3 technologies that could change the world

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Moore’s Law, named after Intel founder Gordon Moore, states that computing power – more accurately, the number of transistors in a chip - will double every two years. For 50 years now, this law has held remarkably true, but as transistors approach physical limits on size, some experts are suggesting Moore’s Law may be nearing its end. Will we find better ways of utilising our hardware? Or will new developments change how we interact with technology? In the last of our three-part series on technology, we asked our contributing technology experts about a technology with potentially global applications. The responses were as varied as the technology sector itself. We hear about an Australian software company taking on the world, a British company bringing automation to white-collar offices, and a technology concept that’s still ‘in the lab.’

The software company building the world around us

Delian Entchev & Nick Cameron, Investment Analysts, Watermark Funds

The Aconex platform allows major construction companies to collaborate with other project users, on large-scale, complex construction projects. Project participants (such as owners, developers, contractors and suppliers) can collaborate on a single, integrated platform across the entire lifecycle of the project from planning to construction, delivery and operation. Aconex has been used on a number of substantial construction projects as diverse as the Panama Canal Expansion, the Dubai Metro construction, the Roy Hill Mine development, The Venetian Macao, the Battersea Power Station and the New York City Hall Reconstruction. The Aconex platform can be used on desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile devices, from field or office locations. It is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription model where fee-paying customers and other project participants (‘users,' who do not pay fees to Aconex) subscribe to the Aconex platform for the lifetime of a project.

Smart robots will change the way we work

Nick Griffin, Head of Investments, Munro Partners

Blue Prism listed on the London Stock Exchange is the world’s leading Robotic Process Automation (RPA) company. RPA is essentially the creation of software robots that through machine learning can perform mundane or repetitive tasks such as a mortgage application or an insurance claim. The RPA bots are actually installed on staff computers and are sold to big banks and back office organisations to basically sit between different legacy systems and robotically perform these day to day tasks, leaving the employee free to focus on other tasks. We see this as the most logical use of artificial intelligence technology today, and customer feedback on the company’s products to date is nothing short of astounding. In theory, the total addressable market for such a product is north of $30bn per annum, yet Blue Prism’s sales today are just $10.5mn per annum growing at over 100% per annum. Blue Prism is a current holding in the Munro Global Growth Fund.

Computing on an unimaginable scale

Andrew Macken, Portfolio Manager, Montgomery Global Investment Management

Without naming specific companies, the technology that I am most excited about is quantum computing. As a former electrical engineer from the University of New South Wales, I was fortunate to see this technology being developed in its early stages. The power of quantum computing is unimaginable for most of us and the applications for the world are equally unimaginable. But as we reflect upon how more powerful computer processors and data networks have changed our lives over the last 20 years, the next leap forward will surely also have enormous implications for the world.

Part 1 – Understanding tech investment: A how-to guide (VIEW LINK)

Part 2 – Adapt or perish: Dealing with disruption (VIEW LINK)


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