“How did I miss that?”
At some stage you’ve likely asked yourself this exact question. Missed what, exactly? I am referring to digital and technological developments. Believe it or not, there are still small businesses that do not own a website and have zero presence online. The innovation and advancements we are now seeing affect all categories of business and the economy. It no longer warrants comment, for example, if your business has a website, but it certainly warrants comment if you don’t, and not in a positive way.
So how did technology become synonymous with business transformation? The truth is business is no longer pigeon-holed into being offline or online; business is both, and businesses need to embrace both in order to service their customers and clients successfully.
We are increasingly being surrounded with a digital intelligence network, also known as ambient intelligence, and it comes from the explosion of digital technology in almost every object surrounding us. From our multiple devices, our smart TVs, and our Internet connected things, this neural network is expanding and learning more about us and what we want every day. It helping us to achieve new heights, and as we move forward, the achievements we’re marvelling at today will become the norm tomorrow.
Don’t be left scratching your head wondering how a certain business-changing technology passed you by. The first step to overcoming this is by simply being aware of what is being developed and what trends are emerging. If you can keep yourself informed, you’ll be better educated when it comes time to making a decision as to whether you want to invest or not.
We’ve collated the most intriguing and promising tech trends here to take the time consuming task of researching out of the equation for you. Trends allow you insight into what problems we are faced with and how we are trying to solve them. It allows you to peek into the future landscape of your business, and you can’t tell me that kind of foresight is useless.Tech Trend #1 – Blockchain
You’ve probably heard of blockchain when hearing mention of bitcoin. Blockchain provides an open decentralised database of every transaction involving value through the use of cryptography and math. Essentially it works as a distributed ledger.
For example, when you and a friend chat/talk/text message each other using modern technology such as a smartphone, you can do so without the need to send your message through a third party. So when you press ‘send’, your message goes from point A (you) directly to point B (friend). When you are dealing with money though, the transaction must be completed through a trusted third party. So if you need to transfer money to your friend, instead of dealing with them directly as you would with a text message, you have to use a financial institution to carry this out for you.
Blockchain eliminates the need to utilise a third party, and transactions are verified through the open decentralised database community. In 2009 we experienced the global financial crisis, and a lot of people lost trust in banks. The potential for blockchain uses are endless and could be used from collecting taxes to significantly reducing money fraud because of the public ledger each and every transaction is recorded on. As William Mougayar describes in his book, ‘The Business of Blockhain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology’, “The blockchain cannot be described just as a revolution. It is a tsunami-like phenomenon, slowly advancing and gradually enveloping everything along its way by the force of its progression”.
Tech Trend # 2 – Automation
For some, automation is something to be feared. For others, it’s something to embrace, and truth be told, automation is already happening. Jobs and roles which were once thought to be indistinguishably operated by humans are now being performed by technology. Artificial Intelligence, deep machine learning, big data; these are all contributing to the automation movement. With the scope for human error erased, roles such as analytical inquiry are performed with perfect accuracy. According to Aidan Cunniffe in his article for TechCrunch, the automation revolution could happen in as little as 15 years, unlike the industrial revolution which spanned centuries. However, technology automation is also creating jobs. Jobs such as app developer and market research data miner did not exist 20 years ago.
Tech Trend # 3 – Bots
Leading on from automation in a sense, all of this would not be possible without bots. Recently chatbots have been gaining a lot of exposure in the media, and it’s easy to understand why brands are so interested in using them to service their customers. Everyday tasks such as booking a dinner reservation, ordering an Uber or making an appointment can all be completed with a bot. The reason we’re seeing and hearing more about bots now is because the artificial intelligence software that powers them has dramatically improved. Also, at Facebook’s F8 conference this year, Facebook launched chatbots on their Messenger platform, now allowing businesses to deliver automated customer support. The seamless integration of people chatting with friends to chatting with a business signals the beginning of a whole new way to engage with customers.
Stay on top of digital marketing and technology trends and subscribe at the SponsoredLinX Academy Hub today!