Technology has always been a part of everyday life, and businesses across the UK are continuously adapting the way they approach daily operations. As a technology reseller, we’re always seeing new devices, some of which will have a real impact on the way companies work.

However, it’s not just the physical developments that are bringing change, it’s the digital and cloud-based ones too. That’s why this month we’ve created a list of the digital trends you need to watch out for.

 

Digital Centralisation

Nearly everyone has a smart device that they use for something, whether this is a smartphone, a smart TV, smart watches or smart washing machines. However, the downside to these smart devices is that many need an app to control them.

In 2018, we think there’s going to be a demand for digital centralisation, namely a device or app that controls everything from one place. There are currently devices on the market that have adopted this form of technology (think Amazon Echo or Google Home).

These “smart assistants” are definitely a step in the right direction, but it will be interesting to see what the next generation of devices brings, especially with the release of the Apple HomePod.

Augmented Reality

When it comes to marketing products or showcasing new services, Augmented Reality is fast becoming one of the most effective methods of marketing. Companies such as Ikea are already embracing this trend. Customers are able to use their “Ikea Place” to see how a piece of furniture will look in their room, without leaving the house.

If your business has specific products to sell, then it may be time to investigate how you can utilise this technology to your advantage. For example, if you’re a fashion retailer, why not use the technology to help customers try on clothes at home (similar to what Gap are doing now).

In schools, AR technology could be used to enhance lessons. For example, teachers would be able to utilise AR and take their students back in time, instead of just reading out of textbooks.

Mobile Marketing

You can’t go a single minute without seeing someone using a smart phone, but sometimes it’s not just about the social media. Mobile marketing is fast becoming a top way for businesses to promote their products and services.

A report from OC&C Strategy Consultants, Google and Paypal UK showed that in 2017, customer-spending using a mobile device doubled from £13.5bn to £27bn, and will account for two-thirds of e-commerce purchases in the UK by 2020.

This shows that consumers are more likely to spend using a mobile device than they are visiting a store. This knowledge should give organisations the motivation they need to move to mobile.

So if you haven’t done so already, then now is the time to invest in optimising or updating your company website for mobile platforms. The number of people browsing on their smart phones is always on the rise, so it’s crucial that you’re not left behind.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

General Data Protection Regulations are coming into force and will be here to stay. As of May 25th 2018, the rules surrounding the personal data of any citizen living in a European will change.

The new legislation will supersede the existing 1998 Data Protection Act, whilst enhancing the previous regulations. There will be new standards for data collection and its use, including the right to be forgotten and user consent.

Not only is the existing legislation being enhanced, the fines a company can be slapped with are increasing too. When GDPR comes into force, an organisation will be charged up to 4% of annual turnover, or up to €20 million, whichever is the greater.

You can learn more about GDPR on the EU’s GDPR website here.

Job Automation

Now we almost didn’t mention this one, but job role automation looks to be another trend hitting the industry. Machines are being utilised by companies all over the world to streamline their product processes and increase output.

However, job automation may not be as bad as it seems. If a company utilises an automated system to complete a specific task, then they are able to reallocate their human employees to other areas of the business.

For example, if a manufacturing plant were able to automate the predictive maintenance of their machinery, then the maintainers and the maintenance managers are able to focus on other aspects of their roles, instead of trying to prevent machine downtime.

 

So there we have it, some of the digital trends that you need to watch out for this year. What do you think? Are there any other developments that you think are going to come up that we haven’t mentioned? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so make sure you let us know in the comments below.

Alternatively, you can join in the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook pages. We’re always updating our community on news, advice and insights from the world of technology. We look forward to seeing you there!

Remember, Tektraders are a leading technology reseller on the South Coast. Whether you need a suite of new computers and printers or servers for your organisation, then we can help. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you grow.

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