What does the new year hold and what trends should you be aware of in 2019?
Today, we are going to look at technology trends that we believe will make a difference for businesses this year.
Blockchain: Secure & More Efficient Transactions
The blockchain technology is mainly known due to the immense interest in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. What makes this technology so special is the way transactions are processed. They are stored and reviewed decentrally by different parties in a chain of transaction blocks. This way, every change is recorded transparently and the decentralized storage makes this technology very secure.
This makes the technology not only interesting for creating cryptocurrencies, but also offers numerous business applications. An example is the conclusion of smart contracts, which don’t need a middle man anymore. When using smart contracts, no third party must be trusted anymore and time and costs can be saved.
A good example is crowdfunding. Currently, users can add projects to a crowdfunding platform. Interested users can look at these projects and invest money. The invested money is managed by the platform, i.e. a middle man. However, with the help of smart contracts, this could be done automatically via a program based on blockchain technology. Further examples for the usage of blockchain technology are the payment of employees or the execution of votes.
IoT: The Factory of the Future
If you hear the term “Internet of Things” home automation will probably come to your mind first. However, not only everyday objects such as washing machines, refrigerators or door locks can communicate with each other and can be controlled by an external device.
What is possible for one’s own four walls can also be transferred to entire factories. The goal is to combine product development, production and logistics in such a way that an intelligent factory is created. This should lead to a more efficient production in which future problems can be identified in advance and the production can be more responsive to the current needs and individual customer requests.
Promising projects already exist. Airbus is working on the “Factory of the Future“. In its large-scale research project the company is trying to make the idea of an intelligent factory reality. Mercedes has set up a similar research project, which is supposed to make progress with Industry 4.0 developments.
Chatbots and Voice Assistants: Focus on Customer Experience & Efficiency
Chatbots and voice assistants are already a part of everyday life. This is what makes them a great tool for improving the customer experience through customer service and marketing.
Especially with the increasing popularity of smart speakers, more and more people use voice assistants. This provides companies with a unique communication channel to communicate with their customers. In the next few years, the distribution is set to grow. According to Strategy Analytics forecasts from 2018, the revenue made with smart speakers will increase from $ 4.5 billion in 2017 to $ 30 billion by 2024.
In addition to customer service and marketing, chatbots and voice assistants also offer promising opportunities within companies. You can arrange many tasks, such as arranging meetings or booking conference rooms, thus making your daily work as efficient as possible. Especially with the constant improvement of this technology, chatbots and voice assistants will become increasingly important within companies in 2019.
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AI: More Efficient Processes Throughout the Company
If you look at the predictions on kdnuggets.com, you can clearly see that in 2019 great expectations will be placed on AI. Improvements in Natural Language Processing are expected as well as in data analysis and marketing automation.
The capabilities of AI are almost limitless, so these technologies can affect all business units. Although the use of AI technologies in Germany is still in its infancy. Yet, 70% plan to use AI technologies in their companies in the near future. So major changes in companies can be expected.
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