2017 saw rapid advances in technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain. However, small businesses have not yet fully felt the effect.
But 2018 is going to be different.
Many of the tech trends that were developed over the last couple of years are now going to trickle down to the small-business owner, affecting many different aspects of the operation.
Here are the top game-changing tech trends for 2018 that all small-business owners should know about.
1. Cryptocurrency Transactions
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are becoming more and more mainstream. Small business owners stand to gain much by allowing for cryptocurrency transactions. In fact, the cryptocurrency market hit nearly half a trillion in 2018 because of acceptance of the currencies at new levels. Trends show that cryptocurrency isn’t expected to go away any time soon.
Small-business owners can now take advantage of the multiple benefits of cryptocurrency transactions, with more confidence and faith in the new technology than ever before. As Sergey Grybniak over at Business.com explains, cryptocurrencies give small businesses a safe and secure new transaction method, new transparent ways of managing money through blockchain and the opportunity to cut out intermediaries like banks. Cryptocurrency is uniting the world in alternative systems of monetary transactions that small businesses can’t afford to lose out on.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence has been around since the 1950s, but only recently has it begun to affect our everyday lives. This year, it’s going to be a force that no small-business owner can ignore.
Most larger firms are already integrating AI into their daily routines – from automated customer support to robotic assembly lines. In other words, AI is streamlining many tasks that were formerly manual. While many small businesses will still not be able to invest in AI technology, they will have to compete with larger businesses that do.
The good news?
Tech tools that we all use are also making heavy investments in AI technology that will help level the playing field. Take Google for example – they’re making larger investments than big businesses like Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook combined.
Even small businesses who rely on Google platforms to reap the benefits from the comfort of their storefronts.
Related: 3 Ways to Improve Business Communication with Technology
3. Privacy and Security
With the growing popularity of virtual financial and data transactions, the chance of suffering from cyberattacks and data breaches is growing substantially. 2017 showed just how potentially devastating this could be with huge companies like Verizon getting hacked and exposing and jeopardizing the data of millions of their subscribers.
Despite these new risks to security and privacy, 2018 brings security hope. Small businesses will have access to better, more advanced tools that were previously reserved for enterprises.
Related: What You Need to Know About Network Security
Like we said earlier, the use of cryptocurrency and blockchain gives you more protection and privacy than ever before. Take for example new cryptography methods like Zero Knowledge Proof. It allows you to share data without revealing any personal information about the parties involved in the transaction. These types of technology are going to absolutely transform the way we do business and ensure better privacy and security than ever thought possible.
IT firms that manage data and transactions for businesses are also becoming smarter when it comes to security and privacy. The largest tech firms in the world (including Oracle, Cisco, and Dell) have just signed a new cybersecurity pledge dedicated to keeping your data safe.
2018 will present new risks in terms of security and privacy. However, it will also present opportunities for safety that have never been available before.
Tackling Tech Trends with Axxys
Tech trends indicate a new type of technological era coming about. To best secure your organization’s future in these times, it’s best to partner with a technology expert that can guide you through it all.
After all, that’s what we’re here for.
Want to keep reading? Check out How to Avoid Ransomware: Your 3-part Guide