There is no question that technology in business has increased rapidly over the past decade, with no sign of slowing any time soon. With so much technology available, it is sometimes difficult for businesses to know what technology is trending and what may be temporary. The following technology trends are ones that show great promise for the upcoming year and beyond:
Many companies are already tapping into the growing mobile business market as more consumers use mobile devices to research and make purchases. The trend for 2015 is to not only make it easier for consumers to use mobile devices to access websites and make purchases, but also to create more secure methods for doing so. Despite the fact that mobile devices are convenient, they are not as protected as computers on networks. In addition, the variety of devices available makes it difficult for IT departments to create portals that meet the needs of every device. Businesses should expect to see better security and more device-friendly portals coming out of the technology world in the next year.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, which has previously been associated with machine-to-machine connections in the manufacturing and utilities industry will now begin to connect many other “things” in the business world. The Internet of Things provides unique identifiers to people, objects or animals along with the ability to transfer data over a network to collect data without the need for human interaction. A sensor in your car’s tires which tells you when the tire pressure is low is part of the Internet of Things, as is someone with a heart monitor implant or a dog with a microchip implanted that allows an owner to find them if they are lost. According to professionals who offer an online MBA in Information Technology, this technology is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.
The price for 3-D printers has come down significantly, and more industries are looking into the benefits of purchasing the devices. In 2014, Makerbot began selling a small 3-D printer for just $1,375 and although that price is probably out of the range of the average person, businesses may find it economical enough for investment. The creations coming from 3-D printers are growing increasingly creative, but there remain some issues related to ethics regarding what should and should not be printed using 3-D printers. In 2012, Defense Distributed created a gun using a 3-D printer that was successfully fired in 2013. In addition, scientists in Scotland are using 3-D printer technology to develop a way to print embryonic stem cells, further causing a deeper look into the ethics of using the technology.
With the availability of analytics and context within technology, the creation of smart machines is another trend to look for in the next year. These machines will move past automating basic tasks and move into machines with learning systems similar to that of the human brain. The concern is that some of these machines may eliminate many middle class jobs, indicating that businesses should begin considering re-training of employees whose jobs may be affected by the introduction of smart machines within the next three or four years.
These four business technology trends are expected to grow not only throughout 2015, but for the next three or four years. As technology grows, businesses may need to restructure many of their operations in order to remain competitive in an increasingly electronics-driven world.