By Bojana Vojnović
Smart businesses are continuously improving.
And with the huge moves that the pandemic has brought, businesses have been forced to change in more ways than expected.
But whether you’ve decided to go remote or opt for hybrid work, there are only more transformations down the road.
Optimizing certain parts of your business can boost efficiency, cut costs, and let you hire from wider talent sources.
1. Move everything to the cloud
Cloud computing isn’t a new technology, but it’s transforming more businesses every day.
The basic principle behind the cloud is letting an infrastructure manage data storage and processing instead of doing it all on a local computer or network. While there are a few challenges with the cloud, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.
The cloud can improve team connection and productivity. Since all data is stored in one place, it helps everyone stay up-to-date with recent changes. It also makes everything fast and scalable with remote access since productivity isn’t tied to a single device or group of devices.
A great example of this is a hosted contact center, which lets contact centers sync their efforts and even allows employees to work remotely.
If you’re thinking about upgrading to a cloud system, learn the most important factors to use for your decision.
2. Incorporate AI in your processes
AI stands for artificial intelligence, a broad term that refers to computers that can perform actions only humans do.
AI has been applied to almost every industry.
In the world of online education, AI helps customize learning and improve understanding. In the logistics industry, AI boosts efficiencies and finds ways to improve routes and packaging.
For example, AI at Amazon decides which box size is best for every unique order.
And AI is entering dozens of other industries, like healthcare and sustainability.
AI helps businesses boost revenue, improve the customer experience, increase productivity and efficiency, and drive business growth and transformation.
For example, digital assistants like Clearscope can help content teams deliver quality work. By working as an editor, writer, and keyword researcher, this kind of technology can enable one person to do the work of an entire team.
3. Improve security and efficiency with blockchain
Blockchain may be the most far-reaching invention of our lifetimes.
While most think of its connection to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, blockchain technology itself is merely a sophisticated way to keep records and ledgers accessible yet highly secure.
One of the most significant applications of the blockchain is in logistics. Since records are incredibly accurate, this technology enhances the supply chain and reduces fraud at major companies like FedEx and Walmart.
Other applications include innovative contract technology that enforces agreements and decentralized storage where anyone can earn for unused bandwidth.
Blockchain helps businesses with improved security, cost efficiency, traceability, business process speed, and confidentiality. It also optimizes real-time data transfers and updates across the globe, leading to reduced waste and errors.
Improvements in food transport and safety are a classic example of applied blockchain in action. Industry leaders like IBM now help businesses use this promising technology.
4. Optimize and boost efficiency with 3D or 4D printing
Affordable laser printers transformed the business in the 1980s. Expect to see the same or even more significant change with the advent of affordable 3D and 4D printers.
3D printing creates objects using molten plastic. Just like you can print any document with a 2D printer, a 3D printer can fabricate nearly any design.
If we go a step further, 4D printing adds the fourth dimension of time. These are 3D printed objects created with smart materials that react to their environment. Applications include objects that change their shape underwater, in different temperatures and more.
The benefits of 3D and 4D printing include:
- efficiency and
Since 3D printing improves speed while reducing costs, it’s set to change manufacturing like print-on-demand has transformed the publishing industry.
For example, 3D printing allows rapid prototyping, with fast and cheap changes before a product goes into mass production.
This quicker response time to consumer demand will also make 3D printing one of the most significant factors to shape the global economy.
5. Incorporate VR & AR in marketing activities
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are similar technologies that immerse us in digital worlds.
VR creates an entire simulated experience, similar to that of a video game. AR applies digital elements on top of the world we interact with.
Even though AR and VR are mostly known for their presence in gaming, they can be beneficial for any industry, from retail to healthcare.
There’s always been speculation that VR will become mainstream, but many of these applications have felt more gimmicky than helpful.
But the novelty factor makes AR and VR the perfect applications for your next marketing campaign.
For example, Lowe’s has created its Holoroom How To, where customers can enter a virtual world to learn DIY projects. The company has found VR recall is 36% higher than through learning with video.
Two examples of AR include IKEA’s Place app, where you can see how IKEA furniture would look in your house, and the Sephora Virtual Artist app, which shows how you’d look wearing different makeup styles.
There’s a reason 75% of Forbes’ top brands are using or investing in AR or VR right now.
Change can be intimidating, but transforming your business leads to better user experiences, lower costs, improved efficiency, and safer employees, clients, and data.
Every business aims to optimize business processes, and evolving technologies are offering precisely that. In the long term, adapting your business to these new transformations helps everyone.
About the Author
Bojana Vojnović is Editorial Manager at Nextiva and Editor in Chief at Amplitude Magazine. She combines her skills in organization, writing, content marketing, and SEO to meet the people in their search for answers. She has helped SaaS brands like Chatfuel to create their content strategies from scratch.