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10 Industries that are Ripe for Disruption in 2021

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The world of work is quickly changing, especially as businesses plan out their post-pandemic futures. The pandemic sped up a number of long-awaited changes, including the influence of technology in various business sectors.

No industry can hold off the disruption caused by new technology—especially not when advancements seem constant—but some industries are much more ready for disruption than others.

There’s no denying it: entire industries have been, and will continue to be, disrupted by technology and the changing world of work. Here are 10 industries ripe for disruption in 2021.

1. Banking

Banking remains one of the oldest and most stable industries in the world, making it perfect for tech disruption. Ten years ago, a completely online bank may have seemed like a fantasy. 

Today neobanks, which are banks that exist entirely online, have become an important trend in the banking industry. Chime, a licensed online bank, is the largest one of these types of banks with more than 13 million account holders.

It’s not just online banking disrupting this decades-old industry. Tech companies are venturing into the banking world as well, launching their own credit cards and banking systems.

2. Copywriting

For decades, only humans could write copy and content for websites. In recent years, technology has changed the game for the copywriting industry. AI and technology have improved to the point where it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between copy written by a computer and a human being.

Today entire articles are being written by AI, and AI-driven content is poised to become a dominant force online in the very near future.

3. Health and Wellness

By 2025, the global health and wellness market will reach $6 trillion. That same market was worth only $4 trillion in 2019. This exploding industry has been ripe for disruption for years. Health and wellness startups, combined with emerging technologies, have only accelerated this growth.

For example, New York-based Noom, a digital wellness platform, has seen 1,100% increase in search over the past five years. Likewise, Cult.fit, a health and fitness start-up, has seen a 200% increase in search popularity in that same timespan. There are dozens of innovative startups looking to capture a slice of the industry.

4. Cannabis

As more and more states begin to legalize recreational cannabis, the cannabis industry continues to explode. Because of the federal restrictions surrounding the sale of cannabis, many of these innovative companies are harnessing the power of technology to innovate and break ground on new barriers.

In fact, some of these companies are developing their own back-end infrastructure and banking systems to solve their problems. FlowHub, a platform that processes cannabis sales, has seen a 900% growth in search. Tokyo Smoke, on the other hand, which combines cannabis with fashion, has seen a 1,200% increase in search.

5. Data Storage

Data storage is a critical part of IT infrastructure, and the global data storage industry is exploding. Data storage startups have only propelled innovation and expansion in the industry. New types of technology will unlock solutions to evolving data storage and cybersecurity in the coming years. This will affect data storage across all user devices, including the cloud.

The IT field—data storage in particular—continues to evolve rapidly, and cloud solutions will take the industry to the next level.

It’s already apparent with startups in the field. Boston-based Wasabi Technologies have seen a more than 1,000% increase in search over the past five years. Likewise, the Israeli company Lightbits Lab, which specializes in software-defined storage, has seen more than 166% growth in search over the past five years. 

6. Delivery Services

Many people started using delivery services for the first time during the pandemic. Delivery startups have become extremely popular as a way to facilitate social distancing priorities and navigate lockdowns.

From ride-hailing services to food delivery and beyond, companies and startups alike have shifted their priorities to accommodate in-demand services. With delivery services, it’s easier than ever to get whatever you want, when you want it.

Companies like Loship, based in Vietnam, have seen a more than 4,200% increase in relevant searches. Dunzo, a delivery giant in Bangalore, India, is seeing a similar explosion of popularity with a 900% increase in searches.

It’s not just food delivery companies, either. Volansi, a California-based developer of autonomous drone delivery, has seen a 4,800% jump in searches for their products, shaking up the supply chain logistics industry.

7. Mobile Gaming

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Competitive mobile gaming has only become more popular during the pandemic. The mobile gaming industry continues to evolve with technology and user needs. While the gamer stereotype is usually male, mobile gaming is especially popular with women—an estimated 65% of women in the U.S. play mobile games.

It’s not just the players, either, it’s the streaming industry connected with it. Video game startups like Drop Fake and Gameway continue to see exploding popularity in search. 

8. Legal

The legal industry is another centuries-old industry, and it’s quickly evolving thanks to the impact of technology. Among consumers, there’s a growing interest in processes that help automate and improve the legal experience—without the costly lawyer fees.

Legatics, a platform that helps automate legal transaction processes, has seen a 6,300% growth in the past five years. SprintLaw, a cloud-based legal management platform, has witnessed a similar explosion in popularity, with a 5,800% increase in the past five years.

9. Automotive

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The automotive industry is no longer limited to passenger cars with combustion engines and diesel tanks. Thanks to technology, the industry is moving faster than ever toward autonomous cars and electric vehicles.

In fact, by 2030, fully autonomous vehicles should be able to operate anytime, anywhere. From robotaxi startups to electric cars with longer mileage, it’s clear that the automotive industry will look vastly different in the next 10 years. The Israeli company Nexar, for example, has seen a 6,400% increase in search over the past five years for their market-leading dash cams. 

10. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence might sound like something out of a dystopian Hollywood movie, but AI is here to stay. Global AI systems have only become more complex and more realistic in recent years. Many people may not even realize how integrated AI systems are already involved in our daily lives. For example, the involvement of AI and machine learning in the hiring process and manufacturing, chatbots, and the numerous smart devices that are in homes today. The more sophisticated AI systems become, the more integrated they will become in our lives.

About the author

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Lindsey Smith

Lindsey Smith is a digital marketing specialist for Exploding Topics with several years of experience in business marketing, writing, and content creation. Lindsey aspires to make the internet a better place by writing high-quality content that is data-driven and full of useful information for readers. In her free time, she enjoys writing music, fitness, and hanging out with friends and family.