One of the key messages from our recent Disrupted Customer Contact 2017 conference was that disruption is currently impacting businesses across a wide range of sectors.

We discussed how the growth in autonomous vehicles was probably going to be a defining factor or our present decade, but we perhaps couldn’t have predicted just how quickly electric vehicles would be outpacing the rest of the industry.

Only two weeks ago Tesla’s stock market valuation overtook that of Ford, while last week the electric car firm experienced another rise in share price that saw it move ahead of General Motors to become the most valuable carmaker with a market capitalisation of some $51.5 billion. Stock market valuations can of course change, but this is an impressive performance from a company that made just 77,000 vehicles last year compared to GM’s 9.8 million.

However disruption isn’t just about financial performance. A recent piece in Business Insider quoted a top financial adviser suggesting that how we think about retirement is going to change dramatically over the next few decades. Citing exponential technologies such as ‘AI, machine learning, Big Data, 3D printing, robotics, bioinformatics, bionics and nanotechnology’, the article suggested that there was simply no way we could afford to retire at 65 and live to 120 given the improved life expectancy these innovations might bring.

Instead of traditional linear life patterns – birth, school, work, retirement – the article described how we’re going to have to adapt to a more cyclical approach, switching from learning, employment and leisure on a more varied basis throughout our lives. Perhaps more significantly, the idea of working for 40 years to support an average 20-year retirement will no longer be sustainable. Just imagine the wide-scale disruption this would bring, particularly across industries such as financial services, healthcare, education and travel.

Given the acceleration we’re already seeing in autonomous vehicles and healthcare, we’re also going to need to make considerable adjustments across the customer service space. Forget about Generation Z, maybe our resource planners need to start making plans for centenarians in their contact centre workforce – particularly as the number of people aged 100 or more is set to grow eightfold by 2050.

In this week’s SabioSense we’re highlighting insights from Forbes, Sabio and Digital Trends.