6 Technology-Driven Trends Every Small Business Should Watch

Here are six technology-driven trends to watch for this year.


Technology has the power to change the course and future of your business. The following trends are what the experts claim to be the most influential for 2014. Only time will tell whether or not, they will impact your business in a positive way.

The best advice to give is this. Try, try, and try again. Just because something is foreign to you doesn’t mean that one day it won’t be something you’re knowledgeable about and comfortable with. The more you learn about technology, the better able you are to use it to transform the way that your business operates.

Here are six technology-driven trends to watch for this year:

 

  1. More apps and less applications.

    Apps are smaller and more targeted whereas applications are more comprehensive according to Gartner, Inc. The key to making this work more effectively in the future is to create apps that “snap together” to create large applications.

  2. Lots of wearable technologies.

    Technology is making it easier and easier to accessorize in a functional way. From smart watches to Google Glass, the number of wearable technologies that you’ll see in 2014 is going to rise. As Business Insider reports, “wearable tech is already a $3- to $5 billion market today. In the next two to three years, it could skyrocket to $30- to $50 billion.” Companies are filling a need for smarter and more accessible tech accessories. In fact, what employer wouldn’t want its employees to take advantage of items that increase efficiency, help with organization, and break up the monotony of the average work day?

  3. The rise of 3D printers.

    Forbes writer Mark Mills explains, “3D printers will — as many have observed sometimes a tad too breathlessly — disrupt a lot of businesses.  They will enable and make more profitable many others, while also creating entirely new classes of businesses.” Cheaper models of printers and easier to use scanners are transforming the way that people view 3D printing. Now that the two biggest obstacles are no longer a challenge, you’ll see more businesses jumping on the bandwagon and give printing their own three-dimensional products a try.

  4. Connected gadgets.

    Imagine starting your car from your smartphone or entering your hotel room by entering a passcode into an app after a long day of meetings. The number of connected gadgets are increasing by the second. From the smart home to fitness monitors, appliances and cars, it’s only going to be a matter of time before your mobile device can do everything for you.

  5. An increase in biometric possibilities.

    Imagine that your employees can enter your building by scanning their fingerprint much like they do on TV. According to Webopedia, “Though the field is still in its infancy, many people believe that biometrics will play a critical role in future computers, and especially in electronic commerce. Personal computers of the future might include a fingerprint scanner where you could place your index finger. The computer would analyze your fingerprint to determine who you are and, based on your identity, authorize you different levels of access. Access levels could include the ability to use credit card information to make electronic purchases.” Biometrics are steadily gaining precedence in the tech world by making it nearly impossible to access confidential information. Many tablets and phones are fitted with this type of technology now.

  6. Location-based mobile commerce.

    Companies recognize that long lines don’t make customers happy. That’s why many have chosen to give their customers the option to “check out” via phone. For example, Apple used its iBeacon software to let people skip the line and complete their purchases in their stores via the iPhone.

With new technology on the forefront, a new year also poses all sorts of challenges and opportunities. By familiarizing yourself with the technology-driven trends listed above, you give your business a competitive advantage. After all, if it’s something everyone’s going to be using in the future, don’t you want to be the first to discover it?

That’s the beauty of technology. It’s revolutionary and life-changing. It can completely change the course or nature of your business so it’s very important to embrace it. It could very well be what makes or breaks your business.

When weighing out the advantages and disadvantages of new technologies, keep the following in mind. The first model of any product will undergo numerous revisions as well as price changes. If a gadget seems too pricey for your business, rest assured that it will go down in price. Just give it time to catch on and to have developers work out all the kinks so it works more efficiently for you.

 

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