The pace of technological change in the second decade of the 21st century has been breathtaking, and it has had major implications for every part of our society.
Few areas of human endeavor have been as dramatically hit as the business world. All over the globe, businesses are battling to take advantage of the opportunities that digital technology offers while struggling to keep up with the pace of change. The demand for IT skills is increasing rapidly, and that has also placed a demand on every educational organization, from small local schools to .
Ignoring these changes is not an option, but though digital technology can have a disruptive effect, it also provides opportunities for companies agile enough to embrace change. Here are five key technological developments that are set to transform the way we do business.
The most immediate benefit of AI is that it can handle the mundane aspects of a job and free an employee to focus on more rewarding work. While AI will undoubtedly lead to challenges from the perspective of public policy, for businesses it presents many opportunities. AI is already a significant part of our world, from voice-recognition devices to chat bots, and and trucks are poised to transform our transport networks.
It is likely that just as the internet slowly rippled through all business sectors, AI will gradually work its way through the whole economy as companies reinvent all of the inventions of the last 150 years to incorporate an AI solution. Getting to grips with AI, what it means, and how it can help your business is going to be essential in the short term.
Virtual reality and augmented reality
Both and AR have been around for a while, but it is only now with the availability of technologies such as machine learning, high-speed internet and low-cost devices that we are able to begin to exploit the potential of VR and AR. This technology can enable a range of useful functions, from enhancing virtual meetings to showing potential customers how a major design project might look in reality. Businesses that don’t take advantage of VR and AR could find themselves left behind by their rivals.
This is an area of technology that refers to the way that organizations communicate and share information. It involves the integration of mobile phones and devices with desktop equipment and landlines to build a central communications network that incorporates instant messaging, audio and video to enable fast and flexible internal and external communication. By the end of the current decade, it has been estimated that over two-thirds of workers could be working remotely rather than in offices, which can have major benefits in terms of staff morale, wellbeing and productivity, and enable companies to be more flexible.
Like VR and AR, cloud computing is not new, and it has been steadily introduced into many parts of our lives. From email to Instagram, most of us already use cloud technology for one purpose or another, but it is set to become increasingly prevalent over the next few years. By moving operations to the cloud, businesses can benefit from greater security and at the same time drastically reduce the amount of money they have to spend on maintaining physical hardware. Cloud computing also offers the capacity to scale software quickly at very little cost, which is a big advantage in an ever-changing business landscape.
No one can have failed to notice how dramatically cryptocurrencies took off in 2017, and this was no flash in the pan. Led by Bitcoin, these currencies, and the blockchain technology that underlies them, have become more prevalent in the business world. A number of major companies, such as Microsoft and Expedia, are already accepting cryptocurrency payments, and this trend is likely to continue over the next few years.
While cryptocurrencies present challenges for business, particularly in their volatility, as they become more popular, ignoring them could put an organization at a competitive disadvantage. The underlying blockchain technology has huge potential. It has already been used to set up digital wallets and food programs for refugees. Understanding cryptocurrencies and blockchain, and their advantages and their weaknesses, will be essential for all businesses that hope to thrive in the 21st century.
All of these technological breakthroughs have the potential to be game-changers, and who knows what is around the corner? Companies that thrive in the new world of permanent digital revolution will be those that are able to adapt and embrace change rather than resist it.