This is a transformation of the NewCompany Article 8 Unexpected Ways Technology Will Change The Word by 2020.
I took the ways I found adequate for quant finance:
1. New Education Models - education needs to become an on-demand, self-paced, learner-centered service. Financial software-systems (as others) must become computational and understandable. Declarative, symbolic programming opens the way for systems that solve problems but also enable explorative, constructive learning. The UnRisk Financial Language and UnRisk-Q are serving this two-sided usage. The UnRisk Help system is computational and interactive.
2. A Creative Boom - the DIY movement. Making will go mainstream and pragmatists will do things that are done by larger institutions now. They need big systems for the small. I wrote about our view on DIY Investors and the systems they require to understand complex financial concepts here.
3. Reverse Innovation - in the past innovation flew from the rich to the poor and the large to the small. It is again about big systems for the small. Reverse innovation is our strategy since 2001. Once I called it Cheap Innovation.
4. The End of Onlne/Offline - In Internet of Things I tried to bring this paradigm to a more general level and asked wether an internet of finance will emerge. This is still open.
5. Financial Inclusion - the further distribution and better programmability of the money system. Will there be hundreds of "cryptocurrencies" out there thats exchange need to be engineered, traded, managed and regulated. This might be another challenge for quant finance systems, UnRisk.
We are not blindly entering such new ways, but we discuss whether our technologies are generic enough to enter - and yes, most of them are. Blazingly fast engines. The orthogonal organization of instruments, models and methods. The symbolic UnRisk Financial Language. New challenges may come from new interaction patterns.