Staying competitive: technology for your business

Innovation in tech is expected to continue into 2019. As an entrepreneur, this presents opportunities for you, but also a number of potential hurdles.

Even if your company is already a leader in cutting-edge technology, to maintain current and competitive, it is important to be aware of ongoing trends. This will enable you to think strategically about your business and avoid becoming complacent. On the other hand, if you are a business owner looking to get serious about technology for your business, getting familiar with trends will be of the utmost importance.

Going into 2019, here are the top technology trends you need to know about:

Automation is key

We are in an era of digitalisation and moving towards having an app for everything and anything. So, it’s no surprise that consumers are going to expect your business to also have an automated system of some sort. Similarly, you and even your employees may start thinking about automating workplace systems to increase efficiency and uplift productivity.

Human and AI collaboration will strengthen

Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the rise and is being embraced by more and more businesses. Going into 2019, AI will become mainstream and provide solutions to real issues for people in a number of industries. Its reach will not be limited to simply searching and self-driving cars. There have been concerns of giving AI too much of a decision-making power but when used appropriately, AI can complement the human touch by providing unbiased datasets and objective studies.

Increase in scope of connected devices

It is predicted that 2019 will be the year where there is an explosion of connected devices which will allow business environments to move towards a smart system. Similar to a smart home, the aim will be to coordinate all technology to provide a workplace that maximises the flexibility that digitalisation brings.

E-commerce for everyday essentials

Online shopping is the way forward; the convenience alone is enough to attract consumers. If your business is a retailer selling products to consumers, getting on the e-commerce bandwagon will be a good investment. Even with everyday essentials like paper towels, washing liquid, toothpaste and so on; people are increasingly ordering online.

Augmented reality is taking over

You can already see augmented reality in the market, even available with mobile devices. Popularity of augmented reality is forecasted to grow and extend to businesses for use in everyday tasks. Think about it, you might begin your day with a headset and then open up a number of apps to commence your work tasks, not to mention receive messages from your boss on the work chat. This is all augmented reality.

Technology convergence

If you’re not familiar with this concept already, keep reading. Technology convergence refers to two unrelated entities coming together in the technology sense. An example is Co-op’s recent acquisition of healthcare tech firm, Dimec. The aim of the deal was to assist Co-op in advancing into the rising technological era.

Tim Davies, the Director of Co-op Ventures, said: “The clear focus for our Ventures team is to target markets where there are unmet customer needs and where our Co-op difference adds real value using innovative digital business models.”

Buzzwords like AI, blockchain and AR are all impressive and when mergers and acquisitions occur between these technologies, your business will be able to flourish more than ever before. Technology is here to stay, and as a business owner, you need to be looking out for opportunities where you can benefit from technology convergence.

Increasing commitment to data security

As quick as technology is evolving, the way in which data security is maintained is also evolving. Going into 2019, you will see even more importance placed on the information security. As a business, you will collect a range of data from your consumers, and sometimes you may not realise actually how much you are collecting. This is where it becomes critical to have safeguards in place to ensure there is no breach of security or data leaks.

By staying abreast of technology trends, you can ensure your business heads forward and remains competitive. Because, at the end of the day, using the relevant technology can propel your business to success into 2019 and beyond.

Looking for more industry insights? Take a look at our other articles:
Will your business scale up through acquisition in 2019?
Business trends to watch out for in 2019
A third of UK businesses slow to adopt modern tech

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