Technology has always been a source of both innovation and disruption. New ways of doing things necessitate shifts in our work processes and best practices. At the same time, they can generate opportunities for those who can anticipate the tide of change and stay ahead of the curve.

In other words, the better you get at forecasting the flow of new technology, the easier it is to prepare your business for what’s to come. We can’t promise to anticipate every game-changer in the world of hardware, software, and communications – that would require a crystal ball rather than a background in IT – but we can help prepare you for some of the big ideas that are on the way.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at four tech trends every small business owner should be keeping an eye on in 2018 and beyond…

#1 The Battle for Online Security

It seems like every week we hear about another massive hack. Even worse, companies and organizations at all levels are being affected, from giants like Target and Equifax to small businesses with just a few employees.

When thieves break into your company and start stealing data, the costs to repair the damage can be an enormous. Even worse, your credibility might not ever recover if the buying public thinks you aren’t safe to do business with. Criminals aren’t going to stop looking for hacking targets, though, so you can expect discussions about online security, and what businesses owe customers in terms of precautions, are going to continue for quite a while.

#2 AI and Machine Learning

We seem to be reaching a tipping point with regards the development of artificial intelligence. On the one hand, chip speed and processing power are bringing concepts that used to be science fiction into the world. And on the other, thinkers and developers are coming up with new ways to actually implement machine learning.

Going forward, these developments could have huge implications on the labor market and the world economy as a whole. In the near future, though, we will probably see more digital assistants and automation apps making it easier to run every aspect of a small business.

#3 Voice-Activated Everything

Voice assisted search, digital devices, and dictation software are all helping the voice to replace the keyboard as the default tech interface. In other words, you’re just as likely to tell your phone or computer what you want as you are to type it into a search bar.

This is a trend that is obviously set to continue, but it could have a lot of unintended side effects. For instance, business owners may soon find themselves wondering how they can keep voice searches safe, or get devices to differentiate between one speaker and another. Still, voice -assisted devices and apps mean convenience, so we’ll be getting more of them in the next few years.

#4 Virtual Reality Going Mainstream

Virtual reality is one of those technologies that always seems on the verge of breaking out. However, with adaptive devices that let you use smart phones as VR interfaces, we might finally be at the point where they’re going to begin to show up in day-to-day life.

Although most people focus on the entertainment aspects of virtual reality, there are a lot of ways businesses can be affected, too. Everything from training to product demos could be fair game once we can immerse ourselves and our customers in new environments with the click of a button.

Are You Ready for the Future of Business Tech?

Technology is always changing. Is your business changing with it, or getting caught behind the competition?

When you have the right team consultants, technicians, and advisors on your side, you have everything you need to keep your business running smoother. And, you have an edge over all the other business owners who aren’t prepared for the latest trends, ideas, and best practices.

Contact the team at Fantastic IT in Southern California today to learn more about our affordable managed services packages and how they can help your business get and stay ahead!