Recent technological innovations helped companies of all sizes streamline their operations, reduce costs, and increase their productivity; thus increasing revenue. Ordinary tasks like computing payroll, tracking employee progress, securing online transactions, and marketing to customers are much simpler and less time-consuming with the help of innovative apps and hardware. New technologies such as robotics, AI, and the technologies that support remote working further increase the capacity and efficiency of today’s organizations. Companies that fail to adopt hardware and software improvements, risk falling behind their competition, perhaps to the point of no return. Today, we’ll cover some of the trends companies must adopt to save time and money that increase profits.
Trends companies should adopt for 2021
1. Innovative Software
When shopping for new software, examine a product’s value based on its potential to save you time and money. Ask your staff which software they need most and which programs add little value. Then, invest in training to help your employees optimize their performance with the new software. For instance, I once visited a firm using new supply chain management software. Employees sat with their computers pushed forward as they processed transactions using legacy paper methods then, when time allowed, they transferred information onto the computer using software designed to improve productivity.
Also, ensure you purchase software to accomplish tasks you do frequently to spread the cost over multiple tasks. For instance, purchasing a premium video editing program won’t benefit your team unless they frequently make videos for your website and advertising. Otherwise, hiring a gig worker or outsourcing your needs produces more value.
To save money, look for software bundles that include several apps in one package or software subscriptions that spread costs over a long period, such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud that includes a large number of programs with automatic updates that eliminate the need to repurchase software when a new version emerges.
And consider purchasing less expensive open-source software. Open-source software is much cheaper than name-brand items and often performs the same functions, maybe without all the bells and whistles. For instance, if your employees want to compute their paycheck after a long week, they can use a paystub generator with their cellphone or connected device.
2. Waste reduction
As consumers and governments are more environmentally conscious every year, one trend that has taken off around the world is waste reduction among other eco-friendly operational tactics. Such efforts not only reduce costs but increase your market appeal among consumers and increase your compliance with governmental regulations, especially in the EU where restrictions are more stringent.
To reduce your paper waste, transform transactions digitally — no more paper bills, invoices, or purchase orders. In addition to waste reduction, digital receipts and payment histories are available from any device at any time, are more easily searched, offer enhanced options for analysis, and you no longer require physical space for storage. Cloud storage, which becomes cheaper all the time, offers a low-cost option when compared to paper storage.
Speaking of waste, the pandemic identified the wastefulness of huge offices in the middle of big cities with high real estate costs. A trend businesses should adopt involves reducing or eliminating their physical footprint to allow employees to work from home. Instead of a massive structure, consider renting space on an as-needed basis for meetings or downsizing your space to house a fraction of your staff at any one time.
3. High-speed internet
You may have a sizable in-house and remote staff that spends most of their time working online. Frequent video conferences, remote work collaborations, and e-commerce functions require a robust online connection protected by a trusted security service. With the spread of 5G technology to more markets, it’s essential to have the infrastructure to support multiple high-speed connections. To protect your online data, you require an experienced security provider who offers multiple levels of safeguards for your network and data.
4. Cloud storage
If a cyberattack occurs at your company, you may be unable to access your operating system or sensitive data. The attack may corrupt external hard drives and the computers connected to your system, but you minimize the threat by investing in a cloud computing service. Cloud storage allows you to back up all your data in a digital file. You can access the cloud remotely from any device and restore your company’s data in the event of a cyberattack. Find a highly-rated cloud provider that offers high-level security guarantees and avoid newer firms with extraordinarily low prices.
5. Digital marketing
Every year, more companies move a portion of their marketing budget online and that percentage grows every year. In 2021, companies report they plan to allocate over 62% of their marketing budget to digital. Thus, one of the trends companies should adopt and learn to optimize is digital marketing, including YouTube, blogging, social media, and digital advertising.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are no longer innovative and this is one of the trends companies should adopt to survive.
Today’s businesses use the combined power of AI/ML for everything from chatbots that offer customer support 24/7, to managing remote devices such as pumps to ensure they’re maintained properly based on continuous sensor monitoring, often involving the internet of things (IoT).
Over the next few years, we’ll likely see drone delivery go from a novelty to commonplace as more businesses use these devices to deliver faster, avoid traffic (and the environmental costs of gasoline-powered engines), and better serve their customers. Drones featuring sensors and cameras will also monitor crops, ensuring each section of a field gets the exact amount of water and nutrients required, thus reducing costs and saving the environment. Drones have a wide variety of other uses, as well, including disaster relief to deliver needed supplies when access is limited, aid in construction, and exploration, as well as videography.
Robots have a long history in manufacturing, especially in situations deemed too dangerous for humans due to high temperatures or heavy weights. Plus, humans don’t excel in highly repetitive tasks, which are the bread and butter of robots.
One of the trends companies should adopt or at least consider is incorporating robots into their daily activities. Here are some innovative tasks you’ll see robots performing in the future:
- teaching assistants to query students in interesting ways
- kill germs in a variety of settings just as today’s robots vacuum
- harvesting crops
- picking and packing product for shipment, as Amazon does in some of its warehouses
- performing precision surgery with the help of a skilled surgeon
- we’d like to see robots performing many mundane tasks such as cleaning and food service
We’ll likely see extensive use of AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) moving well beyond current uses in gaming. Thus, this is another of the trends companies should adopt. Companies may use AR/VR as part of their training or as part of their e-commerce platform to allow potential buyers to interact with their products.
Another use of this technology is for planning. Not only can companies plan to improve space utilization or determine the optimal box size for shipping but customers can use AR/VR to determine how their space will look with your products installed. In real estate, this technology may soon replace the current practice of holding open houses and home visits by letting prospective buyers experience the home as it might be if they purchased it.
By combining this technology with beacons consumers can visit museums and other tourist attractions virtually, opening up new revenue streams for these businesses. Image seeing the Mona Lisa without the crowds, the long wait, the expense of traveling to Paris, and the plexiglass necessary to protect her image. Or, watch a Broadway play without the annoying person talking behind you for a fraction of the cost of attending the performance in person. And, if you choose to visit the attractions in person, AR/VR helps you navigate to where you want to go through airports, public transit, and roads.
More trends companies should adopt
If you want to learn more about trends companies should adopt, check out the graphic at the end of this post. If you want to share your ideas. comments, or questions, please post them in the comments section.
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