3 Technology Trends Affecting Businesses in 2019
No matter the size of your business, or what product/service you sell, you’re going to be affected by technology. Technology is always changing – affecting how we operate and how people buy and consume information. So, it’s incumbent on business leaders to stay on top of technology that will affect how they operate in the future. The biggest technology trends emerging have to do with client facing technology, and privacy issues. We’ll break some of them down to show you how they may affect your business or industry.
1. AI (Artificial Intelligence) dying down… or growing new legs
The truth is, AI is already here, and it’s not going anywhere. Artificial Intelligence is currently used on smartphones, computers, software and in homes across the world. In fact, five out of six Americans regularly use AI-based applications daily, such as navigation apps, streaming services, smartphone digital assistants and ride-sharing apps. (simplilearn)
With AI though, the new talk is how are governments and companies going to regulate this. How will people be protected? What’s great about AI is all the data and analytics that companies will obtain. However, these same companies will face a battle with data integrity. Think of Facebook and all the privacy issues they have been dealing with the past year, this is what stops smaller companies from fully adopting AI, but many predict things will change in 2019.
2. SaaS wins most popular
Software as a service (SaaS) is another term that is not brand new to companies, along with infrastructure as a software (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). This type of software was a catalyst in 2018 for how efficient companies could be internally (aka ditching old software). Think of Salesforce for example. People who don’t even work in sales have heard of this revolutionizing software that not only small companies use, but huge fortune 500 companies take advantage of.
It attracts companies because there’s no software installation and maintenance. You pay fees and access everything via the internet. The other large feature that companies ditch their old complex internal software programs for is how all the jobs and applications (project management, web conferencing, survey tools, etc.) are neatly stored in one place.
Long story short – In 2019, expect more businesses to adopt these platforms.
3. The Return of Blockchain
Blockchain technology first became popular with the creation of Bitcoin. Although, the future of blockchain does not lie with Bitcoin. There are new outlets who are taking a try at using the technology to make seamless and non-erasable transactions. The financial industry will be the most impacted by the new form of data sharing. However, many other companies are finding ways to take advantage of blockchain’s tracking capabilities.
Blockchain technology has the power to solve real problems that business’s face rather than just enhancing our marketing and sales capabilities, make self-driving cars, and appliances that talk to us. Walmart has worked with IBM’s Blockchain Platform to improve their food supply chain process, and it has helped them reduce their food sourcing tracking from seven days to just 2.2 seconds.
So how can your business be proactive?
1. Do you have a Chatbot on your site? AI and digital labor will fill the gap with tough-to-find skilled labor.
One of the first AI capabilities that thousands of websites and companies are taking advantage of is Chatbots. Chatbots will support customers without the need for human services like—fast food lines, loan processors, job recruiters. What’s more, Chatbots allow companies to gather insights and improve their service based on them. In fact, according to a recent article from Forbes some 40% of large businesses have or will adopt it (chatbots) by the end of 2019 (check out Domino’s chatbot “Dom” for a great example).
2. Decide if it’s finally time to part ways with your old software
If the answer is no, then there’s no time like the present to change software. Change isn’t easy for everyone, but in this case moving over to SaaS, you will save space and time. One of the perks is you never have to buy a new updated version and then (cringe) re-install. Updates are built into SaaS. You can get more things accomplished in one program. Working from home, or remotely is easier than ever for employees. It sounds almost too good to be true, and the pricing is suited for different sized companies. As we said, it’s time to look at change.
3. What is Blockchain and how could it affect us?
The first thing that all business owners should understand is what blockchain technology is and how other companies are using it. Right now, it’s not essential for a company to have. There isn’t a rush to change your whole business model. Now, if you consider your company to be trailblazers and want to take on the challenge, you could make your business flow better, cut costs and revolutionize your industry. There are many great videos and articles that explain Blockchain all the way down to the nitty-gritty.