Tuesday, December 5, 2017

7 New Business Technologies To Implement In 2018

Your business' success is largely dependent on how rapidly and effectively you can get the attention of your end customer.  What I said sounds pretty smart, huh?  Don't give me any of the credit though, I stole this nugget of wisdom from Mr. Gary Vaynerchuk.  I'd love to be all up, meaning, "up to date," on business technology, but I admit that I'm not.  If I can't personally give you the best on a topic, I'll gladly defer to another expert.  And that's exactly what I've done today with this post, showcasing the very talented, Makeda Waterman.  She's so great that I'm hoping she'll consider returning again to CCM.  (Fingers crossed).  If you own a business, are an executive, or a CEO, you're gonna love today's guest post.  Enjoy!

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How was business for you this year?  In my opinion, 2017 was an ever-changing year.  The unexpected stories of data breaches and malware attacks on internationally known businesses was a standard news trend.  Millennials were a prime focus of marketing campaigns.  According to a Forbes  article, "This year it is estimated that millennials in the U.S. alone will be spending $200 billion.  By 2018, they will have the most spending power of any generation."  The stock market paid some business owners a handsome profit while unemployment decreased.

Entrepreneurs deserve to be included in the top technological advancements in the coming year.  Here are the top technologies you need to implement in your organization next year:

1.  Artificial Intelligence

The marketing department in your company can take advantage of artificial intelligence live chat to efficiently connect with customers through your website.

"AI" through conversational marketing platforms via your website messaging can save your marketing team time in strategizing ways to get prospects to your site.  Top leads are sent to your sales representatives through website visitors with an automated function that schedules meetings with your team.  The time a marketing team spends researching new ways to entice prospects to fill out online forms can be replaced by this technology.

2.  Automated Accounting Software

The cost to hire an individual accountant for a small business can cost between $22 to $180 an hour.  The annual cost of hiring an entire team can be cut by automated accounting software that includes Freshbooks.  The tedious task of submitting invoices, in addition to time spent as a business owner completing paperwork, can be eliminated.

3.  Video and Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and 360-degree video

The focus on YouTube has narrowed, with shifting expectations that Virtual Reality will be a favorite trend next year.  360-degree videos are no longer specific to museums or realtors showcasing property for sale.  Virtual tours already help consumers become acquainted with new products and services without leaving their homes.

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4.  Machine Learning

Facebook won't be the only organization that will use machine learning to scan images and videos in order to understand what customers want.  A few brands will use this technology to recognize consumer behaviors with imaging recognition software that helps a business compare a variety of objects, photos, and online characteristics to improve targeted marketing.  For example, you can find out if your product is popular among students at a university, in a corporate office, or a tourist location.

5.  Tailored Security

Cybersecurity will be tailored to fit business needs to best protect customer and employee data.  Internal factors in the decision-making process of designing security software will include a business' budget, IT infrastructure, and your particular industry.  Gartner, Inc reports that in 2018 businesses will spend up to $93 billion on security products, up from $86.4 billion in the present year.

6.  Human Resources Tech Recruiting

The healthcare, hospitality, retail, and services industries are expected to improve their human resources recruiting by using strategic sourcing practices to find top talent.  Known as recruitment management systems, chatbots and other technology will automate searches to find your next employee.  To increase your HR department's productivity, video assessment sent via email to applicants will eliminate the time recruiters spend calling and meeting candidates in person.

7.  Cloud Based Technology

A well known fact in business is that it can cost a company 6 to 9 month the salary of one employee to hire a new employee.  To retain employees, cutting hiring costs, cloud technology in unified communications will help to develop a flexible workplace.  In addition, businesses will invest in the installation of a cloud infrastructure to be designed and built on-site behind the corporate firewall.  An economic benefit to this approach is the pay-as-you-go option for a company to use the software.

Final Thoughts

You're at an advantage at this time of the year to implement new technology that will increase productivity, retain top talent, improve IT initiatives, and introduce customers to products in unexpected ways.  The feedback employees and customers have communicated this year can positively impact areas of improvement that if left unanswered, can potentially hurt your business.  Think of the costs of investing in new technology as a pathway to improving the customer experience.  As time passes, you can re-connect with key players in your organization to decide to keep or upgrade software that will benefit your bottom line.

Makeda Waterman is a professional writer with clips from CNBC Make It., Yahoo Finance News, Huffington Post, Glassdoor.com, Elite Daily, Bizcatalyst360.com, and others.  She is passionate about helping people improve their personal lives and careers through her writing.            

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