While these five technologies are relatively new and still gaining a hold on businesses, they will likely become common business tools in the years to come.
Radio Frequency Identification
RFID has been in use for a few years already. However, it is quickly dropping in price. Couple this with the proliferation of wireless Internet connections and increased data gathering capabilities and RFID tags are set to burst onto the business scene in new ways. Uses for RFID tags are found easily both within the business or office and in the consumer market.
The technology allows a business to track any item to which an RFID tag is attached using sensors. When an RFID tag is within the vicinity of the scanner, a signal is sent and the time, location and RFID tag identifier is logged in the system. This allows you to track the flow of items through your business or around the world. Common implementations of RFID technology include inventory management, asset tracking and streamlining the production process. However, RFID technologies are starting to emerge for customer use as well. From swiping a card for instant purchases to obtaining promotional offers or registering recent purchases, the possibilities are nearly endless.
As smartphones increase in popularity, the reliability of geo-location services for business is climbing. Social media and mobile marketing was once a bit of a guessing game. With geo-location apps, you can now send marketing materials or other content to potential customers based on a wide range of GPS-fueled criteria. These apps can automatically trigger through app detection or require manual activation by the user. Both methods offer differing benefits for nearly any business. For example, you can send a promotional offer to any customer who checks in to a location service within range of your storefront or provide coupons for a product when they are near a partnering retailer. Much like the impulse isle of your typical retailer, this provides a powerful way of putting your company in front of the customer at the optimal time.
With cloud computing, businesses of any size can enjoy the benefits of massive data storage, advanced computing and first-class network infrastructure. From project collaboration and file sharing to video conferencing and CRM solutions, services that once would cost thousands of dollars can be obtained using cloud services for a fraction of the cost. Many of the services require nothing more than a web-enabled device. This means you can create an office anywhere that you have Internet access and your smartphone, laptop or desktop computer.
When it comes to maximizing ROI for your business, one of the most important aspects is streamlining your daily processes. From replying to customer inquiries to managing your social media campaigns, each task during the business day costs time and money. Crowdsourcing allows businesses of any size to outsource many of these smaller tasks, such as chat support, appointment scheduling, article marketing or social media, to independent contractors for affordable prices.
The technological advance to hit the business world is currently the rise of Big Data. With the affordability of massive data centers and the sheer amount of traceable information available, data is being collected in amounts that were previously impossible to store, let alone analyze. Using complex computing systems and algorithms, businesses are now able to make sense of these large banks of data and are finding surprising trends and other information that is shaping the global market. Whether you are making your business around Big Data services or attempting to harness Big Data's wealth of information, it will likely have an impact on your business in the coming year.
About the author:
Carl Petoskey is a storied writer with years of experience working in the tech industry. When he’s not writing excellent articles, you can find him reviewing Comcast services like business class internet or business phone provider services.