We live in an age of rapid technological change. The pace of progress has only quickened over the last few decades as computing power has increased beyond the wildest dreams of its progenitors back in the 1940s. Although this fast development of new gadgetry has massively complicated our lives in some ways, in others it has effectively improved and even streamlined the way we do things. One of the clearest examples of this advancement is in the business world. New tools are making businesses more efficient and enabling employers and employees alike to work smarter rather than harder. Here are five new breakthrough technologies that are helping businesses cope with an ever-changing market.
Management of a business has always involved a lot of paperwork and record keeping. From monitoring employee time sheets to reviewing expenditures, the effort involved in keeping track these crucial numbers can be immense. Thankfully, the Internet has provided a solution to keep the massive amount of data involved in running a business right at your fingertips. Tracking work time can be done with the click of a button on a smartphone by using a time tracking app. Calculating job costs and figuring out timelines for project completion are also tasks that you can now perform from your phone while on the go.
Let’s face it, chatbots used to have a somewhat questionable reputation due to their use on instant messenger and dating sites by unscrupulous types during the early days of the Internet. Now, however, legitimate businesses are seeing the value of these automated response programs. Chatbots can communicate with users through multiple platforms, picking up on conversational cues to answer even some nuanced questions. Even better, as artificial intelligence continues to advance in complexity, the versatility and user-friendliness of these programs is increasing to the point where they can be almost as effective in customer service as a live operator. Their greatest benefit is that they’re always available. A program never sleeps, so your business can be responsive to customers 24/7.
Mobile messaging is another technology that’s here to stay. A recent study showed that an incredible 63% of consumers would rather switch their business to a company which offered text messaging as an alternative to calls. People want to get their information quickly, review it on their own time and not have to wait on hold. It isn’t just consumers who are finding this trend beneficial. Marketers and advertising services are jumping on board with this new technology, using it to send quick, eye-catching advertisements and sales pitches directly to the smartphones of their leads.
4. Augmented Reality
This is one that you may not have heard of yet but which is set to make a major impact on how we live and work. Augmented reality programs aren’t exactly the same as the more commonly talked about virtual reality systems. Instead of placing users in an immersive and artificial environment, augmented reality digitally enhances real-world experiences. For example, a smartphone imaging a street with its camera could provide the viewer with a digital overlay of the street showing which businesses are open and what services they offer at a glance. This allows your customers to view advertisements passively and make purchasing decisions reflexively.
Blockchain is likely a term that you’ve probably been hearing a lot these days but might not know much about. Put simply, a blockchain, also called a distributed ledger, is an extremely secure means of storing information. It’s essentially a list of records called blocks which are strung together using cryptography. This massive advancement in computer security cannot be overstated. If your business requires the secure storing and processing of customer information, then this technology is going to be game-changing.
With all of this emerging technology and associated terminology there are many in the business community who are probably longing for simpler times. The virtues of new technologies for the business community, however, far outweigh the drawbacks. As progress marches on, the options for growing your business can only increase.