The technology trends of the future – how will they affect you?
With new technology moving faster than ever, 2017 will undoubtedly be another revolutionary year in the advancement of its integration with humanity. As we see the seeds of the not so distant futuristic world spring into our day-to-day lives, do the new business models entering the market present opportunity to benefit from?
As so much change is imminent, there is arguably a lot at stake for the commercial world. The changing fabric of our lives we have come to know so well will undoubtedly be easier for some than others – with essential daily activity streamlined into a brave new world. So, equipping yourself and your business with the knowledge of what is to come will prepare and ensure that you are one step ahead when it comes to life changing technology.
Below, we have researched the technological developments we believe will harbour the most beneficial changes for businesses in the coming year.
Robots and chat-bots
The potential this year for brands to adopt the use of robots, particularly in manufacturing and supply-chain industries – along with the rise of chat-bot communication – is sure to be a talking point. As companies continue to contend with an increasing online audience both interacting and shopping around the clock, chat-bots and automated delivery systems have helped to speed up and enrich the customer experience due to increased flexibility. Capitalising on this opportunity by create a simple chat-bot system to learn how to serve your customers online, when you don’t have the resource otherwise can maximise success in e-commerce.
In recent news, an EU motion was passed to consider the human rights of robotics as an ‘electronic personhood’ status, whereby ethical laws protect their existence – as computers may become so advanced as to achieve self-awareness. But, don’t expect any terminator-esque science-fiction horrors, as the laws will reportedly be drawn-up to primarily protect humanity at all cost.
Big data is the new buzz phrase, with the capability to improve and refine our business decisions in a big way. The sheer volume and accuracy of the data sets will be able to reveal patterns, trend and associations relating to human behaviour and interaction that will revolutionise marketing and sales strategies. Developments are also expected in IT – with big data storage likely to make headway in 2017, changing the current IT landscape as we know it.
According to the experts, automated banking is coming to a street near you. Apart from being more convenient for your personal and business finances, this service could eradicate the need for some bank staff – not the best news for current workers. However, harnessing the power of big data will render robo-advisors able to search, process and analyse data to make uber-informed decisions in a split-second. With the popularity of fintech start-ups ever increasing, along with the use of bitcoin and blockchain, this is an advancement we are sure to see more of in 2017.
The Internet of Everything
As the internet prepares itself for an information bump up from the likes of big data, we can be sure that intelligent systems will benefit and develop – particularly from the release of remote operation home accessories. With many surprisingly affordable adaptions to ensure security, lights, electronics and climate are all controlled in an application available for your phone, and the popularity of wearable devices ever growing, staggering amounts of data are being collected. This collection of big data will provide the opportunity for specific industries to harness acute demand with minimal expenditure.
With all good things, there does come a downside. Many industry experts warn of future online security threats due to the increasing use of virus software, most of all ransomware. Peter Bauer, CEO and co-founder at Mimecast has said “expect more evolving forms of ransomeware that deny access to desktops, network drives and cloud services – don’t get caught off guard by adversaries impersonating the CEO or basic phishing attacks on employees”.
New business models and shared economy
The rise of intangible affiliate businesses such as Uber, AirBnB, and Netflix have demonstrated over the last decade that our markets are shifting from traditionally static, inflexible provision of goods and services to round the clock functionality online. Uber does not own any of its cabs, and AirBnB owns no accommodation. Similarly, Netflix does not produce every single TV show or film listed on its site. What these companies have in common is their ability to connect a good or service with demand, a strategy that has been bolstered by the influx of 24/7 web connectivity; think of your phone, tablet and computer. Their businesses’ operational space it seems, is right in your pocket.
Keeping up with this trend is important if you want to step your business up a gear. A credible website is vital in order to portray your brand as a reliable and consistent service. Additionally, developing and keeping up a good communication stream via social media, apps and email will ensure your product is at the forefront of your customer’s mind when they unlock their connected device. Being on the ball can equate to some serious brownie points when it comes to adapting your message on new channels, including live streams and affiliates.
AR – Augmented Reality
Experimenting with augmented and virtual reality is likely to boost business significantly this year, due to rapid migration from the gaming world into enterprise. You may have been familiar with the AR feature in the popular Pokémon Go game – and this very feature whereby users can interact with a scene in real time is set to become popular in the retail and leisure industry. It can also serve as a reliable and instructive step-by-step guide for an employee or customer when setting up equipment, using highly visual guidance to minimise risk and the time spent on such an exercise. Interactive interfaces are engaging, personal and an exciting prospect to experiment with for your business – we look forward to welcoming them in the coming year.
The fact that this blog is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to technological advancement this year and in the years to come is an exciting prospect, yet could be a potential overload for some SMEs. In order to capitalise on these advances, assessing which elements will complement and enhance your existing offering is a good starting point. Not all technologies will suit all industries and harnessing the power of one technological aspect before moving onto the next will ensure success.
As for Hilton-Baird Financial Solutions, whilst we embrace new technologies that benefit our clients, our online chats are still very much human operated, and our services continue to focus on the knowledge and experience of our team to search for the best available finance facility, rather than algorithms and automated processes.
What are your thoughts on the future of technology in business? Please share your views in the comments section below.