Five technology trends that have shaped businesses in 2018

Technology is continually reshaping all aspects of our lives, from the ways we work to how we communicate – and it’s revolutionising our approach to business, too. Such developments in technology can provide exciting opportunities for businesses, and it is important to grab these opportunities to steal a march on the competition while you still can.

With new technology, businesses can provide new offerings and become more productive, resourceful and cost-efficient.

Technological advancement continued at a rapid pace in 2018, and we wouldn’t blame you if you found it difficult to keep up with at times. Here, we revisit five technology trends that shaped business in 2018.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being incorporated into a range of applications, and it hasn’t slowed down in 2018. AI allows applications to learn and improve over time without needing to be told what to do.

AI is a technology trend that has continued to shape business in 2018, being used for customer service applications such as chatbots. AI works alongside traditional communication channels, giving customers an added service and catering to different needs.

Human resources (HR) is just one of the fields being disrupted by AI, with chatbots proving invaluable for such tasks as recruitment and employee training. AI is transforming HR departments through its automation of repetitive, low-value tasks, allowing staff to use their time more efficiently and strategically.

Mobile and contactless payments

As shopping habits evolve, e-commerce and m-commerce are becoming rapidly developing markets. The expansion of smartphones and tablets has led to customers feeling more comfortable when using mobile payments to make faster, easier transactions. Improvements to mobile security have also contributed to such growth.

Contactless payments are also on the rise, with The Guardian reporting that contactless payments accounted for 52% of in-store payments in July. Research has also found that 42% of consumers want higher limits on contactless payments.

Mobile and contactless payments have increased in usage during 2018, and this trend looks very much set to continue. Subsequently, more businesses are updating their applications, adding such payment features to keep up with consumer demands.

Cloud hosting is one way you can quickly set up telecommunications and Internet access for payments.

Unified communications

With estimates that the number of flexible workers in the UK now stands at around 1.5 million people, unified communications have become a technology trend shaping business in 2018. By 2020, 70% of British-based workers are expected to become flexible workers. This growth has seen the need for tools that allow staff to stay well-connected regardless of their location.

Making use of unified communications in 2018 has allowed more businesses to embrace flexible workers, as information can be communicated to and shared with employees no matter where they are based. The increase in integrating all communications into one entity has moulded a new working lifestyle for employees, allowing them to work from any location on any device.

The cloud

With predictions of more than 50% of enterprises adopting applications, platforms and service enabled by the cloud, it continues to impact business operations in 2018.

Server-less cloud technology is one trend that particularly prevailed in 2018, with more businesses choosing to connect and use cloud services without the concern of managing and maintaining the infrastructure itself.

Cloud technology allows for flexibility, cost savings and better connectivity, to name a few of its benefits. Given that businesses stand to gain so much from the cloud, it is easy to see why the adoption of cloud services remained a strong trend in 2018.

As-a-service models

As-a-service models are a continued trend in business this year. This can be attributed to the sustained growth seen by cloud computing, as mentioned above. With the expansion of cloud computing, cloud-based services (such as SaaS, PaaS and IaaS) have also become more prominent.

Such service models are popular due to their simplicity, flexibility and cost-saving benefits. Systems being ‘pay-as-you-use’ means resources aren’t wasted, which saves money and boosts efficiency.

At Gamma, you can find as-a-service and pay-as-you-use models that will help your firm to adapt to the technology trends shaping business today.

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