One of the most amazing aspects of technology is that it changes continually, giving humanity new and exciting ways to do work, have fun and more. However, for business leaders striving to keep their brands and businesses relevant, the inevitable evolution of technology can feel like a threat. No one can predict the future, so investing in one technology over another carries a risk. After all, a business leader doesn’t want to put everything they have into Betamax just to see VHS win the day — so to speak.
Fortunately, tech experts have a good idea of what technologies are likely to impact the business world next, and the sooner business leaders start using them, the better. Here are six current and developing technologies for business leaders to invest time and energy learning about, so their businesses can benefit.
Next-generation computers will rely on more advanced technologies that give computers more power and more insight, allowing them to solve ever more complicated problems at increasingly greater speeds. Like the business leaders of the 1960s that first harnessed the original, room-sized computers, business leaders of today can adopt next-gen computing to manage exceedingly complex business concerns, like logistics.
There are three possibilities for the technology behind next-gen computers:
- Quantum Computers: Using principles from quantum mechanics like superposition and entanglement, these computers create multidimensional spaces to represent and solve the world’s most complex problems.
- Biologically Inspired Computers: Bio-inspired computers take inspiration from biological systems to model and solve problems. Various concepts within computer science have biological counterparts — neural networks and the human brain, for example, guide technological development.
- Nano Computers: Computers have been shrinking since the first one was created, and soon, computers will be smaller than 10 nanometers in length. This will allow computer engineers to string together hundreds if not thousands of computers, dramatically increasing processing power.
Many business leaders have heard of blockchain, but it is rare for a leader outside the tech industry to fully understand what blockchain is and how to use it. Currently, blockchain proponents contend that blockchain is a revolutionary technology that will replace the internet — and it very well could. However, before that happens, business leaders can take a blockchain course to understand blockchain tech better and how it can assist with business innovation.
Artificial intelligence is a fascinating field that promises to deliver machines with the intelligence and capability of the human brain, or perhaps even greater intelligence and capability. Presently, advanced AIs are available only in computer science laboratories, but that doesn’t mean business leaders can’t benefit from narrower AIs purpose-built for specific tasks. Applied AI is used in various business software to speed up processes and aid in decision-making. Business leaders can look for AI solutions to replace older, less intelligent processes.
Virtual reality involves creating a completely simulated digital environment. Augmented reality involves overlaying computer-generated content in the real world. Extended reality (XR) involves both of these technologies and any other combination of real and virtual environments.
Over the coming years, XR will radically change the user experience, providing new dimensions to existing environments for consumers. Though XR is only just emerging, businesses that recognize the growth potential of XR and begin to harness this tech now are likely to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Since the pandemic, remote work has reached an all-time high, so solutions that allow businesses to coordinate remote workers have become the top priority for some leaders. A distributed cloud is a cloud computing architecture that utilizes multiple cloud infrastructures, such as a public cloud, an on-site data center, a colocation center and more.
Distributed clouds boast all the benefits of every type of cloud infrastructure because businesses can locate workloads and data in the most suitable cloud environment. Thus, business leaders who use distributed cloud networks gain increased compliance, increased uptime, faster processing, scalability, flexibility and more.
Blockchain, AI and the distributed cloud are already available to business leaders, and as next-gen computing and XR evolve, leaders need to be ready to deploy these solutions to remain competitive. Business leaders should strive to give their organizations and their customers the best possible solutions — and that might mean adopting the very latest in emerging technology.