Today we are surrounded by such amazing technologies that are constantly making our lives easier and more comfortable. Technological advancements are more impactful in the business world. Because to compete and succeed in this digital world, adopting modern technologies is no longer optional. And many upcoming technologies will be game-changers for businesses.
Here are Some Top Technology Trends that will Take Businesses to the Next level
AI and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is that horizon of the modern age which can bring many possibilities. AI enables machines to imitate human behavior (like decision-making, learning, perceiving, etc.) and even exceed it (cognitive computing). Machine Learning, considered as a subset of AI, has shaped the way of interaction with computer equipment.
AI and Machine learning have already begun to change the business world. From product planning to manufacture or identifying customers to help them find the desired product, these technologies have proven themselves effective in almost every sector. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are using AI and Machine learning for improving the searching experience and simplifying customers’ shopping experience. The MIT Sloan Management Review — “2017 Artificial Intelligence Global Executive Study and Research Project” found that 85% of executives believe AI will help their businesses gain or sustain competitive advantage. Economists have addressed AI as a core empowering technology of the — 4th Industrial Revolution. According to them, AI will contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
Big Data Analytics
The term, ‘Big Data’ is used to refer to those massive and complex data sets which are beyond the capacity of traditional data processing and storing applications. Big Data Analytics assembles all the required tools for processing and analyzing those huge data sets. Reports from International Data Corporation (IDC) claim — the global data volume to grow from 4.4 zettabytes to 44 zettabytes between 2013 and 2020. IDC predicts the data volume will reach 163 zettabytes by 2025.
Now, big data is invaluable for today’s business. In this competitive world, every organization, large or small, needs insights and data of their customers, suppliers, vendors, and so on. Big data Analytics makes it possible for businesses to process huge amounts of data. Thus, a company can use those data for making more informed decisions, identifying actual customers and improving customer service, better marketing campaigns, and effective operations. So the more data you can manage, the more money you can make.
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Internet of Things (IoT)
We now live in a world where not only devices like computers and mobiles but almost every possible thing that can be connected is being connected. From home appliances to mechanical machines, vehicles, digital devices — all are being web-enabled. This vast network of billions of connected devices all over the world is creating what we call the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Internet of Everything. All the connected devices of IoT are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and have the ability to transfer data over a network. The number of IoT devices is estimated to be 30 billion by 2020. IoT is expected to generate a global market value of $7.1 trillion by the same year. Again IDC predicts — worldwide spending on IoT will pass $1 trillion by 2022.
Growing IoT brings new opportunities for businesses as well as the challenge of managing large amounts of data. Industrial IoT (IIoT) enables manufacturers to process and analyze data from connected equipment, operational devices, locations, and people. They can increase automation by using IoT to a large extent. Also, businesses can enhance customer services through real-time insights.
IoT is changing the way things work. Because everything is connected.
Today for every industry, storing and processing growing amounts of data is a major issue. It’s a big challenge indeed — skipping latency as well as saving time and cost. Here comes Edge Computing which ensures time-efficient data processing and analyzing with minimum use of bandwidth. The thing is, at the edge of a network, data tools (servers, processors, storage) can be placed as close as possible for the real user of the data. It can be done by reducing cloud processing and distributing those processes locally (on edge servers, user’s computers, IoT devices). The distributed computing paradigm makes it possible to minimize latency as well as high-speed data processing.
Edge computing will enable businesses to store data in their suitable locations. Then processing data at the network edge, they can minimize the cost and time of cloud processing. Thus, by using Edge computing, companies can analyze real-time data. It will also help to ensure efficient and fast manufacturing by reducing field hazards. Tech giants like IBM, Microsoft have already started to develop infrastructure for Edge computing.
5G is one of the most anticipating technology trends of recent years. From its developing period in 2018, it has created a buzz around the world. Since it is almost in the finish line, big players are boosting their adaptation process for this immense power.
5G stands for fifth-generation cellular networks or communications. Among its major features, ultrafast data transfer speed (10 to 20 Gbps or more), lowest latency & fastest responsiveness, huge network capacity — are astounding. It will give more reliability and increased availability. 5G will be the key for businesses to maintain full wireless operations and get rid of cable threads. By connecting a massive amount of IoT devices, 5G will enable companies to operate with maximum efficiency. According to the study of Qualcomm, 5G will provide $13.2 trillion dollars of global economic output by 2035.
Industry experts believe that 5G will work as the backbone of major future technologies. Rather than a telecommunication network, 5G is considered as a user experience. Don’t worry, you can download your movie in just 2 or 3 seconds with that.
Virtual, Augmented & Mixed Reality
Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that immerses users in a fully artificial environment. Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience that overlays virtual objects on the real-world environment. Encompassing both AR & VR, Mixed Reality (MR) produces a whole new environment where physical and digital objects interact in real-time.
Most people know about VR. AR has become popular in the last few years. And MR is no longer a tech that can only be seen in hollywood movies.
VR, AR & MR have become a big industry with exciting innovations. Popularly used in the gaming, entertainment and training sectors, these technologies have a huge potential for every business. Their application will enable customers to experience real-time virtual interaction with new products and services. Construction and product-driven industries can use these techs for designing and visualization of their products. The most popular example of MR tools would be Microsoft HoloLens. Other big players like Google, Apple, Facebook are making a huge investment in VR, AR & MR related techs.
Yes, science fiction is becoming reality. Over 40 companies around the world are involved in developing autonomous or self-driving vehicles, among them Tesla, Alphabet, and Waymo are prominent. By using a variety of sensors, control algorithms & connectivity, Autonomous vehicles are capable of sensing its environment and moving safely without human involvement.
Due to multiple implications for businesses, the Automotive industry is growing rapidly. Autonomous vehicles will be benefited mostly for transportation, shipping, delivery, supply chain & logistics, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, and other related sectors. Developers believe these vehicles would be a better option for cost-friendly long-distance travel.
According to ABI Research, around 8 million autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles will be on the road by 2025. During an event, Elon Mask, founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has stated, “From our standpoint, if you fast-forward a year, maybe a year and three months, but next year for sure, we’ll have over a million robo-taxis on the road.”
Anyone familiar with cryptocurrency, would have heard the term, ‘Blockchain’. In simple words, Blockchain is a distributed, decentralized, and open record-keeping system (ledger) of digital transactions. Thus, It is defined as a Digital Ledger Technology (DLT). As its name suggests, a blockchain is made up of blocks of information strung one by one and each block must contain a unique code of the previous block called cryptographic hash. Whenever a transaction occurs on a supported network, a new block consisting of transaction data will be created after being verified by the parties/computers of the network. Though open or public, it is almost impossible to manipulate this system because of being immutable.
Blockchain has become a buzzword in recent years and is now considered as one of the most crucial technologies for future businesses. The costly and laggy approach is a major problem for every business while transacting assets. Blockchain has the ability to become a more secure, transparent and cost-effective alternative to traditional transaction methods. Also, it will speed up the financial operations and make them more efficient and faster.
Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that can be used as a medium of exchange while making online transactions. Based on cryptography, cryptocurrencies require the digital ledger technology — Blockchain to record transactions. In 2009, a person or a group named Satoshi Nakamoto launched the first ever cryptocurrency called Bitcoin along with blockchain.
Unlike paper currency, cryptocurrencies are decentralized and not authorized by any bank or country. But increasing online transactions using smart payments, make businesses reconsider the traditional payment methods. Thus, cryptocurrency is the potential alternative to reshape the financial face of everything. It will ensure a faster and easier transaction without third parties (bank or credit card company) involvement.
After the price jump of Bitcoin in 2017, industry experts are taking cryptocurrencies seriously. Facebook is already working on its own cryptocurrency project called ‘Libra’. Some small and big companies are trying to develop Stablecoins, a type of cryptocurrency that are backed by reserve assets and can offer price stability.
Automation is no longer just about production with advanced machineries and robotics. It has become a technology trend aimed at giving new momentum to every business activity. By using various automation tools and softwares, businesses can automate their operations. This will help to reduce costs, human errors and procedural delays. Automation is also applicable for small businesses. They can use a variety of automation tools that help them stay competitive.
Over the last couple of years, the rate of automation in every sector is growing rapidly. Tech giant Amazon is now running its cashier-less automated grocery store — Amazon Go. Currently, on average 51% of companies are using marketing automation — according to Emailmonday. However, in most cases, automation is reducing job opportunities, but companies are focusing on automation to provide greater customer value and become more productive.
Technological advances always bring new business opportunities. And in the near future, technologies will reshape every business process.