Tech is completely reshaping the world around us and the pace of change seems only to be getting faster. It can be hard to keep up with all of the innovations in the market, but as a business leader, it’s important to know about the trends and opportunities that are shaping your industry and your customer expectations. Here are the top technologies you should be keeping an eye on – if not directly adopting within your business – in 2018.
Blockchain is synonymous with BitCoin, but as the technology that encrypts and processes data, allowing secure transactions to be made in real-time around the world and on a peer-to-peer basis, the opportunities for efficient, secure and transparent trading are huge. Even better, blockchain has a potential application in almost every industry. For example, pharmaceuticals are using it to encrypt drug data and prevent drug counterfeits from being manufactured.
These have been around and in use for a while, and Amazon is just one business already experimenting with drone delivery fulfilment. Yes, they are also great for photography and leisure, but there are plenty of possible applications to consider. Just look at the PR opportunities that Red Bull enjoyed with a drone and some creative marketing campaign activity.
This can refer to anything from your voice-activated smartphone feature through to actual human-replica robots. Digital PAs and assistants are a perfect example for business, as are live chat autobots. In both instances, the technology is there, the costs are affordable and the efficiencies and quality outcomes are undeniable.
From smart TVs to smart appliances, the IoT is expected to connect our lives to the internet and make things generally better for consumers. However, it is also a valuable technology for consumer marketing. You can reach new markets with IoT adverts that work on smart devices in the home – expect to see this area grow in the coming year or two.
Gamers are already familiar with virtual reality applications, but the technology offers far more than simply entertainment. It is expected to really take off in the next 2-3 years and will allow branded content and ads to be delivered in a completely virtual space, transforming online shopping in the process. At this stage, it is certainly worth learning about the potential and starting to think ahead for possible applications within your business.
Most businesses will already use a degree of automation and this will only increase. From having the ability to automate your social media schedule through to automation software that improves the reliability of manufacturing, the possibilities are endless. With off the shelf solutions appearing for all industries, the costs are increasingly affordable too.
Not exactly a new technology as such, but the prominence of social media is set to grow and the way that businesses engage with customers will continue to evolve as a result. New platforms are expected and the democratisation of information will continue. Businesses will need to become savvy and ready to operate as digital marketers in order to keep ahead of the curve.
Which technologies are catching your eye in terms of their possible benefits to your business?