Until the turn of this century, getting photographs needed you to first buy a roll, load it in a camera, clicking pictures and then taking out the roll and giving it to a photo studio for developing the pictures- a far cry from the point and click pictures that we take on mobile cameras today. As a result, cameras, camera rolls and photo studios all but went out of business.
Thanks to the rate at which technology is evolving, business models are changing with a rapidity that we have never witnessed before. Survival in this era of disruptions requires businesses to be nimble and flexible enough to adapt to technological changes, irrespective of their size. For the immediate future, here are five trends that businesses need to be prepared for.
- Big Data: Thanks to the proliferation of the internet, there is a veritable ocean of data to be analysed out there. As of 2015, the total universe of data accumulated over the history of humankind amounted is expected to witness a tenfold explosion by 2020. Data analytics an help your business derive insights into customer preferences, which can help you not only better respond to your customer, but even anticipate his or her wants and customise your offerings accordingly.
- Artificial Intelligence: One inevitable fallout of the data explosion that we have just discussed is an exponential leap in machine learning and, consequently, artificial intelligence (AI), because machine learning only increases and improves in accuracy as more and more data is fed. The implication for business is humungous. For instance, retail chains can leverage on AI to optimise inventory levels. Banks and financial institutions expect it to deliver significant gains from business process outsourcing. In fact, customer-facing activities constitute the area of business that is most likely to be impacted by AI.
- Internet of Things (IoT): IoT, a blanket term used to describe internet-enabled devices connected to a common network, that can be remotely accessed, is expected to bring about a revolution in the way business is done over the years to come. For instance IoT can be used to physically track items assets on a real time basis, so that your business can have accurate details of the value and location of its assets at any given point in time, which means the internal controls will change drastically.
- Digital Marketing: Promoting your business is a far more complicated business than it was even ten years ago. The combination of offline or online ads, social media postings, YouTube videos, blogs, etc call for considerable investment in terms of time, if not necessarily money. Given the speed at which it is evolving, the ideal approach to digital marketing is to rope in professional support. Let SEO companies manage it for you while you concentrate on your business.
- Subscription: Businesses are leveraging on the combination of the internet and online payments to switch from a ‘pay-per-use’ to a subscription model. The arrangement works even for customers, who can subscribe for objects of daily use like the newspaper, milk, groceries, etc to be delivered at fixed intervals. More and more businesses are expected to adopt the fixed revenue model in the years to come.
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