Since around the year 2000, digital systems have become an undeniably indispensable part of most modern businesses. The convenience and different benefits offered by modern developments have utterly reshaped how the business world operates, and this evolution shows no signs of slowing down. Looking back on the last 20 years, we want to examine some of the biggest examples of technology contributions to business, to see what sort of advantages they offer now, and what they look likely to bring forward in the future.
Developing Augmented Reality
Primarily used so far in gaming, augmented reality is a technology with immense untapped potential. In essence, it works from devices connected to both screens and cameras. The camera or cameras scan an image, the device provides the requisite calculations, and then a digitally enhanced or augmented final output is pushed to a screen.
Perhaps the most obvious advantages of this technology come from medical business. Connected to a series of precise cameras and powerful computing software, augmented reality in the future could allow doctors a much more intricate view of a subject than what they are capable of seeing with human eyes alone. It might be a few years away from regular operation yet, but make no mistake, this technology is practically guaranteed to reshape the medical industry going forward.
“Testing augmented reality with the N900” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by henribergius
Virtual private networks, also called VPNs, are a relatively new entry within the mainstream, but they are a technology that is none the less incredibly useful. In effect, these systems allow users of any online technology to trick systems into thinking they’re coming from an alternative location. This can be great for better media selection, but we’ve also seen major benefits from businesses.
The single greatest advantage on this front is one born from safety. Data used through a VPN is effectively forced to go through heavy levels of encryption, as well as dedicated firewalls, both of which work to obfuscate and protect user data from outsiders. As financial and user information can be transmitted on company networks, this makes VPNs, for many businesses, an indispensable tool.
With business systems becoming increasingly digital, a consistently greater level of data is moving from fire cabinets and onto file systems. This generates enormous advantages to many aspects of sorting and searching, but it can also create issues of storage capacity and data volatility. Of course, these are issues that are shared in some ways with traditional storage solutions, however, modern digital potential issues are much easier to overcome.
Cloud storage works as a way for businesses to place their data directly online, as either a backup or a primary means of storage. This comes with two major advantages. The first is that it can make important user data impossible to steal from a physical location. For example, if a thief steals a computer without an ID, they might recover no information. The second advantages come from the protection of data. In the case of a catastrophe that affects a business computer directly, data can be easily recovered from cloud storage and reloaded onto a computer’s networked system.
“Dropbox” (CC BY 2.0) by IN 30 MINUTES Guides
Social Media Advertising and Engagement
Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. While many of us might choose to avoid it in our personal lives, there is no doubt that it can be enormously influential and important for business applications. As free services, a properly managed social media account can allow a business a far greater reach than it could ever achieve otherwise, and with only a minimal investment in time and staff cost.
These benefits can be equally true across all sizes of business, from small local efforts to major international industries. Posts in regional Facebook groups and sharing semi-related memes to build interest on Instagram are methods that have fundamentally reshaped the way advertising works. This is hugely beneficial to a business’s bottom line.
The Rise of the Smartphone
Ubiquitous as they are today, it can be difficult to remember a time where smartphones weren’t constantly by our sides. Again, as with social media, the personal use of these devices can be divisive, but there is still no doubting their benefits for business.
The biggest advantages here come from their capacities to operate mobile internet. The smaller screen sizes of these devices can limit their use to the likes of email if we want to maintain efficient control, but even this could soon be changing. The recent introduction of folding-screen phones could allow us to completely overcome the limitations of smaller screens, significantly opening up smartphone usage for businesses.
“SAMSUNG Galaxy Fold Foldable Phone” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by TheBetterDay
It can be frustrating, in some ways, to exist in an age of business that necessitates such rapid technological growth. Keeping track of new trends and updating systems can be expensive and tiresome, but in most cases, the advantages to productivity and a business’s bottom-line mean the benefits far outweigh the costs. Wherever modern businesses could be in another 20 years, there is no doubt that they’ll be more digital than ever before, no matter what form they take.