If you’ve recently lost internet connectivity at the office or misplaced your smartphone, you’ll be familiar with the sudden realisation that the reliance you’ve placed on technology has reached a point where it has simply become an intrinsic part of your everyday life.
Business technology is moving along at a blistering pace. Smartphones are fast becoming the most-used computing devices for many and tablets have finally made the transition from couch consumption device to viable laptop replacement.
Businesses have had to adapt quickly to changes in technology, but certain sectors have struggled to keep pace. This post is your chance to steal a march and ensure your business is ready for the technical marvels it either has access to now or will have in the near future.
Let’s dive into the top 5 tech trends heading your business’s way.
From email marketing to office-based applications, automation has the ability to transform the inner workings of businesses big and small. Menial, repetitive tasks can now be set to run automatically without any on-going input from employees. And that doesn’t mean redundancies, either, for automation is geared towards helping staff focus on the stuff that matters.
Continuing advances in artificial intelligence (AI) mean that automation is only going to get smarter with common tasks and processes able to adapt to changing market and production conditions.
2. Virtual Reality
Once the stuff of 1980s sci-fi films, virtual reality is making something of a significant come back. Expected by many to be the ‘next big thing’ for consumers, it also has compelling use cases in business.
Product demonstrations, virtual tours and enhanced training for employees are just some of the ways in which you could put virtual reality to use in your business.
3. 3D Printing
The ability to mock up a design on screen and have a living, breathing tangible example of it created before your very eyes is now a reality. 3D printing will revolutionise many industries by reducing the reliance on expensive prototype production and enabling quick-fire ideas to be trialled almost instantly.
4. Advances in Payments
The cashless society often talked about isn’t that far away. The introduction of Apple Pay and Android Pay has enabled consumers to pay for almost anything with their smartphone or smartwatch and means that wallets, cash and credit cards will often be left at home.
The emergence of Bitcoin may also have sizeable impacts on business with customers opting for virtual currency over that of their native land. Whatever happens, your business will need to be ready for the next generation of payments and the potential challenges it will present.
5. Wearables Become Ubiquitous
Although still relatively nascent, smartwatches and other types of wearable technology are gradually finding their way in society. Apple Watches and Android Wear devices are becoming a more common sight in the wild meaning it won’t be long before they end up on the wrists of your employees.
Wearables are generally considered to be ‘companion’ devices and specialise in offering quick-glance notifications and updates for those wearing them. As a business, their ability to keep both customers and employees informed could become essential.
Moore’s law, which predicted the doubling of computing power every two years, is creating software, devices and services that were once the sole domain of sci-fi films and our imaginations. The above list is just a snippet of the tech trends headed your way, but you’ll set yourself in good stead if you start preparing for them now.
Mark Ellis is a freelance writer who specialises in copywriting, blogging and content marketing for businesses of all sizes. Mark’s considerable experience at director level and deep interest in personal and business success means he’s ready to comment on anything from freelance writing to workplace dynamics, technology and personal improvement.