In the past decade, technology has fundamentally changed the way we do business. Consider, for example, that one smartphone has the same computing power as 50 desktop computers circa the 1990s. The digital age has expedited the entire business process, from research and design, development, launch, and consumer feedback. As a result, consumers are more demanding, but businesses can also leverage technology to make their processes more efficient and reduce redundancy and waste. Here’s what you need to know about the technology trends that are changing business.
Blockchain is one of the most emerging technology trends in business. Blockchain is, at its most basic form, a group of written records linked together by cryptography. Each “block” contains information like transaction data, a time stamp, and a hash of the previous block. The main appeal of using blockchain is that it is resistant to modification. In that sense, two parties can record electronic transactions in a verifiable, permanent manner. Blockchain was originally developed to serve as an open ledger for Bitcoin.
Though the cryptocurrency market is at a standstill, businesses should be mindful of the potential future applications of blockchain. For example, blockchain applications are growing in the financial sector, as well as other industries where the completion of a transaction requires confirmation. Industry experts predict that blockchain could disrupt the way that major industries process transactions in the future, including huge payment systems like Medicare. There are also wide-ranging applications, like those for identity management.
Chatbots are hardly new, but companies are increasingly scrambling to automate their business processes and make them more efficient. Bots are a simple way to eliminate redundancies and keep employees away from menial tasks, so they can focus on the more challenging aspects of their work. Consider, for example:
- Experts predict that by 2020, 85% of transactions will be possible without the use of a human.
- 69% of customers note that speed is a primary factor in assessing their satisfaction with transaction.
- Customer experience is at a standstill online – studies show that there have been no marked gains in the digital customer experience.
The customer service industry will continue to see rapid integration of bots and other automated technologies. In the coming years, businesses will work to escalate the speed of their services by blending bots and human customer service agents in an effort to drive customer value. It has a vital place in a business’s technology trends to achieve greater success.
Chatbots are only one aspect of a larger pie, cognitive technology also gains popularity as a latest technology trends for changing business, which will continue to disrupt the way that businesses operate. Early adopters to cognitive technology are leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to streamline business operations, eliminate waste, address service gaps, and even make more informed business decisions.
Experts classify cognitive technology applications into the business into three primary categories:
Creating New Product Categories
Cognitive technology can do more than enhance customer service; it can also drive new classes of products and services, improving business holds in existing or emerging market shares. Think, for example, of Roomba robotic cleaners, Google Now (automated virtual digital assistants) and autonomous transportation. We will only continue to see more examples of how cognitive technology spurns new products in the coming years.
Streamlining internal processes
Aside from allowing businesses to create new products, cognitive technology will also allow businesses to become more efficient. Because of machine learning, businesses can do work faster and cheaper, without the risk of human error. In some cases, cognitive technology may replace workers in order to assure human safety. One emerging example of this is driverless mining trucks, which are helping reduce risk in a notoriously dangerous profession.
Creating actionable insights
Lastly, cognitive technology allows businesses to make more informed decisions that lead to growth. For example, natural language processing technology allows businesses to analyze vast amounts of information and machine learning can create recommendations based on complex data sets.
Early adopters to cognitive technology are already using it to make decisions that reduce costs, improve internal efficiencies, and increase revenue streams. For example, companies can use a predictive algorithm to create categories of customers who are likely to have similar needs or purchase similar products. Businesses can use these categories to create tailored promotions and increase sales.
Digital Reality-technology trend changing business
Like cognitive technology, digital reality is not a new or emerging technology trend – what makes it so the novel is the emerging business applications. Once reserved for tech circles, augmented and virtual reality are now in the mainstream. Business can leverage digital reality in five main ways to improve business processes, customer engagement, and sales:
Digital reality allows workers to collaborate without sharing a physical location. For example, engineers in an office can see what workers in the field see and repair or maintain equipment remotely. Similar applications are possible in emerging fields such as telehealth.
On a practical level, digital reality gives workers access to educational opportunities that might not otherwise be possible. Medical establishments are increasingly leveraging digital technology to allow students, residents, and fellows learn about complicated procedures that would not otherwise be possible. Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, for example, uses AR and VR to provide training in the emergency department.
Digital reality also presents the opportunity to connect potential customers with products and services. With an increasing focus on delivering immersive customer experiences, businesses stand to be early adopters with product demonstrations and virtual models. Audi showrooms, for example, leverage VR to allow customers to explore all the options available on their models.
Any workers who have access to a computer can use VR and AR to get the information they need, at the exact moment they need it, to do their jobs more efficiently.
At its core, VR and AR are about gamification and storytelling. Businesses can leverage these for both training and creating engaging customer experiences.
5G Networking will be one of the leading technology trends in business in coming future. It represents the next era of computing and networking, as it stands to improve speeds up to 100 times. Download speeds of 1GBps are expected to become the norm in the near future. 5G infrastructure will help bring many emerging technology into mass adoption, including the Internet of Things, which will allow for a more connected, smarter world.
Verizon launched its 5G network in April 2019, and more networks are expected to launch globally in 2020. No matter where in the world you are, you will be able to remain connected with 5G technology. The implications for business include increased globalization and more efficient internal processes.
The one interesting thing to note about the digital trends that will dominate business in the near future is that the technology itself is nothing new. Businesses are notoriously slow adopters to new technology, and now that the infrastructure is in place, we will continue to see these tools evolve.
In the near future, we will see more immersive and tailored customer experiences. By the same token, we will likely see less human interaction in customer service, as machines take over menial tasks and eliminate business redundancies.
In an era driven by technology, customers demand more than ever. Businesses would do well to incorporate these technologies into their practice and rise to meet customer expectations. An important caveat, however: investment of technology should always consider the viability, business infrastructure, and an examination of consumer demographics to assess the potential return on investment. Only pursue the integration of these technologies if it makes sense for your brand.