2 Technology Trends that are Changing the Business World
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The progression of technology in the past 10 years has been astounding, with advanced techniques and materials becoming cheaper, making it more accessible to the average consumer every year. Businesses are now in a unique position where they can tap into consumers’ needs directly, be it through social media or data analytics.
Last week I discussed 3 business technology trends, namely cloud computing, Big Data, and mobile payment networks. This week, I discuss 2 more important trends – biometric authentication and the social matrix.
Every year technology experiences a quantum leap, making technologies previously only seen in science fiction films a reality. With the rapid growth of the Smartphone industry, more technologies are becoming available in minute form, and biometrics is one such technology. In the past, this has only been available on larger machines like laptops and point of sale (POS) systems. Today, these devices come built into flagship Smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7, enabling the Smartphone to verify the users’ identity via a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition. Due to the increased risk of security breaches of personal banking details afforded by modern technology, such features are now being used in banking applications to confirm identity, thereby creating a safer banking experience.
India is at the forefront of the biometrics movement with their Aadhaar system. Using this system, the country has been able to register the identity of 750 million of its citizens in just four years. Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number supported by a fingerprint or iris scan, designed to avoid identity theft and distribute welfare more effectively. Identity cards are not commonly used in India. Some citizens have driver’s licenses or passports, but this still leaves approximately 500 million people with no official form of identification. The inability to verify their identity excludes citizens from many basic services such as banking and government subsidies, forcing them to find alternatives which are usually more expensive.
The Social Matrix:
A large number of corporations rely on networked problem-solving, using the thinking power of a vast number of individuals to come up with solutions and new ideas. Research, responding to e-mails, and corresponding with colleagues can take up to 60% of a strategic analyst’s time. With the use of social technologies, workers can become up to 25% more productive. Companies like Kraft Foods, for example, have invested in more powerful social technologies that support micro-blogging, content tagging, and the creation of specialised communities.
Chain stores like Macys use Facebook ‘likes’ to determine colours for upcoming clothing lines, while Wal-Mart chooses its weekly toy special based on input from user panels powered by social media. The benefits of using social media technologies include faster knowledge sharing, shorter product development cycles, and faster competitive response times. Social features have the ability to become part of any digital communication or transaction. Links to social sites like Facebook and Twitter are becoming more prevalent on blogs and business websites, enabling shoppers to go directly to their social media site of choice.
In the last two blogs, I have touched on 5 technology trends assisting businesses in their day-to-day running. Can you add any more?