When used in the right way, technology has the power to change businesses for the better. As the pace of advancement accelerates, entrepreneurs are looking for ways to leverage the new tools at their disposal. If you’re wondering what strategies you should use, here are six emerging technological trends that can improve your organization’s productivity.
Business Process Automation Tools
The term “business process automation (BPA)” covers a lot of ground. It refers to any technology that helps automate a company’s functions. Chatbots are a classic example. These software agents leverage natural language processing tech to perform customer service tasks. Also included under the BPA umbrella is workflow automation technology. These tools focus on automating a specific, menial task to free staff for more creative work. Verification and data collection are two tasks that can benefit from this kind of automation. Shop around to find the automation tech that fits your company’s requirements.
Productivity applications are digital tools that facilitate workflow rather than automate it. Arguably their most pertinent benefit is mobility. You can deploy them on any smartphone. Project management systems (like Adobe Workfront) are the best and most prolific example of this variety of technology. These platforms enable file sharing, resource planning, and departmental scheduling for teams on the go or working remotely. With more people than ever working from home, that degree of networking is all but necessary.
Small to mid-sized businesses are tempting targets for criminals. One of the best countermeasures is data encryption. Blockchain encryption works by encrypting transaction information into a “block” and then linking it to others in a “chain.” Because the chain is decentralized, there’s no simple way for hackers to breach the data. The benefits of this technology for the finance industry are plain to see. With so many businesses engaging in e-commerce, using blockchain encryption for transactions is rapidly becoming standard.
The broadband revolution is here. Over the past few years, the 5G rollout has increased bandwidth for cellular networks. That makes the connections between devices faster and smoother, which renders Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications like Whatsapp or Skype easier to use. These programs enable business owners to cut infrastructure costs by virtualizing expensive office space. Broadband also supports the vast web of networked devices and appliances integral to any modern business. It’s worth familiarizing yourself with the benefits (and complications) of this new generation of telecommunications technology.
Augmented & Virtual Reality
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have taken a long time to mature, but now that they have, they’re slowly changing the business world. Perhaps the most surprising benefit has been seen in employee training programs. One study showed that when workers used an AR headset to view assembly instructions, the task was completed in 25% less time. A caveat is that workers might become dependent on AR for learning to the point that their ability to internalize their tasks atrophies. This is a reminder that technology is best used to aid our talents, not become a substitute for them.
Sustainability used to be a buzzword. Now it’s a fixture of our lives. Most scientists agree that going green is a good idea. According to Pew Research, so about 69% of American consumers. The business community used to be skeptical due to cost, but the rapid acceleration of clean energy efficiency has put those fears to rest. Solar panels are a versatile way for companies to cut energy costs and add resiliency. The high cost of fuel is making electric vehicle fleets an efficient option. Energy-efficient appliances can blunt utility costs. Studies have also shown that incorporating plant life into the office environment can boost productivity. Consider formulating a sustainability strategy for your businesses. It’s good for the planet, the consumers, and your bottom line.
Ultimately, technology is only as effective as the people using it. Research the array of new tools coming online and judge for yourself if they fight your unique company’s needs.
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