Businesses that are not adopting technology right now are obviously veering towards extinction. At present, one critical business challenge is the need to communicate with this generation in their language and at the places they spend most of their time for two reasons – to withstand competition and increase revenue.
Clearly, technology is now well beyond networking and computers. The technology world is being transformed by the rise in mobile devices, sophisticated gadgets, cloud-based technologies, geo-targeting services plus several awesome innovations.
Already newspapers, bookstores and many other businesses have experienced sharp decline in revenue. To remain relevant and stay competitive in the business world, you need to constantly anticipate the next trend in technology, determine how they will likely affect your business and consistently develop innovative means of using technology to your advantage.
Let us see some current trends in technology that can help you make better business decisions:
Increase in Mobile Solutions
One of the greatest disrupters of technology in recent times is the rise in mobile-related technologies – mobile payments, near field communication, location-based services, mobile social networking, mobile commerce, and so on.
In Nigeria, mobile social networking ranks among the highest in the world. Similarly, mobile payments and mobile commerce are taking off really fast. These reveal that Nigerians are becoming really comfortable interacting and transacting on their mobile devices.
As present mobile platforms become standardized and new platforms get developed, mobile solutions are expected to totally transform technology and communication in ways we are yet to imagine. A major benefit of mobile solutions is geo-targeting, which is the ability to track and target users based on their locations.
Powering Devices with “Voice”, “Touch” and “Hand Wave”
In the last few years, we have seen a great rise in innovative input methods for different devices.
A very notable one is Siri voice command for iPhone 4S which lets users send text messages, search the Internet, set reminders and more without touching their phones. Following its success, many more devices have begun to adopt voice input method as a standard.
Another input technology that is becoming widely accepted is touch-screen technology. More and more devices including Windows 8 and Mac OS X Lion are favoring touch-screen environment over the usual desktop interface. Surprisingly, Kinect from Microsoft has brought another input method, using spatial gestures like “waving of hands” to make commands on devices. With simple innovative technologies like these, the need for a computer mouse is getting obliterated.
This is one of the most important benefits of the digital age. There are more and more technologies for accurately analyzing communication efforts and predicting business concerns.
For example, Ford is already using a technology from Google to develop a system for predicting where car owners would like to go at specific times of the day. This is expected to make life easier for Ford users, and in-turn bring higher revenues to Ford Motors. Public relations personnel, marketers and researchers now use the power of analytics to understand conversations on the Internet, enabling them to provide real-time report to their organizations and clients.
This level of prediction is possible as a result of better analysis of previous activities using technology. With technologies like this in place, businesses can now act with better precision and more certainty.
There has been an explosion in the amount of data getting streamed on the Internet. As a result, businesses are moving their servers to the cloud leading to the development of many more powerful cloud-based tools.iCloud, Google Drive and Cloudfront have brought great changes to the way the Internet operates.
Cloud services are helping businesses reduce cost of operations, recruitment, sales and so on by providing access to very powerful applications at low cost. Today, there are advanced cloud services that are used for high-speed analytics which is vital to business. Also, collaboration, contents transfer, ecommerce and many more services are more conveniently and efficiently carried out within the cloud.
Rise of HTML 5 Devices
The latest version of HTML 5 provides richer and more interactive contents, and is already becoming widely accepted among developers. This is not surprising as it eliminates the need for developers to build apps for individual operating system – iOS, Windows Phone, Android. Instead, they can now build apps for HTML 5 which works across several interfaces. For example, the new Cadillac XTS sedan is expected to come with HTML 5 powered dashboard interface so that developers will not be confined to just one code base for creating apps for the dashboard. This is a laudable path for mobile devices.
In conclusion, keeping track of these trends will help you make better business decisions based on today’s reality and expected developments in the nearest future, but ignoring technology at this point in history can be suicidal. More importantly, every business needs to consistently develop innovative ways of using technology solutions to simplify their operations and also reach more customers and serve them better.