Small businesses are sometimes the slowest to adapt to emerging trends. Yet, enterprises that are quick to take advantage of new technologies are often the most successful. Here are 5 new technologies that will change the way we do business:
1. Mobile Payments
Credit card machines are omnipresent, but mobile transactions are the payment models of the future. A litany of mobile-based payment solutions has already flooded the market. A few taps of a smart-phone screen is all it takes to make a payment, reverse a transaction, or receive an automated invoice. Experts predict that mobile transactions will be worth more than $250 billion this year. Many businesses are already making a massive push towards the adoption of this user-friendly technology.
2. Wireless Conferencing
Meetings are where strategies are discussed, progress is evaluated, and partnerships are forged. Meeting rooms with clunky video equipment, wires, and connectors splayed across the table are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Solutions such as Google’s Chromecast and Apple’s Airplay may be familiar to some business owners. Wireless conferencing technology makes connecting, collaborating, and sharing faster and easier and saves time and money. Newer technology is going beyond simply sharing presentations and allowing team members to interact in real-time with holographic tele-presence.
3. Embedded Communication
In the future, apps, websites, and ATMs are set to feature embedded communication capabilities. This technology allows customers to chat with service representatives instantly in real-time. An increasing number of consumers are accessing the Internet solely through their mobile devices, and the ability to connect with a customer service rep at the click of a button holds tremendous potential. Amazon has launched Mayday on its Kindle devices. Bank of America features Teller Assist on ATM machines to allow customers to video chat with a teller if there are any issues.
4. Share Economy
Airbnb and Uber are household names now. These brands define what is known as a share economy where consumers choose to borrow or share goods and services instead of purchasing them. Small businesses can take advantage of a number of opportunities offered by these models and benefit from the economies of scale. This type of collaborative consumption is a great way to boost and accelerate business plans.
5. Driverless Motor Vehicles
When ride-sharing giant Uber acquired a startup called Otto, it made headline news. Otto is a startup company developing driverless trucks. The commercial transportation industry is the backbone of many businesses, big and small. There are continuing concerns about the safety of autonomous trucks. However, the economies of scale offered by driverless vehicles are massive and could change the way we do business.
Can your business benefit from any of these emerging technologies? Experts believe small business owners who take advantage of new technologies and are proactive in adopting them will be the most successful in the years to come.