In 2020, VentureBeat predicted, technology will change our lives. Of course, that prediction was issued at the very end of 2019, before author Anis Uzzaman knew how heavily we would all be leaning on communication and collaboration technology tools as workforces rush to adapt to a new normal in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that sends thousands, if not millions, of employees into home offices. While the collective expectation is that disruption at the level of COVID-19 is a once-in-a-lifetime crisis, our situation today serves as a good reminder: in order to stay competitive, organizations need to stay on the edge of new technologies.
Here, The 10 best technologies to grow business fast.
- Artificial Intelligence. Recently almost a third of companies (31%) said they planned to incorporate AI into their business, according to Adobe’s CMO. AI is uniquely able to parse massive datasets humans could never hope to, and in a digital age, it represents a strong way to leverage latent data into actionable data for a competitive edge. In addition to data analysis, AI can also help with better personalization, both for employees and for customers.
- Machine Learning. A subset of AI, machine learning enables a host of valuable applications, including Siri and Alexa, chatbots, and predictive analytics. While it might sound sci-fi, these applications have permeated everyday life and are applicable across industries. Chatbots can minimize the load on HR staff, for example, by answering front-line questions the office receives frequently.
- Cybersecurity. Security analysts were one of the hardest positions to hire for, according to an iCIMS report. By the same token, shoring up your company’s cybersecurity is paramount – just ask the industry leaders who had to deal with data breaches recently. Equifax’s data breach cost the company an estimated $439 million, according to Security First. Any company that has its own sensitive data or collects sensitive data from its customers must ensure the business network is secure – today, and in the future.
- Cloud Computing. Cloud computing (think Amazon Web Services (AWS, one of the household names) services enable content delivery, database storage, and networking, and an array of other services. Engineers, cloud architects, or system administrators are typically at the helm implementing and overseeing cloud computing. Gartner estimates the public cloud computing market will total about $266.4 billion by the end of this year.
- UI/UX Design. An organization may boast the best technologies behind the scenes, but if the user experience is poor, it may not matter. Quality user interface (UI) ensures websites and apps are visually appealing for users, flow naturally, and are easy to use. The user experience (UX) focuses on how users interact with the brand or company. Mobile design is a key player, but businesses adopting other technologies, like AI or virtual reality (VR) also need to consider UI/UX design.
- CRMs. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, such as Salesforce, are also integral to organizations looking to harness all their data around the customer lifecycle. While Salesforce itself is an off-the-shelf product, developers can customize the tool with applications and company-specific projects.
- Data Visualization. Although many technologies can enable data visualization, the key is adopting the right technology tools to make the data visualization useful. When done well, data visualization can transform an overwhelming spreadsheet (or, many disparate spreadsheets) into a visual, easy-to-understand graph or chart. Data visualization must blend technology prowess with non-technical skills like communication and presentation.
- Mobile Development. Today, there are an estimated 3.5 billion smartphone users; by 2021 Statista expects that number to jump to 3.8 billion – and keep rising. Reaching customers in an ever more mobile world means finding them on apps, not just websites. Mobile app development can also blend other cutting-edge technology, like augmented reality, to engage with users.
- Blockchain. With blockchain, developers can create smart contracts or decentralized applications, explore peer-to-peer payment systems or crowdfunding, or leverage blockchain for identity management. Although blockchain’s inception was in the realm of cryptocurrency, it’s technology allows data to be shared, but not copied, and its total database is distributed in blocks. This distributed ledger cultivates greater transparency, decentralization, and security. Between 2018 and 2019, Blockchain leaped into the top-five strategic priorities for organizations, according to Deloitte, a jump of 10 percentage points in a year.
- Data Science and Analytics. Advanced analytics and big data science are prolific, with a reported 84% of enterprises launching Big Data initiatives. According to NewVantage Partners. Getting the tools right to allow data analysis and prediction is a critical step, especially considering these insights often drive decisions for the C-Suite.