Whether your business is a small startup or an established player in your industry, you need to move with the times in order to remain viable and modern. Integrating technological advancements is a must if you’re looking to ride the wave of exciting changes towards the future. Leveraging new technologies not only offers massive boosts in efficiency but signals to the broader audience that your business is strapped in for the ride. While there may be teething problems at first, business leaders who stay on top of the latest tech opportunities reap significant benefits. Improved efficiency, more effective customer service, and increased profit margins are just a few of the rewards for bringing your business into the future. But with the rate of technological advancement skyrocketing, how do you know what technologies to invest in? This survey of current trends in the uptake of technology by businesses in 2019 reveals which of the best tech tools are rising to the top.

Improvement in Cybersecurity is increasingly becoming a real necessity for the safety of business and customer data. Proactive network security monitoring is going to be a huge trend. This involves collecting, analysing and escalating the small indicators of potential threats by smart technologies. While Cybersecurity is a real growth area for business technology, it is also an area in which technology has its limits. Many attacks on business IT systems in recent times have been in the form of spear-phishing attacks and Ransomware. What is required for the success of these harmful cyber breaches is cooperation by someone within the organisation itself. Any employee with system access, be they a customer service representative or an executive, can unwittingly invite these attacks by performing an action required by the attacker such as opening a corrupt file. This means that securing your business networks is not adequate protection. Human error is a big problem, and businesses are starting to turn this weakness into strength by investing in employee training. Making sure your employees are adequately trained in identifying potential cyber attacks can provide a back up for the new technologies working hard to block attempted breaches.

What does ‘blockchain’ mean to you? If you’re thinking only of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin, then you have fallen behind. In recent years, new possibilities for this emerging technology have been explored. Owed to the highly sophisticated safety and security of the technology, large industries such as Agriculture and Health Care have been some of the first to jump on this fast-moving bandwagon, taking advantage of increased transparency, reduced friction and greater trust in decentralized processes. The uptake of blockchain in various other areas of the economy has proven so effective that it is expected that within five years, global market spending on blockchain technology will increase by over  £50 billion.

In addition to embracing broad operational changes, many businesses are taking advantage of advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) products to streamline specific processes. No longer confined to the realms of science fiction, AI has fully entered the business landscape, offering vast potential for increased efficiency through the automation of daily tasks, powering underlying processes, and analysing data for future improvements. Imagine having robots doing vast swathes of the work required by your organisation, saving your employees’ energy for tasks that require actual human beings. Spared from performing repetitive tasks, you’re able to focus on improving your skills and breaking new ground. As a forward-thinking business leader, you can expect to feel like a kid in a candy store when you start looking at options for incorporating AI-powered products.

For example, how much time does your receptionist spend managing meeting bookings? Gluru is a virtual assistant which eliminates all the back-and-forth that is usually required to set up your meetings, from nailing down a time and place to sending reminders and letting people know that you are unavailable when you are currently in your meeting. And remember the days when preparing for a business presentation meant hours of fiddling with Powerpoint? Now you can impress your clients with this presentation software without having to spend hours creating a modern design and flow that does justice to your ideas. If Recruitment is draining working hours from your organisation, this tool makes use of predictive technology to optimise your job listings, making sure that your listing is worded to speak directly to your target candidate. It also helps you eliminate gender bias, which can creep into manually created job listings, even on a subconscious level.

These days when people want to find something online, rather than type in a search, they are increasingly likely to pull out their smartphone and literally ask for the product or information they need. Voice search is quick and easy, and more importantly, it aids multitasking. In addition to using voice search to locate specific content, voice search is increasingly being used by individuals who aren’t sure exactly what they’re looking for. Posing more general queries and incorporating information relevant to their particular problem provides instant access to a wealth of information, which can then be narrowed down and curated. Making sure that your content is optimised for voice search will increase the visibility of your product online, enabling your customer to locate you quickly and conveniently. Voice queries are often longer than typed search queries. Embracing this more discursive approach to search means your business is more likely to come up in response to your potential customer’s query. Taking advantage of Voice Search improves your SEO and web traffic, driving exposure and conversions. Another feature of the queries made by Voice Search is that they are often local. People want to know about products and services in their area, so getting Voice Search optimised can be a real boost for local business possibilities.

These days a certain level of technological advancement is required for a business to stay afloat in the rapidly changing economic landscape. Companies who want to do more than stay afloat are not only incorporating new technologies into their business operations when they become widespread but actively investigating new options to stay ahead of the curve.