Mon, February 1, 2016

4 Notable Tech Trends on the Horizon

It’s no secret that we are in the middle of one of the biggest technological booms in history, and the progress doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon. For businesses operating in this exciting and ever-changing time, staying abreast of what’s on the horizon can help with staying prepared for the next big change coming.

Adopting new tech is not always a quick download or simple hardware replacement. Sometimes, to effectively and seamlessly implement a large tech or infrastructural change, it can take years of planning and execution. So what should you be prepared for? What are some trends that could affect your business, not only this year, but in 5 years, or 10 years down the road?

Advancements in Automation

Consider this:

  • The Timbre restaurant in Singapore uses drones to clear dishes from tables, allowing waiters and restaurant staff to focus more on other tasks in the restaurant.
  • Modern day factories and manufacturing facilities commonly have automated technological downtime. Lights shut down, non-essential technology powers off and many other scheduled power saving initiatives occur automatically.

These examples are current, but future advancement in automation technology is going to continue at a much more rapid pace. In a recent survey of Accenture’s clients, 70% of executives said that they are investing significantly more in artificial intelligence than they did 2 years ago.

Are robots stealing our human jobs? Not quite. But, similar to how computing technology has changed the world, intelligent automation will have an enormous impact on businesses in the future. The next generation of automation technology will successfully weave together enormous amounts of data and advanced systems to provide impactful solutions and smart process automation for humans to leverage. So, robots are here to help us, advance us, and feed us with information quickly, allowing us all to make more informed and data-centric decisions.

For business owners, it’s not far fetched to begin thinking about intelligent process automation within your own organizations. A great place to start might be automating regular data backups or utilizing advanced phone attendant and incoming call automation features.

More Security & More Digital Trust

Cybersecurity Analysts were the top growing IT occupation in 2015 by percentage of change, according to a recent in-depth IT industry report by CompTIA. The expectations for 2016 show similar promise, with IT security products sales to ramp up considerably, with a high probability to overperform in 2016.

What does this all mean? Tech companies across the board have heard the message loud and clear. Privacy and data security concerns are one of the biggest reasons that companies decide to not go all-in in the digital realm. But as security is strengthened across digital and web platforms, consumer trust is expected to follow—and that includes trust from skeptical business executives and decision makers. 2016 might be a turning point year where trust is high enough for non-believers to re-think their entire infrastructure and move more towards cloud-based and other securely hosted digital solutions.

Forecast: Very Cloudy

The future of the cloud is anything but dreary. Many small business owners have in the past been skeptical about utilizing cloud services within their business models, but that could all be changing as the benefits of cloud computing begins to seep out into mainstream audiences and security concerns become less concerning. The expectations for 2016 are that cloud applications and products have the highest potential to over perform (in terms of sales), topping the list of product performance expectations in the IT industry. For businesses, leveraging cloud technology can be one of the most impactful organizational change initiatives to think about in 2016.

Unified Communications

Phone and email aren’t always the quickest forms of communication these days, nor are necessarily they the choice method as you might assume. As such, organizations are now embracing the use of text, chat, video, file sharing, and screen sharing in addition to more well-known and traditional communications like phone and email—and there are many more communication mediums to follow. Luckily, the rise of unified communication solutions allows system administrators to wrangle in all of the channels into one place, making it manageable for everyday business owners to avoid overload that the multitude of channels can create. Unified communication solutions and other multi-channel management software and apps will soon become the norm for businesses who want to stay progressive in the way that they communicate with customers and internal teams alike.

A Bright Future

Understanding these trends is the first step to beginning to plan for future change and adaptability. If you would like to understand what tech trends your business is poised to embrace, contact Centrality for a free technology consultation.
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