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The Emerging Technologies to Watch for 2018 – 2024

Last updated:
8th Jan, 2021
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The Emerging Technologies to Watch for 2018 – 2024

A few years back, a research was conducted by Forrester about the progressive behaviour and pattern of the B2B customers. The study revealed that 74% of B2B buyers often research half or more than half of their work purchases online. The market research also discovered that approximately 56% of the buyers today prefer to buy their official products online. ‘Convenience’ is the major factor of influence in the shift to online from offline. 74% of B2B customers feel convenient to make a purchase online than deal with sales personnel. Undoubtedly, the results of the study and the pioneering data-driven marketing statistics have shackled the cuffs of the conventional marketers and sales moguls.
The question, ‘what’s next’ is a constant in a tech geek’s professional life. When it comes to technology, there is always something fresh and the hunt to develop and implement a new technology which could augment businesses is unyielding. The inquisitiveness to know and seek knowledge about the technology and how it is going to impact the daily lives of the human species.

A few years back, who could have thought that social, mobile, cloud, etc., technological platforms would rule out daily lives. The accelerated growth of the user’s needs and their expectations to interact in the real-time scenarios on these applications has disrupted the business ecosystem. These technological headways play a compelling role to face the challenges of the global world. These emerging technologies have the indeterminate power to strengthen the lives, transform the global economic scenarios and make this world a better place for the upcoming and future generations.
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Technology is indeed, one of the greatest change agents in the present world, and is moving faster than ever before. It has the supremacy to offer innovative solutions to the global challenges. The emerging technologies have brought a radical shift in the information, technology and development sector and thereby impacting the other industries along with sales and marketing business segments well. Mapping the imminent technology proposal of the business demands the business leaders to first identify these emerging technology trends. They ought to learn the dynamics of the technology and how it would impact the present and the future of the business.

Here are some of the most revolutionary and disruptive emerging technologies:

#1 Big Data

Big data is the buzzword. The last few years, every business firm is taking enormous efforts to learn and implement the uses of big data. The Big data technology is a very simple and effective concept. An exceptional method to collect, organise and comprehend the data for the benefit of the business. The quantitative output of the data-driven analysis is one of the core strengths of the big data technology.

For example, in the healthcare industry, an enormous amount of data analysis of a series of patients for a disease, could help to diagnosis the various signs and symptoms of the disease and offer a rational medical solution for the same. A big data expert could also help to find the hot spots of crime in the city for the Police Department and support to reduce crime.
The Big data technology involves building huge data architectures to organise and analyze the unstructured data and offer real-time value for the business. The vast augmentation of the digital data has enabled not just big, but also the small and medium enterprises disrupt the power of the big-data. This technology with right expertise would help the business to lower the cost of consumer gaining, augment sales and step into new business markets.
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#2 Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

An explicit example, in our daily lives, is Google’s ‘Hello Google’ or the Amazons ‘Alexa’. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence have taken huge leaps in the in the recent past few years. For example, a business can apply machine learning and offer the consumer a fresh purchasing option, depending on the analysis of the history of the purchasing pattern and taste of the consumer. Machine Learning could be an effective tool for the cyber financial frauds. Artificial Intelligence could be a more robust system to combat the new complex cyber-attacks. In simple terms, the highly advanced computers (machines) performing tasks, which is habitually done by humans.
The ML and AI technologies blend a variety of other skills and expertise such as neural networks, deep learning, and natural language processing. This also includes other statistical concepts to appreciate, learn, forecast, acclimate and potentially function autonomously. The machines are trained by human beings to learn and uplift the conduct of the human, in turn leading to more smart systems. This technology is enabled by the powerful data sets.
These smart machines and systems would be able to think on their own and produce unexpected outputs for the benefit of the security of the business. The industries which are expected to yield from ML and AI are hospitality, medical and other service sectors. The image recognition in the airport is a simple example of ML in our daily lives. The speech recognition by the Google assistant or Apple’s Siri is an explicit poignant idea and implementation of ML and AI. As the high-end systems replace humans and perform tasks with immense credibility, this technology will question of what it means to be human and the rapidly posing risks of this technology on the human species.

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#3 Market Automation

Every entrepreneur and business tycoon must be aware that the marketing automation is here to stay. In the present-day scenario, a sales and marketing personnel must automate processes in every way possible to offer the best experiences for the consumers. Businesses must leverage the benefits of this exclusive technology to eradicate the human-exclusive tasks. A robust automation tool is tailored to the explicit requirements of the business.
In simple words, marketing automation is a method to use technology and software applications to market the business products and services in several platforms and automate the repetitive tasks of the consumers. Marketing automation helps to save time, lowers the operating costs of the business, and optimises the performance of the business.
The online e-commerce leverages the best of automation technology. An e-commerce industry can use automation technology to understand the customer’s buying cycle and share the right message at the right time. For example, if he or she has left the shopping cart without making a purchase. An automated marketing system could send the customer a reminder message of the purchase or if any new discounts or offers are available for the same product.
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Learning the history of customer data purchases, business organisations can upsell, cross-sell and trigger cycle sell for the consumers. By reducing the human error using this technology, business entities can effectively manage their marketing campaigns and increase the performance of the marketing an s sales team.

#4 Internet of Things (IoT)

In a recent article by Forbes, about the Internet of Things (IoT), it stated that IoT is going to comprise 30 billion devices by 2020. IoT is seen as the change agent for the luxurious and effective lifestyle for the consumers, offering valuable customer interactions and exceptional experiences for them. IoT is one of the most exciting areas of focus today. The idea revolves around the nano-sensors circulating in the human body or any specific object. Once connected with the technology, this is going to have a proliferating impact on the various sectors such as medicine, agriculture, architecture etc.
IoT is an interconnecting technology. In simple terms, an interconnected smart home system. For example, the doorbells could be connected to a voice-based application which tells the information about the person on the doorstep. Every home appliances could relate to each other, such as a thermostat, security cameras, security lights, television sets, etc., and in turn, connected to the technology. A consumer-centric single, seamless solution for all their problems.
Amazon’s Alexa is a great example of fetching IoT to the user’s living room. The benefits of IoT is far beyond the four walls. The business entities could take the advantage of IoT by tracing and monitoring assets and offer real-time value and information to the consumers about the ups and downs of the market. In short, a strategy of prevention before the disaster. The occupational potentials offered by IoT are infinite.

#5 Cloud Computing

The market forecast states that in the next five years, 50% of the business organisations and global companies are moving their data to the cloud. This also points that Cloud Computing Technology companies such as Microsoft have greater responsibility to safeguard and secure the consumer valuable data. The use of cloud computing technology would ease the worry of security issues of the data for the business firms and help them focus on other important business activities.
No business organisation can ignore the benefits of cloud computing and must build a flexible and robust customer support system. For example, the educational institutions can leverage the use of cloud computing technology and aid students to enroll and access data of online classes from anywhere and everywhere. In the healthcare sector, operations and medical organisations can maintain the patient data, check the status of the patient and offer necessary treatments as and when necessary, without storing the data in the hardcopy of files.
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#6 Blockchain Technology

The Blockchain Technology is the disruptor of the Financial Industry. Mostly espoused by the cryptocurrency industry, today, even the conventional banks have started to clout its usage. The rise of bitcoin industry has raised the ambiguous inquisitiveness of the blockchain technology affecting the emerging markets. The blockchain technology is a digital principled ledger which creates numerous chained blocks of data and ensures sales and marketing resources are focused on the numbers of the business. Each block preserves cryptographically appropriate information which is infeasible for a discrete entity to demolish.

In the financial industry, the potential and implication of the blockchain technology are vast. This is useful to scale the speed of the financial transactions, trim the transaction costs and enlarge cash flow. This could also offer innovative methods in the way markets and government function. A clear understanding of the business opportunity and the potential of the technology is critical for the appropriate usage.
Along with machine learning and artificial intelligence, blockchain technology can automate and lift the daily business operations through its unique way of the inbuilt functioning architecture. For example, the blockchain technology can aid to eliminate the intermediaries of the payment and settlement systems of the capital markets. In the government digital initiatives, this can reduce the manual efforts of accounting and auditing.  An optimum technology to reduce the manual mundane tasks of the employees. The innate characteristics of the blockchain technology of being secure, transparent and autonomy have led to being solution-generator for different verticals of the industry.

#7 Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

The fascinating Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) is the current catchphrase of every technocrat. The AR and VR are potentially remodelling the way consumers interact with each other and the technology, inspiring the growth of pervasive settings. For instance, AR allows the user to blend the real and virtual world. With the help of VR technology, firms can deploy virtual business training and remote involvement. These technologies are changing the way the end-user is perceiving and interacting with the digital world. The system software along with development platforms and interface compete to deliver this technology.
The AR and VR had already had its digital footprint in the gaming industry. Most big companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Unity etc., have already deployed this technology and viewed the results. The technology is also helpful to know in-depth about the changing tastes of the target audience and has immense potential to influence the business strategies. The global companies like Walmart have adopted this technology for recruitment and training of the employees and offer a smooth experience of the consumers. The PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, Google DayDream, Samsung Gear, etc., are some of the evident examples of AR and VR.
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Sooner or later, these technological trends are going to take over every aspect of the business. Now is the time, when business firms and industrialists can bet their money on this vastly rising technology inclinations. They must make the best of the efforts to learn and appreciate the future disruptions associated with these emerging technologies. Looks like, the sky is the limit for the human creativity and these emerging and influential technologies are just the tip of the iceberg which are going to shake up the world tomorrow.

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Anshuman is working with the content team of UpGrad. He's passionate about improving Indian education system; before UpGrad he worked to build an ed-tech startup and was responsible for all marketing efforts. He's highly opinionated in current affairs and loves reading, writing & running.
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