Technology is very much a never-ending cycle where things come and go. A new tech trend is born, it becomes a significant thing for a while, and then it either develops into something different or a new idea comes to replace it. For business owners, it’s essential to stay updated with all the technological ongoings throughout the world. Why? Because failing to do so could damage your company or hold it back. As a simple example, a few years ago there was this massive digital marketing boom.
It became a hot tech trend for companies to market their business using digital ventures. Fast forward to today, and any business that failed to jump on that trend is playing catch up.
So, where are we in the present day? What tech trends should businesses be aware of in 2018 and beyond? Needless to say, it’s an exciting time for tech, and here are two critical trends your business can’t afford to neglect:
New Data Protection Rules
I’m sure many of you will have noticed that pretty much every single app or website has started showing a similar screen when you open it up. Everywhere you look, you’re being told about new data protection rules. This is a massive thing coming out of the EU with their new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Essentially, the aim is to help protect everyone’s data and give consumers more control over who sees their data and how it’s shared.
How does this relate to your business? Well, almost every company now collects data. Whether it’s files on a USB, or a database full of client information. We all use technology to create and store data. These rules now mean businesses have to take steps to ensure all the data they own is safe and secure, as well as making sure people are happy to give them data and agree to it being shared. So, companies now have to send out notices to all their customers and consumers asking for consent before they take their data.
Not only that, but it even affects the way you store things on a simple USB device. Now, you need to ensure all data is encrypted so people can’t access it if the device falls into the wrong hands. There’s a guide to GDPR and USB drives that I recently read, and it does an excellent job of explaining what you need to do in more detail. Basically, your company can’t neglect this trend towards data protection as it could literally signal your demise. Fail to abide by new regulations, and you’ll be hit with sanctions, fines, and potential lawsuits.
The Extension of Reality
While the first trend is very much a serious thing that you absolutely need to pay attention to, this one falls more in line with past trends like digital marketing. It’s a new approach by businesses to try and make their company more innovative and provide consumers with different options. The extension of reality refers to the implementation of AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) in the business world. For me, this is a trend that all businesses should really keep an eye on in the coming months.
Personally, I think AR will be the main thing to focus on as it gives businesses loads of new and interesting ideas. VR is all about creating a virtual world that people see when they put on a headset. AR is more about adding things to our existing reality. There are plenty of examples already, my favorite of which is from IKEA. They’ve got an AR app that lets you use your mobile device to look around your house and add products from their catalog.
This is the main route I think businesses will go down with AR; giving customers the chance to view products in front of them before they make a purchase. But, there’s also the idea or AR marketing, which is another story for another article. Basically, I think you should be aware of this trend so you can get in early and be one step ahead of everyone else.
In my eyes, these are the two tech trends to watch out for in 2018 and beyond. One is very much focused on businesses taking care of data and being more secure with it. The other is another example of innovation in business, and the best companies are ones that take advantage of trends like that when they’re hot. Either way, these are both two things your business can’t afford to neglect.
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