Keeping up with today’s ever-changing technological trends is a full-time job, with new concepts popping up nearly every day. While some ideas fail or fade away nearly as fast as they appear, others have real potential to stay and change the face of the world. The following trends are real game-changers that you can harness to keep your business at the head of the pack.
By now you’ve probably at least heard of cloud computing, but if you’re not using it you’re falling behind. Storing data in “the cloud” offers you a powerful way to stay connected across vast distances and different devices. Streamline collaborative projects, keep your information safe from computer crashes, and make your documents easily accessible from anywhere with the power of cloud computing.
A growing number of people are using their mobile devices to use the Internet. In the first quarter of 2012, smartphones made up 5.42 percent of website traffic. By the first quarter of 2013 this number had nearly doubled to 10.44 percent. It takes only seconds for a visitor to lose interest in a page they can’t comfortably browse on a smartphone. Make your site mobile-friendly with programming such as HTML5 which will help you display your information consistently across multiple devices.
Embedded sensors have a bright future full of creative possibilities. Google is toying with the idea of placing sensors in your shoes to tell you when you need a replacement. Some tech companies expect a future of embedded devices we keep right inside our bodies. If your products could benefit from this type of technology, now is the time to start brainstorming. Get your ideas into research and development early and you can come out at the forefront of this growing trend.
Operational Intelligence Systems
Image via Flickr by Discos Konfort
Data changes so quickly today that the delay between gathering information and interpreting it often makes the results obsolete before they reach mainstream media. This is where operational intelligence systems come in. Whenever possible, put these types of advanced systems to work for you, evaluating data and providing you with actionable results as quickly as possible. Access to real-time data greatly increases the effectiveness of decision makers. These systems can enhance everything from your portfolio to your marketing strategy by providing you with information that’s relevant at this very moment. After learning thepros of annuities, you can invest your money into an equity-indexed annuity and have a steady stream of income later in life.
Virtual appliances run largely independent of an operating system. Users can get access to these systems quickly and easily with minimal setup. The self-contained nature of the virtual appliance frees you from compatibility issues and troublesome interactions with other applications. Virtual appliances typically serve a single focused purpose and solve a common problem for the end-user with little fanfare. Utilizing virtual appliances for your business could give you a simple and surprisingly effective solution. Likewise, launching your own virtual appliance may offer your customers just the answer they’ve been looking for.
Private Application Stores
There’s no question that apps are a popular way for customers to interact with businesses. In 2012, users downloaded nearly 20 billion apps from the Apple app store. Though Apple dominates the mobile app market, private application stores are a growing trend as well. Forbes reports that by 2014, most businesses will deliver mobile apps to employees via these private stores. This is a powerful way to put company-specific tools in the hands of your workers.
The Internet of Things
The “Internet of things” is sometimes a difficult concept to grasp. The Internet is no longer comprised solely of web pages. Instead, you’ll find a growing number of real world objects that feed data into this web of information. In the Internet of things, intelligent objects gather data for us so information is available independent of what’s gathered by people and input into the system. This is one developing trend your business should definitely keep an eye on.
Focused Social Networks
Facebook largely dominates the world of social media, but a growing number of niche networks are popping up that serve very specific purposes. Instagram provides a handy tool for sharing photos while Vine came about as a way to share short looping videos. Keep an eye out for innovative ways to interact with these networks, and maybe even consider filling a need by creating a new network of your own.
Keep your business ahead of the trends by examining these top technological developments for ways they can benefit you. Depending on the focus of your business, you may find that you can use them internally, externally, or as a springboard for new products and services of your own.
Mandi Rogier writes regularly on social media, business marketing, and technology trends. A variety of blogs and websites feature her pieces.