Enterprises are placed at an advantage compared to startups and SMBs. They can afford large in-house IT teams and have access to the right knowledge centers, skills, and resources to leverage the latest and most important technologies. For startups and SMBs, the importance of adopting cutting-edge technology becomes evident when the early adoption stage is well over. Another challenge they face is tech overload: Simply too much news to digest. A quick online search would make anyone believe that technology lifecycles have been reduced to months, if not weeks! This, of course, is not the reality. The problem for businesses is — they need clarity. Businesses need to be told, shown, and explained the technologies where they must place their focus. And easing your tech overload is the agenda of this guide.
Collaborative work — The new ‘way’ of work
At the end of the day, every business-focused technology should enable people to do more in less time. Collaboration is the keyword to remember; there are already several technologies and tools that have proven effective in nurturing collaborative work environments. Here’s a quick run through them:
- Tools that bring together different communication channels, right from instant messaging to social media posts, under a single interface.
- Tools to enable quick scheduling of video conferences, teleconferences, and group chats.
- Tools to enable managers to create projects, allocate resources, automate follow-ups, and track progress.
- Tools that help organize project information in neatly defined categories and project folders, enabling collaborators to get access to information without roadblocks.
Cloud computing — As strong and as important as ever
Though cloud computing is not a new technology by any means, it’s been growing so rapidly that businesses just can’t take their eyes off it. Lower costs, no maintenance hassles, pay for what you need and use, easy technology upgrades, the best of automation, reliable security, compliance with regulations such as HIPAA and GDPR, and a lot more — that’s the impact of cloud computing for businesses.
Cloud computing-based services, whether it’s for infrastructure products, platforms, or software, are way better than their traditional on-premises versions. For starters, these help businesses escape the mammoth initial investments of tech hardware, staffing, and systems support. Instead, they get to move to an operational expenditure model, courtesy of monthly subscription fees for most cloud-based services.
Cloud infrastructures make sure that businesses are able to scale up their infrastructure when they want to, seek resources on the fly, and pay for only what they need. A combination of cloud-powered tools can help businesses completely automate and offload business functions such as payroll, accounting, content marketing, and demand forecasting via dedicated cloud-based SaaS solutions.
Cybersecurity — The basis for modern business’ survival
Every technology upgrade you opt for must be backed with an equivalent move up the cybersecurity ladder. Ever since the ransomware attacks that ravaged the global economy in early 2017, the business community has become well aware of how important cybersecurity is.
GDPR is by far the most important cybersecurity regulation that businesses need to comply with. Though GDPR applies exclusively to businesses that serve customers belonging to the European Union, it’s a clear indication that other governments will follow suit with similar legislation. Also, though GDPR focuses on data privacy and security, businesses will need to be watchful of legislation in disparate technology streams such as IoT and blockchain.
Machine learning-powered cybersecurity is trending, as vendors promise the “next level” of security against malware, viruses, hackers, and rogue employees, leveraging the “self-learning” capability of algorithms. Another key trend is that of “security automation and orchestration,” which focuses on achieving a state where tools will be able to automate security breach reporting, responding, and remediation.
Mobility — The most important global tech trend
The “millennial” representation in the modern business workforce is significant and growing. As a result, businesses have felt the natural inclination to attune operations with the values and beliefs of this generation. This is being done by using advanced technology that is, in turn, infusing the idea of mobility into work.
For starters, businesses need to adopt technologies that enable and empower employees to work from locations other than their office desks, without compromising on application availability and security. Next up, companies need to carefully assess the potential benefits of a BYOD program targeted at increasing adoption of mobile-ready business applications.
Mobility is also a lot about making business portals and applications mobile-friendly. Businesses need to upgrade their websites and mobile apps to deliver enriching end-user experiences, along with dependable security. As the smartphone market captures the unexposed markets, and as 5G Internet penetrates the market, mobility will become all the more important, which is reason enough for businesses to be prepared.
IoT — A key driver of the much talked about digital transformation
Sensors can make a machine super-smart and lower the boil on your tech overload kettle. IoT brings together the idea of smart sensors, machine to machine (M2M communications), cloud computing, and analytics together. The result is a force that’s powerful enough to transform the global economy.
The complexity and sophistication of algorithms used in IoT are clear from the proven applications, such as unmanned aerial vehicles and self-driving cars. As these algorithms become better at controlling machines, we will witness the next level of industrial automation. IoT is a major driver of supply chain process improvements across the global industry. IoT is also an enabler for predictive maintenance of machines and devices, which helps businesses avoid expensive downtimes.
The real value of IoT is in the data it generates, and not the connections it creates between the smallest and biggest of machines and devices. Courtesy real-time data analytics, IoT becomes a live network of deeply insightful communications that can be used to drive ground-breaking process improvements.
Coping with tech overload
Technological innovations — and therefore tech overload — won’t cease anytime soon. Businesses can change the trajectory of their progress for the better by intelligently including key technologies for powering their growth strategies. The five technologies discussed in this guide are relevant for businesses across markets and industries.
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