8 Business Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

Technology is changing more rapidly than ever before, and business owners must change with it if they’re to remain competitive. Keeping abreast of the latest trends and developments in technology is a vital skill for any CEO, business owner, or manager. Anyone who ignores the changing landscape of business technology does so at their own peril: no one relishes the thought of becoming the next Blockbuster. Here are just a few ways in which technology will reshape business in 2019.

More Remote Employees

As little as a decade ago, remote employees were rare in the field, an idea few employers would even entertain. But as technologies like video streaming and cloud computing render physical proximity ever more irrelevant, remote employment is becoming a highly-desired perk. For some employees, being able to work where they want is a requirement. It’s predicted that by 2020, almost three-quarters of all employees could be working remotely.

The Gig Economy

Almost half of working Americans have some kind of side business. Whether they deliver food for Uber Eats during their commute, sell hand-crafted goods on Etsy, or help others with various services, the gig economy is the new reality for many employers. Will this directly impact employers whose workers have a side hustle (or two) going on? Not necessarily — but it might pay to remain flexible and understanding of today’s economic realities.

Customer Relationships

Though the rise of chatbots, AI, and other technological solutions might make it seem like the “human touch” is no longer important, creating good relationships is still vital to a successful business. Customers in 2019 will want more control over their data, more personalized experiences, and a genuine connection with the companies they work with. Savvy business owners won’t ignore the importance of maintaining a personal touch in their transactions.

Analytics and Data Management

The good news: more sophisticated analytics and big data means business owners have unprecedented access to information about their customers. The bad news: there’s so much data that managing it can be hugely complicated. Successfully managing customer data requires someone with the skills to secure networks, analyze systems, and protect data.. With data growing ever more sophisticated to manage and analyze, data engineers and data managers will be in high demand in the coming year and beyond.

Robots and Automation

In 2019, “a robot will take your job” seems less like gallows humor and more like an inevitable outcome. Even if many human workers can’t be replaced by technology, there’s no denying the rise of automation is changing the way we do business. From surgical robots to self-driving vehicles to drone delivery, automation is on the cusp of transforming the world forever. Your company may not be ready to replace its workers with robots just yet — but forward-thinking CEOs are already considering the many ways automation will change their business, for better or worse.

The Rise of the Subscription Model

More and more, consumers are trending less toward ownership and more toward renting. Today’s consumers subscribe to Hulu rather than building massive media libraries, use Spotify and Google Play to listen to music, and subscribe to app services on their smartphones. Even software companies like Adobe are focusing on a subscription model rather than selling their software, and subscription services like Dollar Shave Club and HarryHYPERLINK “https://www.harrys.com/en/us”‘HYPERLINK “https://www.harrys.com/en/us”s have made record profits offering monthly subscriptions to their services. Whether a subscription is service and app-based or centered ongoing access to goods, it represents lucrative new opportunities for business owners.

Focus on Privacy

Customer privacy is poised to become more important than ever. The GDPR goes into effect this year, which means many businesses will have to update their privacy policies — or create one if they haven’t already. Customers want assurance that their data and personal information is being handled with integrity and their privacy is being taken seriously. A business that ignores the potential pitfalls of a data breach is asking for trouble.

Digital Ethics

But in today’s social environment, a privacy policy and a good product isn’t enough. Customers want to do business with companies who have a strong standards and values. This year saw social media giant Facebook run into trouble with users for its lack of a clear ethical strategy. Being neutral or “apolitical” isn’t enough for today’s consumers, especially the younger set. They want to be sure a company stands for something, or at least will manage themselves with integrity and transparency. Building a brand on trust and reliability will prove critical to success in business in 2019 and beyond.

Rapid changes and advancements in technology can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially when they disrupt or challenge existing business models. But embracing the coming trends means using them to your advantage and getting an edge on the competition.

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