Our tech is advancing at an astronomical rate. We’re seeing new developments and breakthroughs every day, with the intention of making our lives easier and more fulfilling. But when it comes to business, what happened in 2017 that we can learn from – to apply to our plans for the year ahead?

AI

Artificial intelligence might sound like a scary concept but it’s actually benefiting many businesses greatly already. AI can be used to solve problems, learn what people need, smooth out processes and, in the future, replace many admin functions. Bigger businesses are starting to adopt this tech but it’s something to be aware of in 2018.

Chatbots

Customers want high quality human interactions when dealing with a business, however it can be hard for smaller businesses to provide this on top of everything else that needs to be done. This is where chatbots come in. They can act as the middleman, offering an interaction that feels human but that actually uses a set program to generate relevant responses to people’s questions and address simple queries. People are starting to warm up to chatbots, for example they use them for financial services such as Cleo, and in turn these apps gather data that can be used and analysed in the future.

Internet of Things

With the popularity of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, the Internet of Things is starting to become a real thing in everyday lives. This means businesses started to take advantage of the opportunities it offered in 2017, aligning marketing and their services to work alongside these new pieces of tech. It’s a trend that is only going to get stronger in 2018 as more and more search are carried out through Siri and Alexa. Voice marketing is going to be a big thing going forward.

Simplified processes

Many businesses have ditched paper but, for those with warehouses, new processes are still being implemented and advancements being made to avoid paperwork. Barcode scanning, for example, is speeding up picking and packing processes and ensuring businesses are meeting targets more effectively. This type of tech is changing the way businesses work, something so simple is ensuring budgets are met and human error is minimised.

3D printing

Producing cheaper prototypes is a major benefit that comes with 3D printing – after the initial investment in a printer has been made, of course – saving man hours, production costs and minimising the need for lengthy approval processes.

All of this innovative tech is starting to become commonplace in businesses and 2017 paved the way for many new trends. Consider trying out one or two yourself this year and see if it help save time, improve customer relations or even cut costs after the initial investments are accounted for.

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