Technology trends coming your way
The rate of technology development can be overwhelming and knowing how, and if, to invest in new technology can be daunting for businesses. Read on for our take on the trends that we think will significantly impact UK businesses this year.
Subscription style, pay-as-you-go pricing models for cloud services have opened up the availability of cutting-edge technology to small and medium sized businesses. No longer is the latest workplace technology restricted to enterprise organisations; businesses of any size can access the latest innovations via the cloud. The cloud offers businesses the ability to compete with the bigger players because there is no upfront investment in the latest platforms that had previously priced SMEs out of the market. The cost-savings from cloud computing can be strategically invested into the business to drive growth that may have been previously impossible.
The expectation of customers to access information from their smartphones when they want it, how they want it and from anywhere is putting an ever-growing pressure on businesses to develop mobile strategies that respond to this customer expectation. The advent of 5G will create new ways of reaching customers with rich media at the exact moment they are ready to buy; technology-savvy brands will figure out ways to capture this technology and deliver exceptional online experiences, interactivity and brand engagement which will drive sales.
3. Big Data
Big data is a term that describes the large volume of data – both unstructured and structured - being generated by everything around us at all times. All digital activity, social media exchanges, online movements and web transactions transmit data; it is created in huge volumes at an unbelievable rate. The colossal amounts of data can inundate a business.
However, there is an opportunity for businesses that have the necessary processing platform and power in place. Big data can be analysed to identify customer insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves. The chance to understand exactly how customers tick and target product offerings accordingly is huge.
4. Internet of Things
The internet of things (IoT) describes the phenomenon of connecting devices using the internet so they can communicate with people, applications, businesses and each other. Their purpose being to automate processes that previously needed human intervention.
An example is a sprinkler system linked to a local weather forecasting application so that the sprinklers automatically water the garden when temperatures reach a certain point and no rain is forecast for the near future. It’s easy to apply this idea to numerous household gadgets; what about a smart fridge that uses an internal camera to see when there is no milk left and texts you on your way home from work, or even triggers a delivery of fresh milk to your doorstep. And imagine if that delivery was by drone! Endless possibilities.
The introduction of smart meters to UK homes is a real example of the IoT in action. Their functions allow heating to be controlled remotely by you – turn the heating up when you’re on your way home from the office or turn it off if you’ve decided to go elsewhere after work. Some are even being developed that turn the heating down or off when it detects your smartphone is no longer in the premises, assuming you are also out of the house.
No-one really knows how the IoT will impact businesses and the wider UK landscape, but what is for sure is that it presents tremendous opportunities.
All four of these technology trends (Cloud, Mobile, Big Data and IoT) present great potential for your business. To capitalise you’ll need the services of an experienced IT partner to modernise your technology infrastructure. One of our IT Consultants would be delighted to speak to you about your business and its suitability for upcoming technology trends.