As we push ever further into the fascinating 21st century, one thing’s for sure: technology is king.

Not convinced you’re fully on board the technology train?  To start with, you’re reading this blog thanks to the power of technology – and chances are you’ll entertain yourself tonight with tech of one kind or another.

But technology is not all trains, movies and iPhones – it’s the very foundation upon which pretty much all of our businesses are built in 2018.  In short, technological innovation is the engine of the business world, and it’s one that is also constantly changing.

The technology of tomorrow is almost impossible to predict, but the next best thing is to keep up with the tech trends that are shaping the business world today.

So what are the must-know tech trends that are empowering the world of enterprise today … and into tomorrow?

1. The cloud

Cloud StorageEveryone talks about ‘the cloud’ these days without perhaps fully grasping what it is – much less how it’s shaping the technology of today.

In a nutshell, it means that instead of storing data on-site, it’s kept somewhere centralized – ‘the cloud’.  It means that as long as you’re on the ‘net, you’re able to get at your information.

As wireless LAN technology races ahead, the cloud is hands-down the most transformative technology that businesses can use each and every day.  But it remains surprising how many are late to the party to revolutionise their processes and improve their products and services.

2. Big data

The birth of the internet was big, but do you know what might be even bigger?

It’s called ‘Big data’ – and it’s so big that if you stored it all on CDs, you could make five separate stacks all the way from the bottom of Mt Everest to the moon.

But the trick is not the enormous amounts of data collected by business, but what can be done with it thanks to advances like Carrier Grade Wi-Fi and accompanying advances in analytics.  As these analytics abilities speed ahead, businesses learn more and more about their customers and make smarter and smarter decisions – and those mastering big data the most are absolutely supercharging their profits.

3. 3D printing

3-Doodler 3D Printing PenFor the past few years, do you know what the 3D printing market has been doing?  The answer: Doubling in size.  Every 12 months.

But what’s so great about it?  Some businesses are under the impression that unless you’re already making something that a 3D printer can perhaps do a little better and faster, it’s not a technology you’ll need or use.

But businesses that could never before imagine making their own prototypes can now do it with commercially available 3D printers.  Products can be improved more often, the manufacturing process is simple, it’s affordable, and design freedom is almost limitless.

4. Security

Security may not sound like a sexy new technology, but as tech races into the future, and networks become the norm for just about every kind of communication, keeping your data and your customers secure is ever more important.

We’re talking about things like upgrading to SSL certificates for hosting, and multi-layer customer transactions.  Also key are the latest and greatest in wireless LAN advances, such as carrier-grade Wi-Fi that enables ‘cellular like’ roaming with automatic user authentication.

5. Wearables

If you think you’re all up to date in the world of devices thanks to your new iPhone, think again.  Right on trend right now is ‘wearable’ technology, like smart watches and wrist bands.

As wearable tech races ahead this year and beyond, it will completely change how people interact – and how businesses will need to engage with them.  Web searches will be done by voice and be more geographically specific, which will transform how businesses go about their crucial SEO.  Content will be ever more interactive, and websites will be replaced by in-device apps.

6. AI

google AssistantIt’s been a buzzword ever since sci-fi movies became uber-popular, but artificial intelligence – or ‘thinking computers’ – are already changing the business world.

And it’s not hard to see how it’s only going to keep making a bigger impact.  Soon, transactions will be able to be done through chatbots, with AI algorithms finding the best option based on what’s in stock.  Recommended products will get smarter, support desks will be manned by machines, and AI will permeate every chat interface, app and consumer application imaginable.

7. VR

Virtual reality was just the beginning – now the big buzzword of today and beyond is AR.

And for business, augmented and virtual reality technologies are really leaping forwards.  We’re already seeing thousands of VR games and apps out there, making clear that the market is vast and opportunities are great.  And as take-up, devices and technologies advance, the extent to which the evolution of reality impacts business will be made clear – but rest assured it’s going to be big.

The final word: Business must move as fast as technology

Even the smartest technology experts will admit that making predictions about the future is fairly futile.  That’s because when it comes to tech, surprise is always the most common emotion – so it’s crucial for the savvy business operator to be just as fast to react with new strategies, priorities, and the seizing of opportunities.

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