Now we are almost 3 months passed in 2019, it’s time to look at the digital trends for businesses to pay attention to for the year ahead. 2018 saw some big developments in the technology world and it will be a hard one to top, however technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things hold big potential for business this year, but business leaders will need their finger on the pulse to stay on top of digital trends explored within this article by CRM software provider, PragmatiQ Solutions…

Trend 1. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
VR started to really take off in 2018 and was even labelled as a huge part of the future. We’re not saying it won’t be huge, however with limited accessibility, it hasn’t seen the rapid growth rate expected. On the other hand, Augmented Reality (AR) has been developing in the background ready to outpace VR in 2019.

The ability to be used on mobile phones and tablets makes Augmented Reality much more easily accessible and affordable than VR, which requires a headset for use.

Trend 2. Voice Search Marketing
By 2020, 50% of searches will be voice-based, according to ComScore. 2018 saw a huge increase in voice-search and devices like the Amazon Alexa, however most consumers are using this technology to listen to music and add items to their shopping list. Big brands, like Ocado who launched their hands-free shopping, are quickly picking up on this this shift in consumerism and pioneering the way in this new search environment.

These devices present an opportunity for consumers to simply buy a product by using their voice, and the sooner brands understand this, the sooner they can market their products via this emerging technology and reap the rewards.

According to Forbes, the voice search revolution has been fueled by the rise in smart speakers, which has more than tripled in the last year, with more consumers having these devices in their homes than ever. Although it’s not clear how this trend will develop, PragmatiQ Solutions believe that it’s here to stay and you can find more information on this here.

Trend 3. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
At the Microsoft Ignite conference in July 2018, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella predicted “AI to be one of the trends that is going to be the next big shift in technology”, and we agree.

These platforms can analyse data to form a set of insights which mirror human decision-making processes or automate tasks to increase the productivity and efficiency of teams within your business. From manufacturing to healthcare and many more, AI & Machine Learning is assisting many industries, despite the past assumptions it would just benefit sales teams.

Requiring integration with current systems and a strategic approach to cover planning and deployment, it is essential that organisations understand AI is not a plug-and-play approach.

Trend 4. Adoption of Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT has been threatening growth for a number of years, however mainly due to security concerns, companies have been more hesitant to adopt this technology. However, if you’re anything like us here at PragmatiQ Solutions, you will have more connected devices and gadgets in your home than this time last year, demonstrating the growth IoT has seen in 2018.

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IoT is paving the way for businesses when creating new business lines, according to Forbes. For example, companies who manufacture products now have opportunities to expand their offering to ongoing services in order to monitor the performance of these products, thanks to algorithms that provide predictive maintenance alerts as required.

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