The Beat Research: The Year In Corporate Travel Technology

To assess major technology concepts and examine how they are applied within the corporate travel ecosystem, The Beat this year handpicked a few dozen experts attuned to trends in technology and travel to rate the coming relevance of seven computer science and tech fields.

The impact during the next 12 months on corporate travel of each of those subjects—the API economy, blockchain, the internet of things, machine learning, natural language processing, robotic process automation and virtual reality—were rated by those experts on a scale from 0 (not at all impactful) to 100 (highly impactful).

Among the findings: In corporate travel’s API economy, GDP is soaring. The industry is learning to love machine learning and other branches of artificial intelligence, including natural language processing and understanding. The robots have been here for a while, and they're getting better, faster and smarter at mundane tasks. The internet of things is a thing, but how big a thing in corporate travel is debatable. Blockchain is buzzy and still budding. And virtual reality is a virtual bust—for now.

The 36 experts who responded to The Beat's online questionnaire in October and November include executives from travel management companies, corporate travel tech operators, startups, venture capital and investment outfits and travel suppliers, as well as travel buyers, consultants and others.

A PDF of the full study, which includes analysis and an impact score for each category assessed, is available here.