3 Technology Trends that are Changing the Business World
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Due to rapid advances in technology over recent years, businesses are looking at alternative methods for procuring and processing data in order to gain access to a larger pool of customers.¹ An increase in digital resources has enabled businesses to make smarter and faster decisions about sales and marketing. Three trends in technology that are changing the business landscape are described below.
One of the more recent trends in information technology (IT) is cloud computing, an internet-based form of computing founded on the principle that many hands make light work. A single computer has limited computing power, but with the addition of “simulated” cloud-based processers, the output can theoretically become infinite.
Cloud computing relies on the sharing of resources between many machines, achieving synchronisation of data which is easily accessible to multiple users simultaneously. When presented with a resource-intensive task, computers can send the necessary files to the cloud where the required task is processed by a more advanced machine and sent back. All of this happens in a fraction of the time it would take a normal computer to analyse and complete a task.
Used in gaming platforms, such as the Xbox One, cloud computing can create a better experience for the consumer at a lower cost to manufacturers. Different types of cloud computing can be adapted to suit specific needs, such as data storage as provided by Apple’s iCloud, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive. Providers of cloud services generally work on a “pay-as-you-go” model, enabling companies to significantly reduce overheads as demands for computing power increase or decrease.
Big Data Analytics:
With the emergence of more affordable technologies such as cloud computing, big data analytics has become more accessible. Analysts now have much more data at their disposal, and enhanced ability to process it. Cloud data processing facilities include Amazon’s Redshift, Google’s BigQuery data analytics service, IBM’s Bluemix, and Amazon’s Kinesis data processing service. Companies make use of these services to help retailers create a targeted message to elicit a desired response from shoppers. This can sometimes even happen in real-time, as demonstrated by companies such as Netflix and Spotify. Understanding that their customers need to be valued as individuals, these companies provide a unique “for me” experience by analysing customers’ online history and displaying services similar to previously requested items.
Mobile Payment Networks:
With the abundance of technological resources now available to big corporations, their ability to bring mobile technology to smaller communities and under-developed countries has grown. Recently, a new way for more people to access virtual finance using mobile banking applications has emerged. These applications are also described as mobile money, mobile money transfer, or mobile wallet. This technology refers to payments made without the physical exchange of cash or the use of bank cards.
Although the concept of mobile money has been around for a long time, it is only recently, with the release of smarter mobile devices at increasingly lower costs, that these services have become widely available to the public. Statistics show that the worldwide mobile payment revenue in 2015 was $450 billion and is expected to surpass $1 trillion in 2019. In developing countries, mobile payment systems have been implemented to assist users classified as “unbanked,” which comprise an estimated 50% of the global adult population. Mobile payment networks have therefore enabled a large proportion of the world to access banking and payment systems, allowing companies to benefit from a larger pool of consumers.
Technology trends impacting the business world are many, and in my next blog I will be introducing two more trends – biometric authentication and the social matrix.