— McKinsey Global Institute (@McKinsey_MGI) November 29, 2022
Transversal technologies, also known as cross-cutting technologies, are technologies that have applications across a range of different fields or industries. These technologies often have the potential to disrupt existing systems and practices, and can lead to significant changes in the way that organizations and individuals operate. Some examples of transversal technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), blockchain, and biotechnology.
One of the key characteristics of transversal technologies is their ability to enable and facilitate communication and collaboration across different sectors and disciplines. For example, AI can be used in a variety of industries, from healthcare to finance to transportation, to improve decision-making, automate processes, and enhance customer experiences. Similarly, the IoT allows for the integration and coordination of a wide range of devices and systems, enabling the creation of smart cities and connected networks.
Transversal technologies also often have the potential to create new business opportunities and drive economic growth. For instance, the development of blockchain technology has led to the emergence of a range of new companies and industries, such as cryptocurrency exchanges and decentralized finance platforms. Biotechnology, meanwhile, has the potential to revolutionize healthcare and agriculture, with applications ranging from personalized medicine to genetically modified crops.
Despite their potential benefits, transversal technologies also raise a number of ethical and policy-related concerns. For example, the widespread use of AI has led to concerns about bias, privacy, and job displacement, while the development of biotechnology has raised questions about the ethics of genetic engineering and the manipulation of life forms. As these technologies continue to evolve and gain wider adoption, it will be important for organizations and policymakers to address these concerns and ensure that the benefits of transversal technologies are shared by all.