Technology is constantly evolving, so trying to stay ahead of the curve can mean you end up overlooking other parts of your business. If you’re starting a business from scratch, you may be wondering how new technology can affect startup businesses. We’ve collected some of the best examples of new technology in the business world, so you can decide what suits your business the most.
Some of the technologies we’ll look over are:
- Artificial intelligence
- Augmented reality
- Online conferencing
- Cloud computing
- Financial management
While we’re nowhere near true artificial intelligence or AI, (free-thinking and capable of independent thought), new applications are being discovered all the time. The development and growth of artificial intelligence is astonishing whether it’s being used for business or not.
Some common uses of AI are by social media and marketing businesses, such as TikTok. When you hear about social media algorithms, that is a form of AI gathering data to build customer profiles. These profiles can promote targeted advertising or fill your ‘feed’ with appropriate content.
A lesser-known use of AI is in farming and agriculture. The use of AI can improve farming efficiency by highlighting specific areas of farmland that need more attention. Farmers can use this real-time information to decide how best to look after their farmland, and cut their costs.
Artificial intelligence has countless uses. Perhaps that’s why sources predict the worldwide AI market to be worth about $126 billion by 2025.
Augmented and artificial reality
Understanding the importance of reality-changing technology can be difficult if you don’t know how they work. Augmented reality (AR) adjusts or builds on the physical world around us, while virtual reality (VR) creates an entirely new, digital space.
If you’ve used a face-changing filter on Snapchat, for instance, that is an example of using augmented reality. Alternatively, some businesses like the Natural Portrait Gallery, use AR to provide guests with a diverse artistic masterpiece experience while following a trail around London.
One company that plans to use AR and VR to completely revamp the business day-to-day is Meta (formerly Facebook). If you’ve heard about Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, chances are you’ve heard about the Metaverse. Designed to be a combination of virtual and augmented reality, they aim to change the way people interact — whether professionally or socially.
Meta has already released Horizon Workrooms, a VR app for the Oculus Quest 2, allowing workers to get together and see each other in a virtual office. Meta plans to expand and grow this service, to the point that you can take a virtual office with you wherever you go.
With a virtual office in place, you would be able to host presentations and meetings in a digital space, instead of a physical one. It could also make it easier for online businesses to meet and pitch to potential clients.
While services like Skype have offered video conferencing since 2006, work from home regulations have cemented their place in the business world. Whether it’s interviewing candidates, hosting team meetings, or recruiting clients, the vast majority of these processes now take place online. Even from 2019 to 2020, the worldwide revenue spent on video conferencing equipment increased from $436m to $483m.
There is also a wide range of apps and services available to choose from. Google Meets, for instance, is free to use and only requires a Gmail account. On the other hand, Zoom offers a wider range of functionality (like meeting recording) but requires a monthly subscription.
If you plan to start using online conferencing for your business, it may be better to experiment with free options first. By not immediately paying for conferencing software, you can get a cost-effective look at how it would fit into your business. Should you decide it’s a necessary purchase, you can always purchase an upgrade later.
Cloud computing is a relatively new technology that most people and businesses may not understand the appeal of at first. As companies transition into more flexible working structures, instead of a physical office, the benefits of cloud computing become clear.
When a business uses cloud computing, work no longer requires a specific device to be completed. In fact, any compatible device with an internet connection will allow documents to be created, worked on, and shared. This could be from a phone while in transit or a laptop in a coffee shop. Businesses can choose from multiple different cloud computing providers, such as Google Drive, Microsoft Azure, or Apple iCloud.
By integrating cloud computing into your business, you can reduce the need for a physical office. Being able to cut down on your office costs can help improve your business’ profitability. Not only that, but it can become easier to go on holiday or manage your business on the move.
Since cloud computing makes it extremely easy to take your work with you, it’s important to regulate your work time and maintain a healthy work-life balance. If you let your time blend together, it can impact your work quality, free time, or both. Instead, focus on setting yourself a work schedule, and stick to it.
A piece of technology that could be extremely useful to your business is financial management software. Using software like the Countingup app can drastically reduce the time you spend on long-winded processes.
The Countingup app offers a range of benefits like automatic categorisation, real-time profit and loss reporting, and unlimited custom invoicing. These processes are designed to give you a clear and accurate idea of your business’ financials, at a fraction of the effort it may normally take.
The automatic categorisation feature, for example, instantly sorts your business spending into HMRC-approved categories. By keeping your spending clear and organised, you’ll be more time-efficient when filling out your taxes.
Since Countingup is both accounting software and a business current account, it’s the only current account that lets customers view their cash flow in real-time. While other accounting software may link to your bank account, by having the two connected, you have greater accuracy and control over your finances.
Start your three-month free trial today.
Find out more here.