Technology is always changing, and if you want your business to survive, you need to change with it. The past few years have been ripe with exciting technological innovations, and the impact of these will reach far beyond the tech industry. As a business, it is vital to stay up to date with the changes on the horizon and how they could improve or impact your business. These changes can have the power to vastly improve the speed and efficiency of your operation, or they could change the very nature of your industry. Either way, being aware of the newest trends in technology and how they may affect your life is extremely important.
No matter what you do, these four emerging technology trends are going to change your business. It’s up to you whether that change is positive or negative:
1. The Internet Of Things (IoT)
People have been talking about the rise of the internet of things (IoT) for years. This essentially includes all devices that can be connected to the internet and be recognized by other devices, thus contributing info to a database. With products like Google Home and Amazon Echo gaining popularity, IoT is finally on the fast track to making the physical world one enormous information system. But why should your business care? Regardless of what type of business you have, IoT devices are going to have a massive impact on how you do business. IoT devices connect customers in new ways with more interactions, thus gathering more data than ever before, and any marketer or entrepreneur knows how important data can be. Tracking and managing inventory will likely be revolutionized by IoT devices as well. Smart devices will be able to keep track of inventory changes completely automatically, freeing up your workers for more important, cognitively demanding tasks.
Additionally, IoT devices could enormously expand the world of remote work. With many devices wired to the same network, remote workers could be much more connected and have the ability to complete tasks that may not have been possible for them before. Overall, the latest IoT developments will likely allow you and your workers to accomplish large-scale tasks faster and with greater precision than every before.
2. Blockchain Technology
If you've heard of Blockchain technology, it's probably been tied to bitcoin currency. Blockchain is the technology behind bitcoin, but it has a lot of potential to expand beyond digital currencies.
Blockchain essentially allows digital information to be distributed, but not copied. Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared database, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt. Hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data is accessible to anyone on the internet.
Though the financial services industry has been the first to take advantage of this new technology, it's starting to gain momentum across a variety of industries. Because it validates transactions as well as the value of whatever is being transacted, Blockchain can act as the middle man for almost any transaction. For example, artists can go straight to their fans, rather than through music labels, to protect their own music and royalties.
Chatbots are essentially computer programs that are designed to have human-like communication. Many people think chatbots are the next big form of communication, and their prevalence is already larger than you might expect. Though many companies have already considered their use for customer service purposes, chatbots could help employees to break down and manage data as well.
Chatbots store, synthesize, and recall important data much quicker and more efficiently than people do. This could improve speed of operation by serving up relevant information in real time to the employee who needs it, or directly helping a customer quickly and efficiently, allowing people to focus on other tasks.
4. 3D Printing
The 3D printing trend has grown rapidly in the past few years, with 3D printer shipments doubling in 2016. A PWC survey revealed that 11% of manufacturing companies had already started to mass produce 3D printed parts, but if you think 3D printing will only impact manufacturing companies then you are greatly mistaken.
There are several ways that the 3D printing trend will change many businesses, and these mainly stem from increased speed and decreased cost of production. We are entering an arena in which products can be made and delivered in a fraction of the time that it took not too long ago. From a business point of view, this means that everyone needs to move faster to keep up.
3D printing also provides a distinct advantage for entrepreneurs. This is due in part to the increased speed and cost-effectiveness, as well as the sheer number of industries that 3D printing can impact. An increase in accessibility of 3D printing will change the way we do business by opening up more chances for entrepreneurs to enter markets that were previously difficult to enter. This could lead to faster innovations in a wide range of industries.
A lot is changing in technology, and its important to stay aware of how the future of tech can impact the future of your business. These are just a few of the newest innovations on the rise, but there are always new ways in which technology is changing the world.
Let us know the latests tech trends you've noticed, and how you think they will impact the future!