Freelancers and business owners alike can benefit from being on top of the latest trends in business, tech and beyond. If you are following the news in the entrepreneur world, you may already know what trends are hot and what areas of development to keep and eye on. Just in case you missed it here are some important business and tech trends, and a few things to keep an eye on.
Control Over Data
Privacy is a big concern for people right now, and they want to know what companies are doing with their data and how its being shared. Businesses also need to protect their own data, as well as avoid purchasing data or acquiring it without consent: it is often inaccurate and it is sometimes illegal to do so, depending on the jurisdiction. Beware of legal changes that may take place geared toward tightening protections on consumer data.
Non-traditional Banking Options
Mobile banking is on the rise and traditional banks are struggling to keep pace with consumers’ demands to bank anytime anywhere. It is possible that banks may be getting some competition from big cyber-names such as google, apple, and amazon who are always ready to meet new consumer needs. Besides mobile banking, alternative lending is growing in popularity among small businesses due to having higher acceptance rates and an easier application process than traditional banks. More and more businesses are turning to lending companies like Kabbage and peer-to-peer companies like Funding Circle and Lending Club.
It is no secret that people prefer personalized services; businesses big and small are taking advantage of this by offering things like customized location-based coupons and tailor-made packages, and by training and authorizing staff to offer personalized services and more. Personalized marketing is also becoming important, with businesses needing to reach customers on their preferred medium and with campaigns geared specifically towards them as individuals.
More and more people are using their purchasing power to support companies that align with their own values. The modern way to “stick it to the man” is to refuse to buy or support corporations that have practises that one disagrees with. Those practises could be things like testing on animals, destroying ecosystems, exploiting labourers, or having abhorrent CEOs. Businesses cannot keep their dirty little secrets a secret anymore and people are choosing to shop where they can feel comfortable that their money isn’t supporting something they don’t agree with.
We all saw how Pokemon Go took off, bringing the term “augmented reality” into our vocabulary. Well that was only the beginning, there is so much more that can be done with augmented reality, from games to military training to offering “hands-on” training in the medical world, the possibilities are endless.
Computers that can learn, reason and self-correct are no longer only found in the realm of science fiction. The field of AI is growing rapidly and we have already started using it in our daily lives, in the forms of Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. We are likely to see AI take on a greater role in manufacturing, customer service, finance and even healthcare.
The Internet of Things
From wearable gadgets to smart appliances and homes, the internet of things is just getting started. We will soon see more of the internet of things moving from small personal-scale items to the large scale as we watch it move into industries like agriculture, manufacturing and beyond.
With more and more data being collected and used all the time, protecting that data becomes more and more important. Whether they be individuals or an organization, people committing cyber-attacks are using increasingly sophisticated methods and it is important that companies stay one step ahead in order to keep their data safe. Cyber-security is one of the fastest growing fields in 2019.
Being able to use remote servers to manage and store their data means that businesses can outsource computing power, instead of needing to invest in hardware, software and staff. This is good for for small business without a lot of capital to spend on their computing needs, and good for those who can work in the cloud computing field. Even serverless computing needs skilled workers to be the architects and maintainers of the cloud.
Keep and Eye On:
The Political Climate and Public Policy
A few years ago, who would have thought that we’d be living in the era of Brexit and Trump? The political climate can direct business trends and change the shape of public policy. Keep an eye on the reaction to big news events, for example: how people's thoughts changed in regards to online-interaction and bots in light of election tampering. Thinking about where new tariffs might be popping-up is also important. You never know what might happen next and what business opportunities might arise.
There is space at the edge of the cloud for new opportunities. Edge computing is done near the source of the data, rather than in a centralised data center - so closer to home. This has important implications for the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence because it means data can be processed faster and with more privacy and security.
We have all used Dr. Google to diagnose ourselves at home and have probably been exposed to the latest health food trends and possibly some “woo” in our facebook feed. However, digital healthcare is on the rise and in the future we will have more and more of our health-related needs being met online. Anything from health-analysis to getting medications and clinical services may move into the digital realm.
Businesses are already using our natural desire to be social and compete with others, as well as find out more about ourselves, in order to glean important consumer-data from us. One place that businesses can currently obtain data is through fun interactive content, such as quizzes and games. Using game elements in non-game situations is a growing trend that is not going anywhere. Gamification will see the development of more technologies to make our lives a little more fun, while providing a some sort of service or data-extraction at the same time.
The Modern Workplace
Remote work isn’t just for freelancers, telecommunications and a rethink of communication strategies are changing the modern workplace. First we saw an increase in the work-from-home crowd and now we are seeing a rise in shared workspaces. Changing trends and technology is fueling change in the modern workplace.
With your projects and your business-growth goals, it is hard to keep on top of the latest trends in business and technology. Luckily, Sagegoupy is the freelancer’s friend and we are always here to lend a hand. Keep an eye on our blog and we will keep you informed.