The proliferation of technology has greatly helped with the democratisation of business. Large, established companies can no longer ride roughshod over their smaller competitors, as there’s no longer a guarantee that bigger is better. Any digital industry, for example, from marketing to software development, can now be carried out by a sole trader operating out of their home, often with amazing results.
Technology is playing a crucial role in businesses everywhere, but it can be difficult to keep up with its developments. For companies large and small, here are some of the most important trends to be aware of.
The humble telephone’s days are numbered, with modern businesses increasingly adopting unified communications. In today’s always-on world, businesses and their employees must be contactable as often as possible, but how can you ensure this when landlines, mobiles and emails all work on different systems?
Unified communications brings together an organisation’s communication networks over an internet connection so your staff members can be reached across any device.
The Internet of Things
It is being predicted that everyday objects, from cars to light bulbs, will soon be connected online, and this technological revolution is being dubbed “The Internet of Things.”
For businesses, this will enable them to collect data about customers, clients and employees on an unprecedented scale and allow them to generate more powerful insights than ever before.
Artificial intelligence previously existed only in the realm of science fiction, but it will soon play a role in the modern office. Already a number of businesses are making use of virtual customer agents to ease the burden on call centre staff and it may not be long before other roles are assisted by AI colleagues.
3D printing won’t be necessary for every business, but it does hold great potential for manufacturing firms. It could allow them to make more components in house, for example, eliminating costly elements of the supply chain.
It would mean having to invest in 3D printers, of course, but equipment loans for startup businesses are available to help with the initial financial outlay.
The growth of cloud computing has been astounding. Research suggests that around 90 per cent of all businesses use the cloud in some way, but many firms could stand to benefit by embracing this technology further.
Cloud-based applications are now available in disaster recovery, finance, security, and many other sectors and offer huge benefits regarding flexibility, affordability and scalability.
Another technology trend that seems futuristic, but is emerging right now is virtual reality. Although many of the existing application relate to gaming, VR and its sister technology, augmented reality, could have a number of business applications too.
VR headsets could allow engineers to fix mechanical issues remotely or enable designers to better visualise a finished product – the possibilities are limitless!
For the modern business, investing in the latest technology is vital in order to keep pace with their competitors. With so many new developments on the horizon, it’s an exciting time to be involved in the world of business tech.
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