5 Tech Trends Businesses Should Be Studying
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Technology is the great liberator of the modern company. Improved mobile computing, accessible data analytics and the growing Internet of Things have freed businesses from antiquated, time-consuming processes. Companies are faster, smarter and have elevated their platforms to a global, 24/7 stage.
The price of progress is a rapidly evolving set of tools. Companies that are not adapting run the risk of becoming obsolete.
From upgrading legacy systems to keep pace with changing demands to the growing trend of employee wellness campaigns, accounting and advisory firm CohnReznick identities five trends businesses need to know.
1. Integration of legacy systems
Outdated computer systems draw resources away from business growth. According to a study from Business Technographics, 75% of North American and European enterprise IT department budgets are spent on the operation and maintenance of legacy systems.
Legacy systems are old, inflexible and prone to security risks. As more companies adopt cloud and computing services as a way to enhance collaboration, migrating vital information to these services becomes difficult.
Integration offers a middle ground, offering encrypted data and cloud connectors to plug into popular applications both online and offline.
Smartphones and laptops have led to a boom in workplace productivity. Employees are no longer chained to their desks, and the improved mobility leads to 30% better processes and 23% more productivity, according to Forbes.
Businesses looking to attract young professionals should consider incorporating more remote workdays. This gives staff a choice in choosing where and how they work. Employees can also encourage teams to bring their own devices, and make sure apps and systems offer multichannel integration.
Companies should also make sure there are no technical issues for people using smartphones vs. those with tablets.
3. Employee Wellness
Investing in employee health yields greater productivity, improves staff retention rates and trims healthcare costs.
While technology is often blamed for poor health, it has also played a role in making office wellness more accessible. Smartphone apps can track fitness data like the number of steps taken per day, or remind an employee when it is time to walk away from the desk. Businesses can encourage using this technology by enacting employee-wide fitness initiatives.
They can also look for office space with a Well Certification, an assessment that promotes health standards across categories like air, water, light and fitness.
4. Demographic data and predictive analytics
Tracking fitness activities is part of a larger trend of tapping into big data. Consumers are using mobile apps to track daily activities and habits to mine greater insight about their lives. Companies can do the same to generate new business. Data mining goes a step further with predictive analytics, which uses data patterns to figure out end-user demands before they arise.
Media companies like Netflix and Facebook use this technology to determine what content will be the most successful across different demographics. E-commerce giant Amazon leverages customer shopping history to identify similar products the shopper would be likely to purchase.
5. 3D Printing
The real estate industry has adopted 3D printing as a way to quickly and cheaply produce building models and floor plans. No longer seen as a novelty, companies have begun to experiment with uses from simple toy replicas to cars and homes.
Businesses working with physical products and services can use 3D printing to give clients a preview of the finished product. Future technology could bring the final product directly and instantly into a consumer’s home.
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