Without doubt, technology has profoundly changed how business works. Its influence is everywhere, from smart homes to business operations. The 2020s will only continue to add new ways technology is used.
To remain profitable and competitive in the 2020s, businesses will have to be prepared to make the changes needed to meet their consumers’ new technological demands in meaningful ways. This will require input and participation from team members across the board, from marketing and sales to information technology (IT) to recruiting to production and distribution.
The following five trends reveal areas where technology will continue to evolve in the next decade.
Rather than being a replacement for 2G, 3G and 4G, 5G technology is poised to make next-generation wireless as fast as the fastest fiber-optic wired networks, which will give rise to new enterprise applications. Among the advances 5G is expected to enhance are vehicle-to-vehicle communication technologies, mobile wearables and the internet of things (IoT).
For global businesses, this will expose the different capabilities in developing countries, which may make doing business with countries that aren’t 5G-capable more complicated and more expensive.
People are increasingly concerned with how data are collected and used. California formally recognized this concern by enacting the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which went into effect January 1, 2020. The impact of this state law will be felt throughout the United States even though it is likely to take years to implement.
Ever since Europe enacted the General Data Protection Regulation, U.S. companies have been trying to comply, and the CCPA has given them a framework to follow. The law requires businesses to disclose (1) what information they collect, (2) why they collect it and (3) any third parties with whom they share that information.
California’s law gives consumers the right to opt out of their data being sold without retaliation (e.g., a change in price or level of service). Companies, however, are permitted to offer “financial incentives” for being allowed to collect data.
Consumer Demand for On-Demand
On-demand will continue to be a focus of consumers. To remain competitive, businesses will have to respond with collaborative commerce (c-commerce). C-commerce describes a business’s electronically enabled business interactions within an industry, industry segment, supply chain or supply chain segment.
Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality
Technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality will become even more pervasive in business. For service businesses, the goal will be to use these technologies to provide immediate, personalized service. For product-based businesses, the goal is using these technologies to provide products more efficiently.
Cybersecurity will be an overarching concern for businesses across the board. From having systems and procedures in place to protect internal processes and intellectual property to safeguarding customer data, companies will have to be able to respond to new threats.
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