The starting of a new decade means new resolutions, new goals to set and achieve, and finding innovative ways to better your business. Staying successful in such a competitive world makes your entrepreneurship journey, no matter your field of business, that much harder. But if there is one thing that is paramount, if you want to stay on top of your competition, that is technology.
In the past decade, we have been showered with technological innovations that either improved or completely disrupted the business world as we know it. Almost everything benefited from a digital transformation, and nearly all devices became smarter, no matter if you are talking about phones, cars or houses. But with a new decade to come, what are the technologies that will help better your business in 2020?
Innovative high-tech desk phones
Ever since mobile phones became a thing, landline phones lost more and more popularity, but what if I told you they are making a comeback? Smart desk phones can now be connected via Bluetooth or USB to your smartphone, and turn it into a nice office addition, with a twist. If you want to separate your personal life from your professional life, simply use a smartphone, connect it to a smart desk phone speaker and leave it behind once you leave the office.
Such devices can also be transformed into high-quality speakers, perfect for long phone calls at the office, when you need your hands free, to do other tasks as well. They can be configured to work with any smartphone, be it an Android or iOS one, either by Bluetooth or by using a USB dock station. And, what’s more, you can even use them as a speaker, to play music.
Using a desk phone makes it much easier to manage waiting calls and switch between lines as well. Just remember to play some good music on hold, to entertain your callers while they wait.
The 2010s were the years of smart devices, and we are guessing the following decade will only make them smarter. Smart offices are places where modern technology is leveraged to their maximum potential, in order to help and better employee work.
- Amongst the favorite features incorporated in smart offices are:
- Self-adjusting window shades and lighting, to help employees benefit from natural light for as much as possible, without having to constantly get up and switch the light on and off. Plus, it makes for a great way to cut down on utility bills.
- Smart thermostats, that adjust the temperature based on the outside weather, the person’s likings and other external factors
- Apps for booking meeting rooms or conference halls inside large companies
- Collaboration software and hardware, to make team working more effective
- Smart assistants to schedule meetings
Automation aims to simplify business processes, no matter the field, by taking simple and repetitive tasks out of the hands of human employees, thus allowing them to focus on more important ones. In 2020, strategic automation will be one of the key technologies, meaning we will be seeing more of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Collaborative Robots reshaping industries.
Strategic automation is a combination of artificial intelligence and simple automation, meaning businesses will be able to efficiently decide what tasks to automate and what tasks still require human assistance.
Through automation, businesses can now increase efficiency and reduce the time spent on solving simple and unengaging tasks. Think of an automotive company, for example. In the past, every component piece of a car needed to be examined by hand, and ensure it fit the pattern. Now, all of these things can be done automatically, by collaborative robots (cobots), allowing human employees to focus tasks that require a human touch.
Another popular solution is secure systems that monitors employee spending through prepaid cards – this info is automatically consolidated in a ‘payment control dashboard', instead of finance departments having to sort through paper receipts.
When you are using the internet, it is almost certain that you are using some sort of a cloud service. For businesses, cloud computing solutions can tremendously reduce operational costs, increase efficiency and boost collaboration.
By using cloud computing services, businesses can cut down on on-site software needs, as well as hardware, to reduce maintenance and operational costs. Services such as PaaS and SaaS, as well as the many types of clouds available help employees access files at any time, from any device, without the need for an in-house connection. All they need is internet access and a device they can open a browser on.
For some time now, the biggest concern when it comes to cloud computing was data security, especially when it came to public clouds. But such concerns are starting to be eradicated, with new technological improvements. In 2020, we are putting our money on security improvements for cloud computing, which will make businesses even more open towards it.
Have you even opened a website and a messenger box just pops out, with a simple “How may I help you?’ message? If the answer is yes, then you have stumbled upon a chatbot. Chatbots aim to help businesses automate part of their customer service process, by using AI to conduct simple conversations and answer customer messages.
We can safely assume that, in the decade to come, chatbots will only become smarter and simpler to use. Experts are saying that, in the following years, customer service will be conducted mostly without human involvement, with the use of the so-called virtual customer assistants.
The use of chatbots started began as a way to simplify the work of customer service agents, by acting as a more interactive Q&A section. Now chatbots can be used to recommend services or products, collect customer information, schedule meetings and automate many business processes. This way, customer service agents can focus on assisting customers that require a more unique approach.