Technology is constantly changing the business landscape for the better. From streamlining manufacturing and assembly processes to expediting shipping and order fulfillment, modern businesses are somewhat coddled by today’s technologies that are within their reach. 2017 alone brought about a proliferation of innovations including artificial intelligence and self-driving vehicles. But for a business owner strapped for resources, it’s unwise to invest both the cash and time to buy and learn every piece of commercial technology out there. Here’s seven you should consider.
While most people think about blasting virtual enemies while wielding a plastic gun and wearing VR headsets when they hear about virtual reality, the technology offers more than just a richer gaming experience. A lot of businesses are now reaping the benefits that virtual reality brings to the table. Integrating virtual reality can improve the impact of your staff training and even recruitment process.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is a network of interconnected devices including phones and computers that allow them to transfer data over secure connections with minimal to no human or computer interaction. Applied to a business context, the Internet of Things enables companies to tie all of their technologies together into one seamless and intuitive user experience.
People seldom pay attention to the piece of technology that makes cryptocurrencies possible in the first place. While all eyes are on the fast-moving cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology is equally if not more interesting to explore. When implemented correctly, a business can improve their ability to track inventory as well as minimise costs and expand to new markets.
While online courses have been around for a few years, 2017 was an especially busy year for the online learning community, with dozens of new tech courses and a slate of new collaboration tools for messaging and video chatting with peers and professionals. Accounting, Web Development, and IT degrees are few of the many courses that your employees can pursue to expand their skill set and better contribute to their respective workplace.
From highly intelligent “bots” that can beat humans in Chess to smarter search engines that remember your preferences and can provide you with accurate and relevant results, Machine learning broke through exciting and unprecedented territories this 2017. Businesses can use machine learning algorithms to give more precise product recommendations to their customers and to make better use of the analytical data that they gather to constantly improve the user experience.
Drones aren’t just limited to taking photographs from aerial views. Companies like Google and Amazon are pouring millions of dollars of their budget into researching how drones can facilitate delivery of products to their customers. Drones will also be pivotal for nonprofit organisations to send a fast and timely delivery of emergency supplies to rural communities that are hit by natural disasters.
Applications, like Slack, are leading the charge to sharper collaboration tools that streamline business communications. Trimming the fat from subpar communication systems can lead to faster project turnaround, higher productivity levels, and fewer errors. Most collaboration tools are free to charge, but commercial-grade accounts can cost you a one-time or monthly fee. Try the free basic plan to get a sense of whether or not a specific tool or widget can positively impact your business.
Technologies are only as good as how they are integrated. 2017 was a good year for technologies that have plenty of commercial use cases. Take the time to learn how you can potentially apply it to your business. If wrongly executed, you could end up hurting your daily operations rather than helping it with tech.