All industries, to varying degrees, have been affected over recent years by digital transformation. Technology has changed the way most businesses run, design, and then market and sell their products and services; recruit, train, and lead workforces; and provide customer service experiences.
With constant developments in technology and new business applications (and client expectations) as a result, it is incredibly important for entrepreneurs to stay up to date with all the latest happenings. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, grow your business, and beat the cutting edge, read on for some of the top tech trends you need to know about.
Automation and Artificial Intelligence
As machines continue to get better at learning about their environments and adapting their processes and results to match, businesses can utilize them in an increasing number of ways and situations. No longer does the idea of artificial intelligence (AI) have to be limited to movies, television shows, and books; today, computers can automate more and more processes, and be used in a wide variety of real-world applications.
Business owners should be aware that while automation has already replaced many different low-skilled jobs across the globe, it appears AIs will also soon work collaboratively with (human) designers to create innovative solutions to complex problems across diverse fields. This, in turn, could help you to develop new products and services; cut costs; reduce wait time; and otherwise streamline operations.
Customer service is another area where artificial intelligence is becoming more of a fixture. For instance, online chatbots are now used regularly to help consumers digitally connect with brands, plus in the future, as the technology advances, these bots will also be able to converse more naturally with shoppers, understand the context of conversations better, and solve customer problems more quickly. To get started today, you might like to contact your nearest Cisco reseller who can help you set up automation software, better conferencing and video services, and other relevant programs.
Other areas where artificial intelligence and automation is currently, or about to, shake things up includes internet-enabled devices (they’re becoming more able to learn the patterns and preferences of their users); the fast-food industry (self-serve kiosks are a fast-growing phenomenon); sales (in particular scheduling, follow-ups, and data-driven insights); and administration (e.g., meeting requests, document creation, and predictions).
Speech and Voice Recognition
Speech and voice recognition is also booming right now. In fact, the global voice-recognition market is predicted to hit around $185 billion in 2021, according to a BCC Research report, while the speech-recognition market is also likely to rise quickly, with the research firm expecting a compound annual growth rate of 17.6 percent in the years leading up to 2021.
In addition to lower costs fueling this growth, as it is in so many other tech areas, speech and voice recognition is also likely booming because of enhanced processing power, productivity gains, and new developments and ease of use in speech and machine learning.
While tech-industry giants like Apple, Microsoft, and Google are currently most well-known for taking advantage of gains in speech-recognition software, the healthcare and consumer industries are also driving demand, with a continual interest in automated and smart applications.
When it comes to voice-recognition platforms, these are being sought after in the banking industry, as the growth in mobile-banking applications continues and more firms want to utilize biometric security. In addition, many government departments are looking to take advantage of voice-recognition technology to improve operational efficiency and precision.
In marketing, more money is being plowed into advertising services which utilize voice activation software; while mobile-search processing based around voice-activation is also increasing as consumers use their smartphones to complete more tasks.
While you’re no doubt already aware of how much of an impact big data has had on the world over recent years, in the coming period, information compilation and analytics is going to become even more important. As such, you should start focusing on it now before you get left behind.
If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you probably know you have a lot of data on your business operations, customers, and more, but haven’t really known what to do with this information. Thankfully, as big data systems get cheaper than ever to use, and more customer data becomes accessible, it’s increasingly simple and cheap to apply data to your business decisions.
Using big data, you can determine what customers are looking for; when, where and how they shop and think; how they view brands, products, services; what kind of customer service experience they’re looking for, and so on. Big data is also very helpful when it comes to streamlining processes and cutting costs.