable energy in the U.S. doubled between 2008 and 2018. Because of the environmental, health and economic benefits, we will continue to see advancements in the coming year. The declining costs of wind and solar generation, advances in battery storage technology and the growing expertise of grid operation have spurred growth in the industry. With corporate purpose an increasingly important differentiator for consumers, the companies that are seen to be taking steps to address the issue of sustainability will see real business benefits.

I’m proud to be a part of a company that not only sees this as an emerging industry but cares about energy reduction and has implemented an Environmental Management System to monitor and improve SAP’s consumption of electricity from renewable sources. As we look to the future, I hope to see global policies that support sustainable growth, expanding investor interest, and advancing technologies that boost the value of wind and solar energy.” Share on X

—James Lee, COO, SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass


“I’m excited about the opportunity for growth and innovation in the warehouse market. Companies are focusing on forward-thinking strategies to keep up with the growth of the on-demand economy. Both automation and worker augmentation solutions will be a key focus for decision-makers’ plans during the next five years. According to my company’s recently published Warehouse Vision Study, 87% of decision-makers are currently in the process of or planning to expand the size of their warehouses by 2024.

IT and operations decision-makers will be prepared to meet this heightened demand over the next five years by taking an incremental approach to modernizing their warehouse operations. And they will achieve this by improving individual and team productivity while achieving workflow conformity. By 2024, leaders will shift their focus to the integration of more holistic, innovative technology solutions to build data-powered environments that balance labor and automation in the warehouse, ultimately empowering front-line workers with a performance edge to lead the way.”

—Anders Gustafsson, CEO, Zebra Technologies

This article appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Insigniam Quarterly, with the headline “Sound Off” To begin receiving IQ, go here.

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