Can Digital Tech Inspire Your Business?
Last week we highlighted five technologies that businesses are now using in the same way that they used to pick up the phone. So what next for businesses that are already enjoying connectivity that allows them to reap the benefits of mobile working, cloud computing and deeper intelligence? Most companies are only scratching the surface of those but here’s a little inspiration to give you a flavor of the future.
Remote Working Goes Galactic
Remote working is mooted as the future of business and praised for opening up talent pools beyond your city, or even country. It’s set to grow way beyond smartphones and simply being able to use your time effectively when you’re out of the office. According to the Wall Street Journal, it feels “a lot like teleportation”. More advanced digital technologies and augmented reality remove that sense of ‘not quite being in the same room’ by creating a virtual working environment even down to sharing a document in real time. These developments are innovative and could redefine normal in the teleconference category.
Customer Led Product and Service Design
This is less about a clever new digital technology and more about clever use of an existing technology. Online communities, social networks, loyalty schemes and personalised marketing give a huge volume of product innovation ideas. How are you harnessing yours?
There can be little doubt that 20 years from now, machines will be performing tasks that people currently take responsibility for. Prototype autonomous vehicles, advanced robots, virtual personal assistants and smart advisors already exist and will evolve rapidly, ushering in a new age of machine helpers. The smart machine era will arguably be the most disruptive in the history of IT.
Risk Based Security and Self-Protection
At the moment, security rules seem to be the reason lots of business process ideas can’t be realised. More sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation tools, security aware application design and context awareness will all be needed in an increasingly complex digital world.
The information that businesses hold on customers, markets, pricing trends and so on is huge. With the right systems and computing power, it’s possible to analyse vast amounts of data at great speed, providing insights that let you make more informed decisions. Huge companies are already doing it but all businesses now have that level of interrogation within their grasp. The potential to understand, innovate and evaluate products, services and customer relationships is huge.
And Let’s Not Forget
- Google glass is one of the most celebrated and most derided technologies of recent years but hold that thought; hands free information could be enormous in a manufacturing environment. Watch closely as the Internet of Making Things uses digital tech to a whole new (practical) level.
- 3D Printing – Big industries have been doing it for years but increasingly, small companies and individuals are able to do it from their own premises. Everybody can create their own physical product based on their own design without the need for a huge manufacturer. This could simplify business models for many companies.
- Multi touch desktops have never quite taken off, mainly because our arms would get sore. Tech companies are still working on it though, with emphasis on hand and finger movements. That, combined with the potential for eye tracking, could totally revolutionise how and where we interact with our tech (maybe even in your driver-less car).
The coming years’ trends will be focused on merging the real and virtual worlds, data intelligence gathering, and shifting to a digital business model.
Interestingly, research conducted recently by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that 31% of business leaders worry that new technologies will dictate the future direction of their company and how it will be managed. Tellingly, 37% believe that by 2020 their organization will be unable to keep up with technology and they will lose their competitive edge.
Our view? Technology is only as meaningful as the way it’s being used. The right expertise will always tailor the technology around your business, not change your business to use it.