From the discovery of the wheel to the birth of the Internet, technology has always been the driving force behind humanity’s desire to evolve and improve. In the past, nations that possessed the secrets of steel and gunpowder held dominance over the other lesser-developed ones. Today, within the businesses sphere, the same rules apply as technological advancements are huge game-changers in the industry. As a result, businesses that lag behind will see a decrease in their efficiency and productivity levels in face of their immediate competitors. So, what are the today’s business equivalents to steel and gunpowder? Keep on reading to find out.

1. The rise of Digital Twins

The idea that everyone has another version of themselves, in other words a doppelgänger, running around the world, isn’t foreign to the digital domain. In fact, the concept of digital twins has existed for well over thirty years now, and until recently it was mostly used by NASA for spacecraft simulations. According to Gartner, by the year 2021, digital twins will be used by over half of the world’s large industrial companies, resulting in a 10% increase in effectiveness. Though, what exactly is this ‘sorcery’? Well, to put it plainly, a digital twin is a digital copy of a much more concrete physical object or process. This means that a digital twin is an exact representation of its physical counterpart. As a result, it can be used to test different versions and prototypes of any given product before the final release, making it an invaluable tool for global enterprises.

2. The shift to Cloud computing

As online platforms continue to increase their maximum storage capacities, businesses both big and small are flocking in large numbers towards the Cloud. According to Forrester, over half of the world’s global businesses will rely on at least one public cloud platform by the end of the year. This shouldn’t come as a surprise really, seeing as how the security measures employed by some of the more reputable Cloud-based platforms are more potent than those of your average mid-sized enterprise. What’s more, data stored on the Cloud isn’t only safer but is more available as well. Meaning, businesses can get access to their own data from almost anywhere at any given time.

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3. The growing dependence on AI

AI is the building block of the modern business world. As such, it’s present in all spheres of business, ranging from customer service which utilizes chatbots to cater to specific customer’s needs, to law firms using legal transcription services powered by AI. Even healthcare and education are becoming more reliant on AI to help facilitate administrative tasks, predict accurate patient treatments, and individual student curriculums. Yet, as this technology is still in its infancy, our understanding of AI is somewhat limited. Despite this, with the current advent of deep machine learning and Natural Language Processing, AI is becoming more sophisticated each passing day, resulting in a more personalized customer experience, highly accurate transcriptions, and a better understanding of the individual patient and student needs.

4. The increased focus on cybersecurity

With our growing dependence on the internet, cybersecurity has become a major concern for modern businesses. Safeguarding valuable business information from cyberattacks is crucial as potential data breaches and ransomware could cost companies in the millions. According to Juniper Research, by next year the overall cost of cybercrime will amass to more than $2 trillion for businesses worldwide. Most often these breaches are a result of poor security practices, and the lack of urgency from businesses to upgrade their software to the latest security patches. This means that, in the near future, combating cyberwarfare and finding solutions to prevent the same will become a global trend both inside the business sphere and beyond.

5. The appearance of Blockchain

Speaking of cybersecurity, one of the solutions to this problem presents itself in the form of Blockchain technology. This ground-breaking technology allows the easy distribution of data, through encrypted digital ledgers, which are almost impervious to any kind of outside tempering due to its decentralized system and public record-holding. Already known in the financial sector, thanks to the popularity of bitcoin last year, Blockchain is making great strides in becoming more applicable to other industries as well. Namely, its transparency and accountability are perfect for maintaining sensitive data usually connected with the healthcare and manufacturing industries, as well as the government. Likewise, it’s only a matter of time before it sees more general application in the form of small businesses and personal usage.

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In conclusion, keeping up with all of the latest tech trends is of vital importance for any business that wishes to stay ahead of the curve. Failing to do so could result in a potential loss of customers and relevance within the market.

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