These technologies could totally transform our working lives…
Every day, new technologies emerge that have the potential to change the way we do business. Harnessing the power of cutting-edge innovations can make your life easier at work while helping you get ahead of the competition. From computer vision to 5G networks, these are the five most exciting emerging technologies transforming businesses right now.
Big data and AI
Data volumes are expected to grow exponentially by 2025. It’s predicted the amount of data stored in the world will reach 175 zettabytes and 6 billion users will interact with online data every day by 2025. This brings with it huge opportunities, but it also brings challenges, namely security problems because you have to safely store and process that data.
One of the biggest benefits of big data is the ability to feed artificial intelligence algorithms, which have endless possibilities for businesses. At the moment, AI applications save us from doing menial, repetitive tasks, such as identifying images, but this is changing. “We’re already starting to see businesses using an AI to talk to another AI in a supplier to manage supply chain logistics and other tasks,” Alex Craven, Founder of The Data City told us.
Computer vision, otherwise known as the ability for computers to understand the visual world around us, is on the rise. In the past, it’s been expensive and is mostly restricted to tech giants or governments bodies, but not for long. “The increasing availability of edge computing, with specialist hardware that excels at deep learning, provides a platform upon which we’ll see the use of computer vision accelerate,” Carl Austin, CTO of BJSS told us.
Once a company starts to use computer vision for a particular project, it can become a platform for greater innovation and automation. This will change all kinds of businesses. “From quality control on production lines to identifying and responding to an assault captured on CCTV, edge devices will support the adoption of computer vision,” Carl explained.
Cloud technology is a game-changer. Not only does it allow us to access apps and work collaboratively from anywhere in the world, but it also enables us to store huge amounts of data online. No other technology has done as much to change how businesses work as cloud tech. “Cloud opens limitless possibilities for business, both internally and externally,” Rob Merrett, Principal at Credera told us.
In future, there will be a drive for more specialised cloud services. For example, the government recently introduced clouds to deal with the heightened security requirements of specific departments. “These specialisms will evolve over time and the leader will be whoever can capture the market’s eye with the best, reasonably priced features,” Rob explained.
Natural language processing
Advances in natural language processing (NLP), particularly for use in mobile applications, is changing the way business is done. NLP allows apps to recognise and interpret what humans are saying. “Previously it was only able to recognise single words, but now it is becoming powerful enough to understand the context of words in phrases,” Gabrielle Earnshaw, Principal Consultant at Infinity Works told us.
This means we’re getting closer to the reality of user interfaces being conversational, rather than having to type specific information into fiddly text boxes. The aim is to make apps smarter, by automatically analysing what content means and taking action from that. “This will make it much easier for us to work on our mobile devices, rather than needing to reach for our laptop every time we need to do something,” Gabrielle explained.
Businesses are moving from the traditional office set up to more remote ways of working. One emerging tech that will help this is the fifth generation of cellular network technology. With its new method of transforming data, 5G will reach speeds 20 times faster than 4G with reduced congestion and lower lags. While 4G can support about 4,000 devices per square kilometre, 5G will support around one million.
The connectivity and speed of 5G will allow people to work from more remote locations, or on the move, without being reliant on slow or unreliable broadband. “Businesses need to be able to function as though their online meetings and calls are taking place in real time, with no time lags, and this is where we see 5G as the answer,” Joshua Atkins, Founder of software company Jublo told us. “In a nutshell, 5G can bring freedom for businesses, digital nomads and freelance workers to work wherever and whenever they like.”