These Technologies Could Disrupt Your Business in 2018
Technological innovation continues to disrupt methods of doing business and workplaces. As CIO magazine points out, yesterday’s technological innovation becomes simply a routine method of doing business, as the increasing integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in everything from human resources to internet search results tells us.
What about the disruptive technologies of this year? Here’s CIO’s top candidates among the many disruptive technologies and trends that will begin driving how business gets done at forward-thinking organizations.
1. Health technology
Earlier this year, Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and JPMorgan Chase announced they were joining together to focus on providing their employees with technology to make healthcare more convenient, as well as driving improved quality.
This is likely to be a move that other employers follow. The availability of wearables like Fitbit, for example, has already been promoted in numerous company wellness programs. Companies are interested in these programs as a way to ensure manageable insurance costs. Roughly 18 million wearables are already in use in corporate wellness initiatives, and a rise to 44 million wearables is expected by 2021.
2. Video and virtual reality
Video, video conferencing and virtual reality (VR) have, of course, been around for some time. But their use is likely to only grow going forward.
Why? Because research is finding that video technologies foster innovation, collaboration and productivity, all things companies want to pursue.
In addition, a growing number of virtual workers are increasingly connected by video, which allows meetings and chat replicating those of office life.
AI has been integrated with chatbots utilized in customer service for some time. As a result, chatbots have been getting increasingly sophisticated. They are far more adept at recognizing customer tone of voice than they used to be.
The rising sophistication of chatbots means that 2018 is likely to be their year in customer service. Companies are seeing significant cost savings from their use. Not only that, but there is evidence that customer experience is better in many instances with chatbots than with human customer service personnel.
In fact, the number of conversations people have with chatbots is likely to be rising, to exceed conversations had with a husband or wife, according to research CIO cites.
4. Voice-activated devices
Like AI and chatbots, voice-activated devices and virtual assistants have been around for a while now. And they are clearly proving very popular for home use, as the growing purchases of products like Amazon’s Echo (Alexa) prove.
But businesses are in the early stages of using voice-activated devices. That’s likely to grow. Voice activation is likely to eventually replace computer keyboards or perhaps be integrated as an option.
In the shorter term, virtual assistants activated by voice are likely to be integrated for productivity-improving tasks, especially as the assistants are taught by AI. Late last year, Amazon rolled out Alexa for Business. These can set up meetings, be used for to-do lists and a host of other time-saving tasks.
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