A variety of emerging technologies offer the great potential to aid businesses. These emerging technologies include artificial intelligence, virtual reality, IoT and automation, all presenting possible solutions — especially to small businesses, who often find themselves at a disadvantage to their larger counterparts. Emerging tech is enabling smaller businesses to close the gap and compete.
Many small businesses are wondering which emerging technology will help them the most, which makes digging into a variety of tech beneficial.
Some people immediately think of sentient robots when they hear the term “AI.” In the world of small business, however, AI relates more closely to tools that use sophisticated tech and algorithms to identify specific solutions.
These tools have a variety of benefits for small business. For example, Facebook is a massive business with $12 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017, primarily due to their usage of artificial intelligence in ad serving and identifying the optimal audience.
AI tools, like the kind Facebook uses, are not limited to large business. Smaller businesses are capable of harnessing AI to improve engagement with support chatbots, using machine learning to better close deals and helping identify a product-market fit with quick precision. AI has the potential to change small business for the better by identifying trends and correlations, via machine learning and other AI tech, that would take humans more time to accomplish.
Virtual reality is already helping small businesses stand out from their competition. VR is playing an incomparable role in providing consumers with an accurate perception of the product or service they plan to purchase. For example, Sephora’s Virtual Artist VR app enables consumers to try on products instantly, just by uploading a selfie and selecting a product and colour. Also, some real estate agents are harnessing VR technology like YouVisit to provide consumers with an accurate perception of a property, without having them visit first.
VR can provide the consumer with more information and an immersive view to guide their purchase, while saving employees from time-wasting activities like showing a property to consumers who would have known the property is not a fit after using VR. Virtual reality is also fun to experience, standing out from the traditional virtual consumer experience of viewing images or video, incomparable to VR regarding perception.
Internet of Things
A report from Cisco and DHL predicts the IoT will generate $8 billion in value throughout the next decade. Small businesses are mindful of its growth as a result. They can partner with manufacturers who use IoT in their operations and logistics, which will give them a clear picture of their manufacturer’s work and deadlines about their partnership. Additionally, IoT technology can drive down hardware costs, with affordable IoT sensors replacing pricier sensors without ample connectivity.
The combination of thorough monitoring and data collection provides information that can result in better product performance, thanks to insight from customer behaviour or the manufacturer. IoT technology is becoming more prominent. As a result, its security threats continue to grow. There is more attention on security threats for IoT than ever. However, its growing recognition makes IoT safer than many older informational platforms experiencing neglect as a result of IoT’s rise in large, medium and small business.
Emerging technology in automation enables small businesses to grow. Automating the most mundane daily tasks can free up employees to work on more strategic, contingent and creative tasks. Automation and AI can handle certain levels of analysis, though neither technology is close to replacing humans regarding artistic cognition. The best bet for your business is to apply either partial or full automation in the steps where each would be appropriate.
While some believe automation will lead to layoffs, the reality is that automating manual processes can lead to more focus on staff, which results in better work and a savvier workforce. Certainly, more mundane functions are replaceable; though it’s unlikely a business will hire an employee solely for mundane tasks.
As a result, automation technology presents ample benefits for small businesses, which can use automation technology to free up employees to focus on tasks in more need of a human touch.
AI, virtual reality, IoT and automation are all very exciting fields, especially for businesses that are constantly seeking emerging technology that can result in greater success and focus. These technologies continue to grow and change, prompting any prudent company to monitor trends as they evaluate whether to incorporate these technologies.
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