New technologies have always had an impact on businesses. When the internet first came onto the scene, it had a major effect. Businesses were suddenly able to communicate with employees and customers all over the world. Then came mobile internet and the rise of the cloud, which brought changes of their own. Successful business owners adapted to the changes new technologies created. Those who weren’t able to adapt failed.
Disruptive technologies aren’t just a thing of the past. Technological advances are continuing at a rapid pace, and companies need to watch for trends. These changes will shake up businesses, just like the advances that came before them.
Here are five of the disruptive technologies that are impacting businesses today.
1. Blockchain Technology
Blockchain is the technology behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It’s a global ledger that’s open to anyone. This ledger securely and automatically handles digital transactions. Information is stored on networks of personal computers, so it’s decentralized. With millions of users, it’s hard for anyone to corrupt the network or take down the information.
Blockchain transactions are free, so they have the potential to disrupt any business that makes its money from charging small fees. For example, customers could bypass banks or credit card companies.
2. 3D Printing
3D printing isn’t new, but it only became mainstream recently. With 3D printing, companies can print three-dimensional objects with models they’ve created with CAD programs. Layers of material are added until the object is complete. There are many applications for this technology.
For example, aerospace companies are using 3D printing to make parts for their aircrafts. Automotive companies are doing the same thing, but with their cars. A construction company even printed an entire office building with a 3D printer. This technology lets companies manufacture products more quickly than they otherwise could, while also cutting labour costs.
3. Machine Learning
Computer scientists haven’t created sentient robots yet, but machine learning is a step in that direction. Machine learning means computer systems can learn and improve after being exposed to new data. Essentially, this means computer systems don’t need to be traditionally programmed and can write software for themselves.
Chatbots are one of the applications of machine learning. These bots communicate intelligently with your customers 24/7. With their data-backed insights, your company could enjoy higher profits and increased productivity. To take advantage of machine learning, you’ll need to hire top engineers and IT professionals for your team.
4. Biometric Verification
If you’ve ever used your fingerprint to unlock your smartphone, you’ve used biometric verification. This technology measures people’s unique characteristics and identifies them based on those characteristics. Your fingerprint isn’t the only thing that can be measured. Your retina, face, or even ear features can be used to verify your identity.
Biometric verification can be used to give customers increased security or a more personalized experience. The automotive industry is one area where biometrics can cause big changes. For example, future cars will be able to identify who’s driving and customize driver assistance settings to suit that person.
5. Internet of Things
The internet of things (IoT) refers to the devices—other than typical ones, like computers—that are connected to the internet. You may have some IoT devices in your kitchen. For example, you may have a coffeemaker that’s connected to the internet and can be turned on with a smartphone app. These types of devices are useful around the house, but the same technology can have a major effect on businesses.
In manufacturing, the IoT can help companies monitor devices in their factories. This can help manufacturing companies become more efficient and stop wasting resources; companies that don’t adopt IoT technology could fall behind. The automobile industry is also being affected. For example, when cars are connected to the internet, automakers can automatically release software updates.
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