Let’s take a trip back to the 1980’s and step inside the office of a therapist. There a patient is talking about her fear that one day the government will store all our information on private computers. Facts, details, likes and dislikes that we have will be sold like currency and identities will soon be stolen by just using a bank statement. That individual would have been told that she was paranoid, bordering on crazy. In fact, the therapist would have suggested that she leave a bank statement lying around. This would prove that she was perfectly safe losing information such as this. That might have been true back then but now the world has changed. Now, that paranoia of what the future could be has become a reality.
Our information is stored on massive computer drives by the government. Identities can be stolen with one piece of sensitive data. Marketers do share and sell information about us to make sure we see the ads that make us most likely to buy. But interestingly, all of this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to examine how tech has truly shaped the world you need to think about businesses. In particular, you need to look at the new role tech has to play in the business economy and where it will lead us in the future.
Robotics, AI And The Turing Test
You might think that we are quite a few years off robots taking the jobs of humans in the workplace. We think you’ll probably be surprised to hear that this has already happened. In the manufacturing industry, it’s quite common for business owners to use robots rather than to bother hiring humans. There’s a simple reason for this. Robots are cheaper because while you need power to run them, they don’t need a wage. They also don’t need to be provided benefits or incentives to function to their maximum potential. They will work well regardless.
Of course, there is a difference between robotics and AI or artificial intelligence. But even that has started to creep into the business world. Slowly but surely, we are seeing tech develop that thinks and that understands. Indeed, if you ring up a call handling service, you will usually be greeted by an automated piece of software. This software is designed to sound like a human. Although, it certainly does not have the same intelligence level, it can still understand you. It can recognise what you’re asking and place you with the right department.
We’re not quite at the stage where an AI would pass the Turing Test. But rest assured, that day is now on the horizon and it’ll be here sooner than you think. At that point, robots could essentially handle most of the jobs that humans currently complete.
Preparing For Disaster
What was the biggest disaster that could befall a business before the rise of technology? It was probably a theft or a serious accident. These days, the biggest threat your business faces is a tech failure. If tech fails in your company, the business won’t be able to function on the market. You will face severe difficulties and could even lose customers to the competition that is still able to perform. It is true to say that if this situation happened, you would struggle to recover. That’s why many business owners are now investing a lot of money in IT outsourcing. With IT sourcing businesses are able to get the support for IT specialists they need without the massive costs involved. With an IT support team, any disaster with tech can be handled quickly and efficiently. Hopefully, before it creates a noticeable impact on the business.
It would be true to say that a tech system in a business won’t just crash for no reason. There will likely be a cause and that cause could be an attack on the company. Hacks are quite common these days. For instance, A DNS server hack crashed thousands of business sites just a few months ago. Businesses can no longer assume or hope this won’t happen to them. They must be prepared and ready to deal with the consequences.
Is there any business that won’t be at least partially online in the future? The answer is probably not and there’s an excellent reason for this. Firstly, in the case of many businesses there’s no reason to have an official real world address. They can function perfectly well just by using a website. Then there is the issue of cost. It is a great deal less expensive to run a business online. But there’s also the fact that customers now prefer to buy online anyway. Due to this there is virtually no point in businesses trying to continue to sell offline. Retail stores in particular struggle on the old offline business model. Particularly when massive stores online can offer all the products at a far lower price.
In the future, it is likely that virtually everything you can buy will primarily be online. Yes stores will still be important in rare cases but there will be very few around. This has already started to happen but it won’t just be products. Most services will be bought and paid for online as well with very few face to face meetings. Face to face meetings are slowly disappearing from society so it makes sense that they would no longer be relevant in business.
Of course, this shift to online business will also mean a greater focus on tech. Again, this has already begun with cloud servers ,the primary purchase business owners will need in 2017. Cloud servers allow for two needs. The first is the safe storage of information for business owners. The second is the ability to quickly transfer data all over the world in short period. It’s true to say that cloud servers are revolutionising business performance and what is possible on the market.
Does the direction tech is heading in trouble you? Automation and a further reliance on machines. Or are you happy to relinquish control?