The marketplace of the 21st century moves at breakneck speed, with technological advances inexorably changing the ways in which businesses operate at greater speed than ever before. Today, businesses live or die by their ability to use new technologies to improve their output, increase their volume or aid their productivity. From manufacture and industry to communications to (of course) security, technology is changing the nature of the beast at a dizzying pace. In the face of the ever-changing technological landscape savvy entrepreneurs can only gain a competitive edge by staying ahead of the curve, adopting and investing in new technologies to make yesterday’s science fiction an integral part of their business model.
These are some of the technologies that are worth incorporating into your operations to give your business the inside track…
Automation is increasingly revolutionizing both business and consumer technology. Looking at the range of smart home automation systems by A Connected Home shows just how ubiquitous automation has become in the home with everything from lightbulbs to water sprinklers now commonly operated remotely from a smartphone app. Likewise, in business, entrepreneurs are finding themselves able to reduce overheads without compromising productivity by automating processes through software, reducing their human resource needs.
Augmented and virtual reality
There’s a whole lot more to augmented reality than chasing around your neighbor’s back yard looking for Pokemon. Remembering the virtual reality paranoia of the ‘80s and ‘90s when the technology was pioneered, few would imagine the business and consumer applications that would be developed. While gaming is a no-brainer with Oculus Rift and Playstation VR mainstays of the consumer electronics landscape, many retailers are using augmented reality to revolutionize the consumer experience with vehicle manufacturers making increasing use of virtual showrooms. It’s too early to say what the future of VR and AR will be for business but virtual training and orientation would be a reasonably safe bet.
Artificial Intelligence may have been a science fiction staple for decades but it is a commonplace reality for a range of contemporary businesses. Many retailers and entertainment streaming services use a rudimentary AI to catalogue user interactions to gauge their preferences and make recommendations accordingly. From Netflix to iTunes to Amazon, you’ll be hard pressed to find a service that doesn’t make recommendations based on your purchases or ratings. This is, however, really just the tip of the iceberg, with use of AI algorithms on a range of customer facing applications which will be extremely helpful in reducing staffing overheads for small businesses.
AI can also be used strategically, taking in huge volumes of transaction data to extrapolate and predict trends in the market and give a macro perspective on consumer behavior. Some industries even use AI to improve safety in the workplace, cataloguing the performance data of equipment to enable site managers to preempt and prevent failures.
Whatever the nature of your business there’s a good chance that embracing new and emergent technologies and staying ahead of the technological curve you can lay the foundation for future-proof success.