It’s no great surprise that technology is one of the most important factors in the success of any business, but plenty of individuals would be surprised by just how important it can be. Fewer still would have a strong sense of what the many uses of such technology could be, and it can take plenty of practice over many years to come to terms with how you can use technology to improve how business functions in the main. Many businesses are utilizing technology in various ways and having a stronger appreciation of these methods and technological innovation might help anyone currently wishing to improve their businesses. We’ll look in some detail at how contemporary businesses are using technology to get ahead.
The mobile monster
Although mobile computing is nothing new anymore, everyone has a mobile device these days, and some people have more than one. The ways in which businesses use it is constantly being updated and altered in many fascinating ways. Businesses who make good use of mobile technology can expect a range of real boons, from increased customer engagement to the ability to better analyze customer data and draw firmer conclusions about their average customer. So what exactly are businesses doing with mobile technology to bring about such fortuitous effects? It is worth bearing in mind that many of the real everyday uses of mobile technology are behind-the-scenes rather than customer-facing. The majority of busy business people these days would find it a real challenge to do their jobs without a mobile phone in their pocket, and more and more are relying on tablets for many daily tasks too, but it’s not just about these obvious uses. There are plenty of ways in which mobile technology can be utilized in other manners and bring about those effects.A business can do much to get ahead by releasing an app for their customers to use. Such an app might provide a portal to whatever service is being offered, ideally making that service considerably quicker and easier to take part in. Communication can be improved between customer and business, making customer relations considerably more fulfilling for both parties and ensuring that the customer feels more looked after.There are also many apps which were initially designed for use by individual customers, but which have many advantages of being used in-business and this specific situation is becoming more common as time goes on, with the line between B2B and customer-focused tech being somewhat increasingly blurred.There are a huge number of potential uses in business for mobile technology, and it’s no wonder that a steadily increasing number of businesses might be turning to such tech as they aim to improve their services and make the daily running of business more efficient. Mobile is by no means the only current trend in business technology improvements, but among those advances in providing even more by way of assistance to businesses of all kinds everywhere.
Head in the cloud
There is plenty of confusion surrounding cloud computing. It’s actually much simpler than most people seem to think. The cloud is really branding, but the underlying technology is simple enough. Essentially, it’s a server, like any other, which an individual or team or business can use to store and share data. That really is about it. So, you might reasonably be asking: what’s the big deal? And why do so many businesses swear by it these days?The primary perceived benefit to using the cloud in a business setting is that it provides the twin benefits of ease and security. It is an easy matter to share any data you might need to share with anyone who needs it, but the system is built in such a way that it is relatively safe from outside attacks. The other security benefit is that you are not storing the data in-house. That means that, should anyone break into your own system, it won’t matter to your sensitive data, which is meanwhile being held in the (probably infinitely more secure) cloud servers elsewhere. This is obviously a huge benefit for businesses of all kinds, and it’s hardly surprising that so many firms are making a point of utilizing it so fully today. There is one more reason that it is quite so appetizing a proposal for new and small businesses: it’s often free.Saving money anywhere when you have a business to look after is obviously a great idea, so this is hugely popular for that reason primarily. But it’s not the only form of new technology which companies are getting excited about due to its value for money and security benefits.
Beginning implementations of blockchain technology
The blockchain has to be one of the most exciting innovations in the world of technology for a very long time. There are relatively few people who truly understand it, even as it spreads inexorably across the globe and becomes taken on for so many different purposes. It’s no wonder you could expect to see a module on blockchain technology in a Masters in Computer Engineering degree today. Indeed, a lot of people might feel that you’d need such expertise to be able to understand it. (Then again, why go into massive amounts of debt when you can learn about this technology via free coursework from MIT or reasonably-priced platforms like Khan Academy?)Coming to grips with how blockchain works and what it is can help us appreciate why businesses are using it, so let’s try. Put in simple terms, a blockchain is a chain of blocks of data, wherein each block consists of a cryptographic hash of the previous block, and a key for decoding the hash of the subsequent block. You can think of a cryptographic hash as a code which can only be decoded using a specific key. The value of such a set-up is that it takes a long time to replicate an entire chain, because each hash is designed to take a certain amount of time to decode. So, if you control a node on the system and you want to determine which is the true chain, the answer is simple: the longest one. You can’t replicate it, because by the time your computer catches up, the original chain is longer still. It would be impossible to take over the system.Essentially, this means that hacking such a system is almost impossible. That is, until somebody comes along with a quantum computer. Until that day, a blockchain will be safe, and the data on it will be safe too. Because it is a system in which data is shared amongst all nodes without being held anywhere centrally, it is obviously an incredibly safe way to hold data. It’s hardly surprising that businesses are starting to get so excited about blockchain technology. Used and utilized properly, it is a perfectly safe means of sharing and storing data which puts previous cloud computing to shame somewhat (even if there is still space for that too).Businesses of many industries are using the blockchain for many reasons, and it won’t be long until it is so commonplace that you’ll wonder why you didn’t have it all along. But you might be surprised how widespread it already is. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin rely on it, and if you have ever used Google Docs – guess what? – you have used a blockchain sharing system.
Super-fast broadband service
It’s hard to imagine a business today working very well at all without any internet access whatsoever. We can go further than this now and even suggest that the majority of businesses are likely to require significantly faster broadband than in previous years. This is an example of a kind of underlying competitiveness, and it’s often shocking just how much of a difference it can make to businesses operating every day.What are the benefits of super-fast broadband service for a business today? Well, any amount of downtime is going to cause some problems, and the more that you can keep this to a minimum, the more you can expect to get ahead of your competitors. There is more to it than even that. A faster and more reliable broadband service enables you to keep in contact with people online, to keep the conversations flowing on social media, and ultimately leads to a considerably more engaged and productive marketing campaign. This is going to make a huge difference overall, and it’s not something many businesses will want to overlook.One of the best investments a business can make today? A better internet connection.With so many ways in which businesses might get ahead with the use of technology, it’s hardly surprising that there is such fierce competition in the tech world itself. Keep an eye on it; who knows where it might lead to next.