“Beam me up Scottie” were the words of Captain Kirk who I remember watching as a boy in the original Star Trek and wishing I could beam up or talk to a computer – I cannot yet beam up, but I can do lots of others things just like Kirk.
Technology is moving faster than light speed. It almost seems every time I look up, there is some amazing new gadget or app that is claiming to help make my life better, less stressful and more effective. I now use wearable technology to monitor my movement, sleep, calories and it even sets me fitness goals: it even tells me that I have been inactive for too long!
Ten Technology Trends of Tomorrow
If you think that this stuff is just for techies and geeks, you are wrong – it is now time for Business Owners and Managers like yourself to think again. Why? Quite simply because these trends are going to and probably already do affect you!
Trend 1: Desktops Are So Last Decade
Wow! I cannot believe it, but desktops are heading the same way as typewriters – a relic from a previous time. My first desktop was a 486 processor, my second was an Intel and now even the latest desk top processor is out of date. Desktops are so last decade because people are switching (have switched) to laptops, tablets and smart phones. Increasingly, people are accessing visual tools like Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr from mobile devices and are dropping their static old-school hardware for portability.
Trend 2: Mobile Is Not Taking off – it is Skyrocketing!
If you do not believe me, just check out these figures for the use of mobile search compared to desktop search. Mobile data traffic is up 81 percent and growing, mainly due to the ability of mobile devices to be able to handle and process data and video. How mobile are your communications, websites, e-newsletters and blogs?
Trend 3: The Internet and the Power of Three
Most of us have heard of the marketing 4 Ps (price, product, place and promotion). It now appears that we need to get used to the new 3 Cs: Content, Community and Commerce. As consumers, we want to be able to access quality, relevant content, to be part of a community and to be able to buy on-line. What is your organisation’s strategy for making quality and relevant content, building your community and enabling on-line transactions?
Trend 4: Data Sharing Is About to Explode
We want to share and access real time information, videos, friends and network contacts and blog posts when we want to and whilst we are on the move. All this content is data, and it is growing by 50 per cent year on year with a lot of it created not by businesses and brands, but by consumers and individuals. What information do you share with your customers, clients and stakeholders?
Trend 5: Content Needs Are Getting Specific
Internet users are becoming ever more discerning and selective – they know what they want and in which format they want it. People are now starting to demand specific types of information and content. The most popular reads are lists, explainers (expert blogs), quizzes, breaking news and video. How does your organisation make information available? Is it time to review your communication strategy?
Trend 6: People are Using Online Interaction to Connect and to Keep in Touch
It was not that long ago that people were worried that social media was removing personal communication. Now, it is facilitating communication, networking and community building through apps like LinkedIn, Tinder, Hootsuite, Yammer and Wiggio. Which tools best meet your needs? Which apps do your customers and stakeholders prefer?
Trend 7: Sensors and Auto Dashboards Are Hot
Just like Kirk, we can now speak to our devices – I use Dragon when I work as it is faster and more accurate than my keyboard skills. Most of us already use voice recognition on our phones, but now we are using fingerprints to unlock our devices, or wearable devices and sensors to check our heart rates, activity levels and many other aspects of our life. At Exponential, we now have so many automated metric analytical apps and tools in use, we could do with an app or two to manage and analyse our metric apps!
Trend 8: Using Data to Identify Trends and to Solve Problems
How many visitors have been to www.exponentialtraining.com this week? When did they visit? Who are they? What were they interested in? Which pages did they like the most/least? This is just the tip of the iceberg for today’s serious web analytic tools. How are you using data to identify trends affecting your customers and stakeholders? What could you learn from companies like Tesco, and Wallmart about your customers’ patterns and behaviours?
Trend 9: The Invisible App Is Coming
Organisations are now moving away from single, multi-purpose websites and apps to single-purpose apps that do just one thing really well. Experts like Matthew Panzarina of TechCrunch suggest that we are already moving rapidly towards so-called, ‘invisible apps’ – these apps do not bother you unless they have information for you, like a bank app that pings you when your account is low. This move toward personalised, automated communication is helping organisations to customise and to get closer to customers without the need for manual, labour intensive processes. What aspects of your business could benefit from using such apps?
Trend 10: The Gap is Getting Bigger
The gap between those organisations that understand and know how to use technology and those that do not is getting bigger. Size is not a determining factor either; many of the smartest organisations are some of the smallest because they can move fast whereas larger organisations often move very slowly. You do not have to be among the innovators and early adopters for any of these trends, but just do not be among the late adopters or laggards otherwise you will find that you have missed it and the next trend has already taken over.
We might still not be able to “Beam me up, Scottie” just yet, but we can make a lot of tomorrow’s science fiction happen today. Are you ready to “boldly go where no man has gone before!” so that your organisation can “live long and prosper?”