Technology is constantly changing the way we do business! What do you think are the most important recent advances? Hopefully, this list help you out!
Technological innovation and business growth have always been inseparable- from historical examples like the creation of the steam engine or assembly lines in factories to more modern instances like widespread availability of the internet and automated manufacturing processes. In the technology realm, innovation is constantly growing and never slows down, leading to infinite new possibilities to help boost businesses everywhere. Wondering which ones you can use for your business? Here are a few to get you started.
1. Mobile Payments
Many businesses, large and small, are now using systems like the mobile and tablet-friendly Square to process physical transactions without investing in pricey and space-taking POS systems and traditional credit card readers. But, more and more are completely eliminating the need for such a system by offering mobile payments, allowing consumers to directly transfer money to the business via their mobile devices. While the majority of payments made are still conducted via more traditional means, added incentives like built-in loyalty cards are driving the switch over to the use of mobile wallets, which eMarketer predicts will triple in 2016.
Many might only know of them as gadgets for hobbyists, but drones have become increasingly functional tools that will only continue to grow in terms of utility. These versatile, flying robots can be programmed and equipped to perform a variety of aerial services that were previously impractical or impossible, helping business owners both continue to innovate and save money. While more widespread applications of drones, like Amazon's proposed drone delivery service, are still pending FAA approval and are a few years away from becoming a daily sight, drones are becoming increasingly more relied-on in the fields of photography, cinematography, engineering, and agriculture. For those who are curious about how they can incorporate drones into their own line of work, check out a more detailed list of drone services here.
3. Wearable Devices
New wearable devices like smartwatches that are experiencing success in the mainstream have also started to show high amounts of potential in the business world as extremely helpful tools. The most obvious benefit of outfitting employees with these devices is the ability to have hands-free access to information, ranging from managers who can easily update and manage inventory and supplies to doctors and paramedics who may need to access vital data or updates while also keeping both hands free. In addition to these practical workplace applications, many companies are also beginning to provide wearable fitness devices to employees in order to encourage activity and exercise both inside and outside of the workplace, which studies show can increase employee happiness and health.
More and more workplaces are now choosing to embrace either full or part-time remote work options for their employees. Services like Slack and Dropbox now allow instantaneous and seamless communication between workers and departments, whether their employees are across the office or the country. Telecommuting not only allows companies to bring on the best talent, regardless of location but allows workers more flexibility and freedom in their day to day schedules and has been shown to correspond with employee happiness. And the trend doesn't stop at normal office work. New telemedicine services like Curology now allow for doctors and their patients to connect virtually and receive top-level care, all from the comfort of their laptop or phone.
5. Smart Machines
Traditionally, businesses have had to either rely on in-house employees or contracted agencies to respond to day-to-day customer inquiries, tying up valuable time and resources to respond to what are often simple and common questions. Because of this, many have installed automated systems of some sort, both via phones and online. However, early examples of these systems were fraught with glitches and limitations like faulty voice recognition, often frustrating customers and requiring a follow-up conversation with an employee, negating the technology's perceived usefulness.
But, due to rapid growth in smart machine technology and artificial intelligence, many computer programs are now able to better understand voice commands, as well as more complex inquiries, allowing companies to implement phone and chat systems that are more than capable of handling first-line requests. Although the technology is far from perfected and will likely never completely replace human interaction, recent advances have allowed companies to better allocate employee time and resources.
Do you use any of the services mentioned above? How do you think it will affect the way we do business? Let us know below...