With the world more plugged in than ever, keeping abreast of digital trends is vital for any business that plans to remain at the forefront of their industry. Once, there was a time when virtual reality and visual search engines were confined to the realms of science fiction, but those days are gone. 2018 has once again shown that innovative technologies are fundamental to success. With that in mind, we’ve put together three digital trends that we think your business needs to be aware of in 2019.
1. Blockchain Revolution
By 2024, it’s estimated that the global blockchain market will be worth over $20 billion. Currently, blockchain technology is predominately used for managing crypto-currency – such as Bitcoin and Ethereum – by means of a decentralized authority that manages a global database network. Although, it has recently infiltrated into the gaming, communications, and co-working industries as well.
The advanced technology has enhanced co-working experiences by constructing secure networks that make managing spaces more efficient. Practical applications include smart contracts, smart identities, improved digital visibility, and verified trust. Spaces such as LifeTask have already begun implementing blockchain technology to create an advanced recruitment system. While others, such as Full Node in Berlin, are building environments specifically to cater to blockchain companies.
Given the numerous intersections between the gaming and blockchain industries, it’s not wholly surprising to also see blockchain technology disrupting the gaming world. Gamers have the propensity to understand digital economies and assets, and it seems a logical step that gamers – not just game developers – should be able to completely own their virtual characters, profiles, and resources.
While it’s spread across a variety of industries, there are still large swathes of consumers and business that are unaware of the benefits of blockchain technology. Yet, once consumers are up to speed, companies that have thought ahead of their competition will be in pole position to take advantage.
2. Virtual & Augmented Reality
Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), that are finally making their way into consumer markets, have enabled people to experience a digital reality that is free from the consequences of life on terra firma. While much of the excitement and practical applications around VR have been tied to improving entertainment experiences, the potential for VR in business settings is arguably even greater. This potential is underlined by a forecast that estimates business spending on VR will hit $9.2 billion by 2021, far outstripping leisure spending.
Given the rapid advancements in the field, we’re likely to see VR being applied in businesses as early as this year. Oculus Rift, one of the biggest VR companies in America, has already launched Virtual Speech – a VR course that enables users to practice their public speaking and business networking skills. Digital assessments such as eye contact rating can provide comprehensive feedback to trainees, enhancing the quality of each training session.
While not quite as sexy as it’s counterpart VR, AR is arguably more applicable and consumer friendly. This is highlighted by the fact that AR is already being used for marketing purposes across numerous industries. Take IKEA for example, the Swedish furniture retailer has recently introduced an AR app – IKEA Place – that enables e-commerce shoppers to visualize what certain items may look like in their homes. This streamlines the customer journey by cutting out the need to visit a showroom and enables users to make informed purchases right from their mobile devices.
3. Improved Data Analytics
Data, the main driver behind the world’s digital trends and technological transformations, is something we’re all familiar with. As recent studies have shown we’ve developed 90% of the world’s data in the past year alone, however, we’re only using 1% of that data efficiently. Considering the power and potential of data analytics to inform business decisions, that 1% means that a lot of companies are not fulfilling their potential. Market leaders such as Microsoft and SAS are pioneering a future in which company data is transformed into meaningful business analytics, but many other data-driven businesses are lagging behind by allowing the data they collect to remain untouched. Therefore, businesses that begin processing their data in an effective and timely fashion will be one step ahead of their competitors.
Furthermore, as processing and technological power continue to grow, we will see more and more digitally-forward companies investing to ensure their data is used effectively. This investment will primarily be in technologies such as machine learning and AI. By 2020, that underwhelming 1% is predicted to have grown to as much as 4%. On the surface, this may seem like a small improvement but in reality, it’s a huge leap forward in the improvement of data utilization.
In this rapidly evolving era, Digital has become integrated into almost every aspect of daily life and keeping up to date is more essential than ever. A great way to stay connected is to be active in a community filled with like-minded people. That is one of the great benefits of co-working spaces such as theDesk, where you can meet a diverse range of people and therefore stay on top of the latest trends from across the world.
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