Five Technology Trends Benefiting U.S. Businesses
By Space Coast Daily // December 6, 2020
The pace of technological change isn’t slowing down. This fact terrifies some, as these developments have already hurt many businesses. However, for every enterprise that has failed to adapt, many others are surging ahead of the competition.
In today’s post, we’ll talk about five tech trends that could benefit your business.
1) Managed IT Services
If you aren’t online these days, your business may as well not exist. But, there’s more to being connected than having a website. As your enterprise grows, you’ll need server space. As you hire employees, you’ll need to set up their workstation and mobile devices. And, you’ll also need to protect your digital assets from cybercriminals.
To do all of this, you’ll need IT expertise. Unfortunately, tech talent doesn’t come cheap. Even if you plan on hiring an IT generalist, you’ll have to shell out about $54,000 per year. For cash-strapped startups, that’s a tough ask.
Fortunately, in big cities like Chicago, there’s a cost-effective solution to this dilemma. Managed IT services firms offer all the capabilities of an IT team for a reasonable monthly fee. Shop around, and you’ll find companies that offer cybersecurity, help desk functions, and consulting for around $100 per user/month.
At those rates, those running a 10-person startup can expect to spend about $12,000 annually. That’s more than 75% less than hiring an IT generalist. Instead of overworking a fellow human, you’ll spend less while getting more – now, that’s amazing value!
2) The Emergence of 5G
In 2021 and beyond, this mobile technology will radically transform the American business landscape. The first benefit is obvious – it will increase download speeds significantly. According to Tom’s Guide, these rates are already ten times faster than current 4G speeds.
This development has many implications. First, dramatic improvements in signal reliability and bandwidth will support the exploding work-from-home revolution. Soon, we will be able to have virtual meetings with flawless audio/video quality.
Second, vastly increased transmission speeds will open the door for augmented and virtual reality. We’ll talk more about these transformative technologies later, but in brief, they will improve how employees and consumers interact with your business.
Lastly, 5G will clean up the mess of wires in office environments. Soon, wireless speeds will easily compete with those offered by wired broadband connections. Soon, your workstations will no longer need Ethernet cables – that’s a development tech workers everywhere can drink to.
3) Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
The mere mention of artificial intelligence (AI) strikes fear into the heart of many people. They needn’t fear the rise of Skynet, though – if anything, this technological advance will liberate the average person from drudgery.
For instance, customer service is a common pain point in many businesses. Already, countless brands have employed chatbots to handle common queries. Rather than waste time with common requests, these bots free human CSRs to tackle complex problems.
Machine learning (ML), when employed correctly, can help take your business to the next level. For example, Dell partnered with Persado (an ML firm) to find the most potent words/phrases for use in their email marketing. The results were stunning. After applying key learnings, their click-through rate increased by 50%, and add-to-carts increased by 77%.
By harnessing AI and ML, you can realize unprecedented results in your business.
4) Augmented/Virtual Reality
Increasingly, commerce is going online. Even market segments previously thought immune, like furniture and clothing, are losing customers to online competitors. How is this happening? Thanks to augmented reality (and liberal return policies), customers can better gauge fit.
Wayfair, an online furniture and home decor retailer, uses augmented reality (AR) to show how their pieces will look in your home. Clothing retailers from Adidas to Zara are using AR to model their styles on 3D mannequins.
Virtual reality is starting to find its way into businesses as well. Real estate is a natural fit, especially in these times. For instance, clients can walk through a property without leaving their house. Virtual reality has added benefits for agents as well. Using VR software, they can stage their properties with real-looking virtual furniture. This advance has the potential to save agents thousands of dollars in business costs.
5) Cloud Computing
Server rooms are so 20th century. With continued improvements in storage technology, it’s cheaper to rent cloud servers than maintain your server farm. According to a study conducted by Rackspace (a cloud computing company), 88% of cloud users experienced cost savings after switching.
Cloud servers are also far safer than in-house networks. In the average workplace, an IT team spends its time tackling a variety of tasks. Cybersecurity, despite its importance, doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
Compare that to the priorities of top cloud computing companies. Without security, they wouldn’t have a viable business model. So, they employ state-of-the-art security measures to keep it that way.
Embrace Emerging Technology
To stay ahead of the curve, you’ve got to be a pioneer. By learning about and adopting new technological processes, you’ll get an edge on your competition.