Today’s business landscape is constantly changing, arguably more so in the past five years than in any other time in recent history. This is because the technology powerhouse that is Silicon Valley is constantly moving forward, creating new technologies which make doing business easier, faster, and more securely. Businesses of all sizes leverage new technologies to get an advantage over their competitors, which, in turn, fuels greater innovation. This self-supporting cycle has led to many breakthroughs including cloud computing and storage, SAS, mobile payments and much more.
Let’s explore how each of these is affecting businesses today:
- Payment Portals – When PayPal first hit the market, it blew through the early adopter phase very quickly and soon dominated the online payment market. PayPal was seen as the epitome of secure online payments, partly fueled by the popularity of EBay. In 2016, even the most “tech scared” users are becoming savvy at transferring funds via PayPal. In 2016, other services are gaining in popularity including Apple Pay and Google Pay, both integrated in most new smart phones and accepted in the real world at many retailers and restaurants. Research firm Gartner is predicting strong growth for the mobile payment industry, potentially reaching $270 billion in transactions by 2017.
- Digital Security – Hackers and online criminals have become increasingly aggressive leading to many public breaches of security. Since 2005 nearly 5,000 businesses have had their data compromised leading to over 815 million records being stolen. These records have included Social Security numbers, medical histories, and credit card information. Security has become nonnegotiable and business leaders are investing millions of dollars into enhanced measures, deeper encryption, and device security.
- Embedded Communication – Early on, stand-alone apps like Skype and WhatsApp were the standard in talk, chat and video communication. However, this is starting to change. In a report from ComScore the number of mobile-only Internet now exceeds desktop-only in the U.S. This is leading toward an increase in “click-to-call” buttons being embedded directly into apps, making the stand-alone versions unnecessary. A great example of this is Amazon’s “Mayday” feature on the Kindle that connects you directly via video-call to tech support.
- Internet of Things – As “the Internet of things” concept spreads we’re seeing more devices and equipment being constantly connected. For businesses this has been a huge jump forward as inventory systems and warehouses can report when stock is low, machinery can text you when it needs to be repaired, and trucks self-track so you can keep tabs on where your orders actually are in the shipping process. As this trend continues, companies can expect to save money across the board and increase their margins.
- Wearable Technology – Wearable devices are becoming more popular and chances are you’ve seen more than one Apple Watch in your office. Companies are latching onto this trend by giving employees devices that can help them perform their jobs better. One example is the Hitachi Business Microscope system which uses an ID card on a lanyard which includes several sensors including accelerometer, infrared, and RFID. This tech helps with physical security and can aid in communication. Similarly, Salesforce has launched several Apple Watch apps for business use, giving quick constant feedback to employees and managers.
- The Cloud – Cloud computing has grown dramatically in the past few years with an estimated 93% of businesses using the cloud for some or all of their business software. This has also helped fuel the software-as-a-service trend which allows for high-powered programs to be accessible by large groups while eliminating heavy hardware expenses.
Among the top trends of 2016 are several technologies which are solely focused on business growth, such as simplified payment portals, enhanced data security, embedded real-time communication, device interconnectivity, wearable technology, and the cloud. Companies that do not adapt to keep up with the times often fall by the wayside and lose market share. When your organization is ready to implement the latest technologies and cloud computing, Auditmacs is here to help.