There’s a romantic thought about the “old way” of doing business.

You know, setting up shop, passing out flyers, taking out a small ad in the local paper, and doing business around the town.

Well… things change.

Modern business owners have a lot on their plate. From the physical side of the operations to dozens of online activities to stay competitive. It’s enough to tear your hair out — it’s overwhelming!

The technology trends of today dictate the future of business.

It’s hard to say if these trends will stick. Yet, it would be doom & gloom if your business fails to entertain the ideas. These technology trends have a way of streamlining the business, creating new opportunities, and can be fun!

In this article you will learn technology trends your business should be aware of to adjust for the wild & competitive future.

Here we go…

Technology Trends Businesses Should Know

Some have been trending. Some are on the cusp of adoption.

The technology trends of today will shape the dynamics of the future. These trends already have shown promise for business and consumers alike.

Here are the ten worth knowing:

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD has been trending for some time. 2017 and beyond will show how it matters in the business environment.

Security issues have long-since been an issue though problems have been sorted since! The empowerment of employees using their own devices reduces the friction of having them learn new technologies.

BYOD also reduces overhead costs of upgrading hardware since employees have chosen to take the upgrades upon themselves.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is changing the way people transfer money and conduct transaction. These forms of currency have matured. They remain volatile yet could be the future for business transactions.

Cryptocurrency uses blockchain technology. This technology removes the “middle man” in transactions. It allows individuals to send and receive money in a safe and secure manner.

The decentralization removes the associated fees a business may find when using a major credit card processor. As adoption grows so will ways business can save money!

The Internet of Things (IOT)

The Internet has become integral to our lifestyles. It’s no wonder why our products now have online capabilities.

Business Insider’s BI Intelligence research estimates nearly 24 billion connected devices on Earth by 2020. These devices range from simple items such as mobile credit card readers to complex systems in our cars, home, and wearables.

These devices range from simple items such as mobile credit card readers to complex systems in our cars, home, and wearables.

Smart products could reshape the future of your business. The inclusion of the Internet could create real-time reports on product usage, GPS tracking, search queries, smart tracking in shipping, and more.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality will be a game-changer like none other. And not in the form of entertainment.

Imagine the possibilities of:

  • Learning a trade through a VR experience
  • Attending conferences and business events without leaving the office
  • Using the tech to prototype new products without upfront investments
  • Face-to-face 3D customer service

It’s shocking (to say the least) of what’s possible with VR.

Big Data

All the data companies and businesses have been collecting are becoming an available tool for businesses. This immense cache of data can provide insights well beyond what’s possible from internal analytics.

Insights like:

  • Identifying trends
  • Operations optimization
  • Managing talent
  • Improving outbound and inbound campaigns
  • Increased security

Cloud Computing

The current use of the cloud at your business may be for three things:

  • Document sharing
  • SaaS (like CRM and project management)
  • Storage and backup

There’s more to it!

Paas (platform as a service) can be used as a development environment. This cloud computing can be found through Microsoft Azure, ReadHat’s OpenShift, and the popular Google App Engine.

Iaas (infrastructure as a service) uses hybrid solutions to improve security, offer in-house programs across many devices, storage, and compute complex reports.

The best part? It’s getting easier to use.

Gig Economy

Freelance apps and platforms have been growing in popularity outside of the freelance industry. Uber, AirBnB, Fiverr, Field Agent, and others have draw attraction to your everyday individual.

What does it mean for business? A wealth of talent opportunity.

Assigning micro task to willing individuals reduce the overhead found in hiring and processing legal documents. Tasks are completed, individuals are paid, and the business moves forward.

This is an interesting tech trend which could have the idea of a workforce turned on its head. Heads up! This could be a great way to improve your link building!

Autonomous Interfaces

Autonomous interfaces have become sophisticated. Chatbots and smart assistants are becoming the new norm for PC and mobile interaction.

Companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple have strong contenders for smart assistants. These interfaces are powered by advanced AI which continues to improve through machine learning.

This adoption of autonomous interfaces on a consumer level allows businesses to integrate them for customer support, PPC campaigns, and more!

Reports have estimated that chatbots will cut customer car costs by nearly 29% in the coming years! The future of user interaction is bright with automation.

3D Printing

3D printing has unlocked prototyping for consumers and small businesses. The use of a 3D printer can help with the creation of small parts and designs in-house versus seeking a manufacturer.

They also unlock the ability to produce:

  • Customized products for clients
  • Business promotional items

Printers such as the Formlabs Form 2, MakerBot Replicator+, and Ultimaker 2+ are sub-$3,500 making them affordable for business.

The Action Steps

Don’t expect you don’t have homework now that we’re done covering the core information. It’s all about action — and that time is now!

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Use an afternoon to read blogs and watch videos about one of the ten subjects that match the direction of your business. Take notes.
  2. Introduce the topics to employees and request their feedback and thoughts. They may present alternatives or know the subject and give more information and insight.
  3. Decide on two to three technology trends. Explore further through larger learning pieces such as books, webinars, or an online course.
  4. Put in place the ideas and track the results. Start small.
  5. Generate a report to determine the ROI of following the trend. Reinvest time and resources toward those that show promise. Rinse. Repeat.

Not all trends compliment your business… but they’re worth the try!

How do you plan to use these new technology trends in combination with online marketing services to grow your business in 2017 and beyond? Share with us in the comments section below!