5 Tech Trends That Will Affect Your Business Strategy in 2015
Don’t let your business become the next technology dinosaur. We’ve seen it to often in the past, companies who are too slow to adapt, sink into the graveyard of forgotten dreams. If your company is going to survive in the era of innovation, you’ll need to stay up to date with the latest technologies, tools, and services. Prepare ahead for what changes are being made and how they might affect your industry. Here’s a short list of 5 trends in technology that very well could make or break your business, all 5 of which will be growing significantly in 2015.
Think about how many times you use your smartphone throughout your day. More than you can count. Mobile is becoming an unstoppable force. According to a recent Nielsen report, more time is spent consuming content on mobile than on desktops/laptops, television, and radio. We live in a fast paced, on-demand world, where people want their information whenever and wherever they are. This is perfectly suited for smartphones and tablets.
So what does this mean for your business? It means eyeballs have been and will continue to shift towards mobile devices. Keep in mind, because of the difference in screen real-estate, the way your customers are engaging with their mobile device creates a completely different experience than their desktop or laptop. If you already haven’t started thinking about this, your brand should be planning for mobile optimization moving forward. Most importantly, your website should be mobile friendly, without sacrificing any important experiential components that are viewable on the desktop experience. If your desktop experience includes call-to-actions, or newsletter signups, make sure those things are also available in a mobile-friendly fashion.
Your marketing strategies should also reflect the mobile movement. Take specific consideration of which marketing channels your brand is using, and where your marketing dollars are being spent. Even your ad campaigns can and should be tweaked specifically for a mobile experience. If you’re not currently utilizing social media strategies and optimizing for mobile traffic, here’s 5 reasons why you should.
Big Data and Advanced Analytics
Information has been collected about our every like, share, website visits, social platforms we use, ads we click on, purchases we make… you get the idea. These large piles of data will become even more ‘usable’ in 2015.
According to a recent study by Forrester Research, most companies are neglecting close to 88% of the data they’re collecting, and may be missing out on valuable customer insights. 2015 will spark new trends in data management and the speed at which we’re able to collect and filter this data will continue to increase, as well as our ability to use it immediately. Real-time consumer feedback will be a powerful tool for businesses in the upcoming year.
How well does your brand know it’s customers? These data points can be used to increase the intelligence within hyper-targeted marketing campaigns. Accurate consumer feedback can ultimately lead to better products, faster responses, and happier customers.
Allocating your time towards developing a better understanding of how to read these data points and what they mean about your customers will provide a long term value for your business.
Have you ever been hacked or know someone that has? Ever been asked to reset your password by a reputable service? The threat is certainly real. From a consumer standpoint there are precautions we can take when creating a password, but how secure is the database where our information is being stored?
Customers need to trust that their personal information is in a safe place and fully protected, this will make or break businesses in the future. These issues have been more recently thrust into the limelight with companies like Target, K-mart, Home Depot, among others being breached. There’s an interesting visualization of these breach occurrences here.
Personal information is extremely valuable to your customers, and they will stay loyal if you’re able to protect it. Moreover, they won’t mind paying a premium to ensure it’s safe with your service or business. If a competitor company can offer these type of safeguards and your business is unable, you may feel the impact as customers begin to place more value on security in 2015.
So what can your company do to improve it’s digital security? Much of that will be dependent on your current infrastructure. There are 3rd party safeguards that can be put in place, or companies like TechStarters that can help you design and implement a digital security plan based on your business needs for both hardware and software.
Mobile Payment Technologies
By now we’ve all heard the buzzwords Google Wallet and Apple Pay. These two behemoth companies are once again going head to head, this time in the mobile payment space. Although the functionality will be different for each, it’s clear that retail is heading in this direction and your business should be prepared. There is a colossal law change anticipated for 2015 which will require retailers to update their payment terminals to support these types of NFC technologies.
Your business should be mobile ready with or without retail location. 3rd party devices like square could work really well for small to mid-sized startup businesses, but there’s a ton of other options out there. It’s important to know which services or technologies are the best fit for how your company does business now, and in the future. Regardless of the vertical your company is in, keep in mind customers are looking for as little friction as possible when making a purchase decision.
Cloud Software and Services
The term cloud computing has rattled in our ears quite loudly the past few years. It’s more than just a marketing term, it’s the powerful promise of information on-demand. Businesses have taken to the cloud for easier collaboration, better insights and visibility, more rapid development, and according to IBM the results are proven. 25% of businesses saw a reduction in their IT costs, 49% saw an increase in employee mobility, and 55% saw an increase in efficiency.
Even if your business isn’t yet ready for the cloud, it’s important to start laying the groundwork and planning for your future success. There are plenty of professional technology teams, like TechStarters, that will help you make the best decisions for your company and provide you with the information you’ll need to keep up with these vital tech trends.