The worlds of technology and business have long enjoyed a close, collaborative partnership. For business owners, this is often something of a mixed blessing. In one respect, it is likely that those who have businesses to run will feel overwhelmed by the many choices that technology brings. However, the good news is that these technological solutions often offer ways for businesses to improve their processes and operations. Let’s look at some of the latest and current technology trends. All of these are things which any contemporary business will want to take advantage of. Let’s have a look.
One of the absolute essential foundations of any business is its ability to collaborate. This means collaborating with other companies to a certain extent, but mostly within its own processes. Fortunately, there is plenty of technology which helps with this process, and this is one area in particular which is set to improve in the coming year. For most businesses, email is still the primary tool of communication. Email is classic, definitely useful, but it also certainly has its limitations. Fortunately for all businesses, collaborative tools such as Google Hangouts, Slack and Skype are on the rise, and this trend is likely to only increase as time goes on. For businesses which have a sprawling remote workforce – and that is becoming more common – these tools are going to prove more and more useful.
If there is one technological advance of recent years that businesses everywhere have really run away with, it’s cloud computing. The cloud is useful for a great many reasons, and it is that diversity which gives it its power. If there was one thing holding companies back from relying too heavily on the cloud, it was the fear associated with placing data into an external holding space. However, as time goes on and these solutions are coming to the fore more readily, businesses are gradually trusting cloud computing a lot more. As this trust increases, so too does usage of the cloud, and we can expect cloud computing to become the norm within a few years. The top cloud usage is email hosting, and it is likely that this will remain the case. Either way, this is one technology which any business can benefit from using extensively.
Internet Of Things
Next up, we have something that really is top range stuff. The Internet of Things is the name for a certain way of looking at the Internet, with the proposal that all possible devices will one day be connected. The possible uses of a theoretical Internet of Things is huge, and this is why businesses everywhere are looking to this unique solution for a variety of purposes and problems. Something that looks set to change within a year or two is the security concern around this technology. It does seem as though the security is likely to improve – something that everyone can surely get on board with. Of course, with increased usage comes a better all-round effectiveness, and especially where security is involved. When all businesses are taking advantage of the Internet of Things, it is likely to make a significant difference to how almost everything is done on a daily basis. It is this above all which makes one realize that now is an exciting time to be in business.
Something which has long been debated in business and further afield is the subject of artificial intelligence. However, at the moment the world does seem to be on the cusp of a significant shift in its approach to artificial intelligence. It would not be much of a surprise if companies start making serious use of this exciting technology in the next couple of years. The possible applications are huge, and it is almost surprising that it has taken this long to get to this point. With properly developed AI, businesses can expect to take customer engagement to a whole new level. As the quality of AI improves, it won’t be long before larger businesses are using chatbot technologies to answer customer’s phone calls and emails. The moment that entrepreneurs feel they can rely on this tech, you can bet that it will be used extensively throughout the world. The exciting thing? It looks as though this might be as early as 2019.
Clearly, mobile payments are already big news, and many businesses have already started making use of them. However, in the next few years, they are likely to become so much more the norm. Any business which is keen to remain ahead would do well to pay attention to that fact, and act accordingly. Soon enough, mobile payments will be the standard, and businesses will feel as though they need to keep up with this technology. A business which doesn’t want to feel left behind would do well to start incorporating mobile payments as soon as possible.
Now we come on to something that is likely to feel a lot more like the future. Virtual assistants will be likely to be useful to both businesses and customers. It might be that many businesses will make a big deal of trying to have the best customer-facing virtual assistant. As with any kind of technology of this scale, it is likely that it will have many more uses than we can even presently imagine. However, you can be sure that lots of businesses are developing possible uses for this technology at this very moment. Any business keen to stay on top competitively needs to think about how it will incorporate virtual assistants into its daily processes. This will soon enough become basically essential.