Tech is the future of business. That has long ceased to be more than just mere prediction. For any business to thrive, it’s either move or die. In 2019, this will become more apparent. With the arrival of the internet of things and artificial intelligence, more businesses will be compelled to adopt new systems into their processes in order to break through the noise.
For your small business, trends in tech are something to watch out for. These developments will help you evaluate whether your systems are outdated or redundant and you should jump ship when necessary.
Business technology experts expect the following trends to dominate the market this year. So keep your options open, and don’t hesitate to explore how these trends can help you achieve your goals for the future.
The goal of tech is to simplify your job as a business owner and manager. However, as more solutions and applications become available, each with their own unique offers, you often end up with a variety of tools that must each be managed separately. Talk about defeating the purpose.
Technologists are recognizing this issue and, in response, are developing new products that aim to let you unify your software into integrated platforms where one can connect with the other with little to no hassle.
This move will help leverage seamless communication and simultaneous data monitoring and help you become more efficient in your work operations.
Small businesses are an easy target for average hackers. According to data compiled by SCORE, almost half of cyberattacks target small businesses. This is because most small businesses usually don’t have rigorous security systems in place yet and are therefore easier to exploit, compared to larger corporations.
Fortunately, small-business owners are starting to realize this, and 2019 could be the year that they take cybersecurity as an integral part of their foundational process.
A solid security system allows you to protect vital company information and client data. Data breaches can cost millions in lawsuits and damage, so see to it that you seek reliable assistance when it comes to keeping a dependable barrier to your digital assets.
Influencers Are the New Brokers
It doesn’t take much to realize that it’s past the age of print advertising. In the 21st century, businesses go digital, simply because their audience is there. This means finding new ways to connect to your target market.
One trend that is gaining traction in the industry is the use of media influencers. In marketspeak, these are individuals who have the ability to influence a large trove of potential buyers of a product or service by promoting these products or services in their respective social media channels.
Influencers can sway buyer opinion about a product in an instant, making them very effective new-age marketers. If you want to market, partner with influencers who have a positive vision and with a reliable follower base.
Take for example Elon Musk. In September last year, the Tesla head smoked cannabis in a live web show by Joe Rogan, and this earned a wave of varying reactions. While some execs definitely were stupefied by the magnate’s actions, many were quick to laugh it out. But most importantly, it became an important statement for the billionaire’s support of the widely controversial drug. The backlash after the show only strengthened the conversation around the drug and fueled more support for cannabis legalization in the US.
5G-Driven Internet of Things (IoT)
The next generation of mobile broadband is here with a significantly faster download and upload capacities than its 4G LTE predecessor. Partnered with the internet of things (IoT), or the interconnected network of computing devices that allows them to receive and send (exchange) data, 5G-driven IoT will leverage network connections to help businesses:
- Create continuous customer engagement. If you have IoT-enabled products, any product issues and malfunctions can easily be sent to the customer support system, making issue resolution easier and faster to do.
- Business-process monitoring. Wearables and sensors easily input data into the system and, through the help of AI, can be parsed to create analytics that will be useful in pointing out aspects of the business that can be improved on.
- Automated services. Especially helpful in manufacturing industries, IoT-enabled systems will help leverage logistics, providing precise and real-time control of the chain of production, mitigating delays, disruption, thefts, and interruptions to business operations.
Social Media Advertising
This has to be mentioned separately from influencer marketing. Social media advertising in itself is a league of its own, encompassing strategies that utilize user psychology and marketing knowledge to create high-conversion leads.
The number of unique audiences easily reached by social media is reason itself to explore its promising option. So learn new ways to market your brand online.
The integration of machine learning capabilities into the core of business processes is perhaps one of the most anticipated developments in the coming years. AI, or artificial intelligence, is at the frontier of this movement, giving businesses next level assistance in terms of the following:
- Parsing data input (analytics)
- Customer engagement (via chatbots)
- Driving logistics (IoT)
Because AI is still in its infancy, expect rapid changes in user interfaces. But instead of ignoring the changes, be cognizant. Here are great ideas to guide you in integrating AI into your business processes.
2019 will be a dynamic year for business and tech, each evolving itself rapidly around the other. If you want to be ahead of your game, perhaps it’s time to audit your own systems and look for ways to integrate a flexible tech-centered process. Explore your options, and always look for avenues to improve.