Top 4 Business Technology Trends for 2016

It’s that time of year again and many business’s are using the holiday downtime to plan their business strategy for the new year ahead, including how to allocate their technology spend. When it comes to staying ahead of the game, keeping up with the latest business technology trends is crucial. Here are some of the main business technology trends to keep on your radar for 2016:

1. Big Data Remains Vital

Try to read a business article published in 2015 without finding the words “Big Data.” Difficult? That’s because Big Data became a very hot topic this year, as companies quickly understood they were often sitting on data gold mines, they just needed the tools to grab it. 2016 will see a maturing of the Big Data market, where the emphasis will be on using technology tools to garner real insights from the data. Firms were quick to discover that simply possessing the data wasn’t useful unless it could guide them to something, whether it’s new market opportunities, product tweaks, or a shift in targeted customers. This is where business intelligence tools will play a huge role in 2016 offering companies advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and the rise of connected data means Big Data will have even more prominence, as the sheer volume of information expands and companies will want to leverage all of the hyper-personalized information that comes from every connected home.

2. Mobile Continues to Dominate

In 2015 we finally saw data that more than half of Google searches occurred on mobile devices compared to desktops. This was just one data point in the sea change that mobile has brought to our world, one that will continue in 2016 and beyond.

For businesses, they need to start putting their mobile users first, and applications should be developed that will replace desktop-based activities. Internally, staff members need access to mobile-based tools, for example CRM and document management portals that allow them to work remotely. Mobile payments is another rising trend, one that will further alter how consumers expect to complete transactions, with an emphasis on speed and security.

3. Document Management and CRM Tools Further Mature

Both of these platforms will become more cloud-based, mobile friendly, and inherently collaborative. Companies will continue to see the benefits of document management and CRM solutions that allow them to work more efficiently and most importantly to meet the needs of customers. The costs of cloud-based solutions will continue to scale downwards. For CRM, mobile capabilities will be further improved, as sales teams are increasingly out of the office, and even support staff are able to work remotely.

4. The User Experience is Essential

Companies must implement technology and process changes that always consider the customer experience. In the mobile age, consumers expect to be able to complete actions with a swipe or two. They don’t care about how complex things are on the back end, they just want a seamless and enriching experience. It’s the companies that can best manage this experience that will enjoy success in 2016 and beyond. Companies also need to ask some basic questions about the user’s wants and desires, and then do an honest review of how technology tools are or are not meeting the customer’s needs.

For an example, consider the call center. Perhaps a caller was working via chat with another customer service representative, and they spent 10 minutes detailing the problem at hand. With the right CRM tools, this information will be immediately available to the rep on the phone, they won’t need to rehash the issue with the customer, and can instead be proactive. The result is an enhanced customer experience, one where the consumer feels valued.

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