7 Business Technology Trends for 2016
Almost every type of business makes use of some form of technology nowadays so being aware of the latest technology trends is incredibly useful for business owners or managers. Even if you don’t plan to incorporate a particular form of technology in your own organisation, having an awareness of the latest trends will help you prepare for the future.
With this in mind, below are 7 of the biggest business technology trends expected in 2016.
1. Increased Cloud adoption
Countless businesses are already using Cloud software, such as Microsoft Office 365, in some capacity and adoption rates are only going to increase each year. A lot of business owners were hesitant to make the switch in the early years of Cloud technology, with concerns about security being one of the main reasons. In the last few years though, Cloud technology has spread rapidly and is now used by the vast majority of businesses.
Cloud technology isn’t just useful for improving efficiency in a business but it also enables companies to allow their staff to work more flexibly. According to a recent study by the BT Business and the British Chambers of Commerce, 91% of businesses in the UK now have at least one staff member working from home.
2. Further 5G development
As far as internet speed goes – there’s no such thing as too fast, especially in the business sector. Although 5G isn’t currently available, the big names in telecommunications are now setting up the infrastructure for the technology, which means mass adoption is just around the corner.
3. Advanced machine learning
Advanced machine learning has been discussed a lot over the last few years. At one time it was merely the stuff of science fiction but as technology has advanced, the ability for machines to learn has become a possibility. Deep neural nets (DNN) allow computers to both perceive the world and act autonomously. Businesses that adopt this technology early and understand how to use it, will be able to gain a big competitive advantage for the future.
4. Virtual assistants
Virtual assistants are a very predictable trend for 2016 and beyond. Whilst platforms such as Siri and Cortana provide a taste for what the technology can offer, the real advancements are still yet to be made.
By combining advanced software with the right hardware, it will be possible for business owners to free up their employees for work that’s only possible by humans. As virtual assistants become more advanced, it will have a huge impact on the way businesses are run in the future.
5. More benefits from 3D printing
Although most people are aware of the technology, 3D printing is often viewed as something of a novelty. As the materials that can be 3D printed increase though, so do the practical applications. Many industries stand to benefit from 3D printing over the next few years, including medical, automotive and energy.
6. Wearable devices
Wearable devices are one form of technology that haven’t nearly reached their potential yet. Ask most people about wearable devices and they’ll immediately think of smartwatches. Although smartwatches are now starting to catch on, they’re the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential of the technology.
Over the coming years, more smart devices will be geared towards business users – helping to improve productivity and potentially create “deskless” workspaces.
7. Ambient environments
Augmented and virtual reality have been in the news a lot in the last couple of years, mostly thanks to the development of the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Morpheus project. However, augmented reality isn’t just limited to the realm of gaming.
Creating ambient environments that combine augmented and virtual reality is something that business owners will start paying more attention to, particularly given the recent trend for companies to create a collaborative and interactive work environment.
These are just some of the trends likely to be seen in 2016 and beyond. Technology is moving at such a rapid pace now that it can be overwhelming to stay ahead of the curve.
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