Technology will always be changing and adapting to the needs of the world we live in. For anybody doing business today, technology is definitely something that should be kept in mind. These days, it’s not an option for most business owners to stay current with tech trends and find practical ways to apply innovations, concepts, and processes to daily operations. But why? For starters, technology is changing at a rapid pace, so much so that many of the innovations that drive business today didn’t even exist when the millennium was new. Take a moment to consider tech trends that are currently shaking up the business world.
1. Remote Storage
Referring to remote data storage in a centralised information database, cloud computing can do more than free up valuable hard drive space. Because clouddata is accessible via the Internet, employees can access info from any PC or device from multiple locations. As a result, internal communications can be more efficient. It’s also a useful technology for test and development environments, data backup that can minimise or eliminate downtime in the event of an emergency, and software-as-a-service companies looking for an easier way to make their products accessible.
2. Big Data Collection and Processing
The increase in online activity means that basically nearly every single customer action involving the touch of a keyboard or a scroll on a mobile device can be tracked. Info can be gathered on everything from what emails are opened to what specific products customers are adding to online carts. While such data can certainly be useful, it’s not always easy to extract the info that’s actually meaningful. This is why businesses are gravitating towards things like a GPU database to perform certain operations. Graphical processing unit databases are appealing because they’re more flexible and capable of processing larger amounts of data. Even Google is using a machine-learning artificial intelligence system called RankBrain to sort through massive amounts of search data more efficiently.
More access to data also means more security vulnerabilities. The growing need to boost security and ensure data privacy and protection goes both ways. Consumers are more likely to provide personal details such as email addresses and credit card numbers if they know a website is secure. This is one of the reasons why Google is now penalising sites that don’t have SSL certificates (the “S” in HTTPS) that indicate they are secure, meaning transferred data is only viewable to the user and the receiving server. Security is also important for businesses looking to avoid data breaches that could potentially cripple operations.
4. Wearable Technology
Smartphones, tablets, and laptops are no longer the only Internet-connected devices people can use while on the go. Sure, Google Glass was a bust, but smartwatches have plenty of potential for businesses looking for convenient ways to tap into geographic data to reach out to customers when they happen to be within their area. Businesses are also using smartwatch applications to integrate apps and expand usage to various smart devices, customise notifications, provide real-time directions for customers looking to get to a nearby location, and to allow customers to make instant payments for services.
5. Voice Search
The rising use of voice search is making mobile technology in the form of smartphones and wearable devices more useful for customers looking to get search results quickly from voice assistants like Alexa and Siri that are typically more than 90 percent reliable. The impact for businesses comes with how content is presented. For SEO purposes, there needs to be more of a focus on conversational keywords and phrase since people doing a voice search tend to use more naturally flowing sentences rather than a few words here and there.
6. 3D Printing
A perfect example of technology that was once considered a novelty that’s now more accessible is 3D printing. Because user adoption is growing rapidly, 3D printing technology can have many practical business applications. One example is with the prototyping process. Just speeding up this process alone can make it easier to detect design flaws and get products to market faster. 3D printing is already being used in the medical industry to print organs from patients’ cells and design prosthetics and in the auto industry to test vehicle parts and accessories.
Realistically, not every tech trend discussed here is going to be right for your business. But what you can do is pay attention to how your customers prefer to engage with your business online. This knowledge will allow you to determine how to effectively leverage the power of emerging technology to drive customer engagement where it makes sense to do so. Finally, keep in mind that your competitors are likely to be just as mindful of trending innovations. So, if you’re not keeping up with tech trends, you may be unintentionally giving your competition an advantage.