Business isn’t the same as it was 20 years ago. In fact, it’s not the same as it was five years ago. A lot has changed in the business world in recent years, and almost all of that change has been driven by technology. New technology can make companies more efficient and increase profit margins. New tech can expand a company’s reach into completely new markets and allow a company to deliver its products in new ways.
If you want to stay competitive and maintain a healthy market share, you should certainly insure you are staying on top of the latest tech trends. If you don’t, you will surely lose your competitive advantages to competitors. With that mind, below is an examination of some business tech trends you should be aware of.
Perhaps the biggest transformation in the business world is that more companies are moving towards automation in their industries. This involves the use of robots to perform work that once had to be completed by human beings. The shipping and distribution industry is one example that is reaching near complete automation. Business Insider reports that Amazon has deployed a legion of 45,000 robots in its different warehouses.
Robots can complete work quicker than human beings and with far less errors as well. While there are many benefits for businesses, moving to automation completely does raise ethical concerns. It could eliminate positions for those that have done traditional factory and warehouse work. Automation may even take hold in other industries such as the food service sector. It’s definitely a problem that will need to be addressed in the near future.
Another new technology that may soon completely transform the business landscape is 3D printing. While we usually think of printing in terms of paper, 3D printing involves a kind of printing in which 3D objects are quickly created from materials like plastic from designs loaded on a computer. Due to 3D printing technology improving, it is now inexpensive and portable enough for many more businesses and consumers to use.
3D printing has a lot of possibilities. It may soon allow customers to order products on demand to their own personal specifications. This was previously impossible in many cases. Manufacturing such items could only be done with specialized machinery in very larger product runs of thousands or more. Today, a single unique item can be manufactured through 3D printing. The prospect of each family having a 3D printer in their house opens up even more possibilities. As Forbes reports, 3D printing has grown to a market value of over $5 billion.
The Internet of Things
Another big tech trend helping shape the future of business is the internet of things. While the internet of things may seem like a meaningless buzzword, it’s actually quite simple to understand. The internet of things refers to objects, tools, components, machinery, parts and products other than traditional computers that have been given the ability to transmit and receive data through wireless internet connections. CMO forecasts that there will be 50 billion things in the internet of things by the year 2020.
There are almost endless possibilities for how the internet of things can be utilized. For example, a component in a piece of machinery used in a production line can collect and transmit information about the amount of products currently in the production work flow. This information will then be received by a computer in a central location and immediately analyzed. This can allow the factory to make adjustments to avoid bottlenecks in production. Another possibility is a sensor being placed in a remote location that could transmit information regarding temperature and weather conditions to a satellite via an iDirect modem.
Technology is always evolving and improving. As that happens, businesses become more efficient and profitable. Make sure to consider different ways to integrate new technology into your company to help insure you remain on the cutting edge ahead of your competitors.