In their Trends vs. Technologies 2016 report, Capita Technology Solutions found that 78 percent of individuals surveyed acknowledged that keeping up to date with latest tech trends is vital or very important.
More and more, technology such as AI, big data, and virtual and augmented reality are enabling companies to streamline their processes, gather critical analytics, and establish lean operations. And those that aren’t taking advantage of the benefits of these new capabilities are going to be left behind by their competition.
If I wanted to, I could fill a book with the slew of innovations available to businesses. For now, let’s just take a look at a few tips one should consider when evaluating your technological capabilities going into the new year.
1. Build a better user experience
In our personal device-centric world, customer experience (CX) is most often associated with an organization’s ability to create digital experiences and interactions that make the customer’s experience with the brand as streamlined as possible. These most often means slick, easy-to-use interfaces and interconnected, multichannel access points so that the user can go from computer to smartphone to tablet without a hitch.
Before the emergence of CX as a concept, company websites were largely static and offered little insight into how it was being used or received by customers. Now, by utilizing user-specific information, companies can offer dynamic, individualized content that is more relevant to the user and the task at hand. One company, Fidelium, is taking advantage of these advancements to provide a one-stop platform for managing various cryptocurrencies.
By employing CX technologies such as blockchain networking and cross-software APIs, Fidelium has developed an environment for users to quickly and efficiently manage everything from payment systems and everyday transactions to online trading systems and investment needs.
“Static content has been replaced by dynamic content, which allows content to change with respect to other things that are changing, like a newsfeed,” Fidelium CEO Terry Na said. “User feedback is the ultimate way in which to cater accurately and directly to your customers.”
2. Using technology to bring in funding
One of the biggest uncertainties surrounding the beginning stages of launching a startup is a sufficient source of funding. Finding funders that are investing in your goal as a business can seem like a daunting endeavor. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to search for these individuals thanks to the plethora of crowdfunding platforms available today.
The platform you choose in order to garner funding is dependent upon a number of factors. What kind of business are you in? Are you looking to run a rewards-based campaign (incentivizing funders with gifts/access to the product or service)? If so, platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo should be in your crosshairs. If you wish to provide equity to your investors, sites like Crowdfunder or Circle Up might be a better option.
Another possible pathway that is gaining traction for startup funding is through the use of cryptocurrencies. This virtual money is proving to be a popular medium for investment as it’s a decentralized and secure currency that is easily traded and globally recognized. In the wake of the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies, efforts have been made to bring virtual coin investing into one place.
VaultBank is doing just that: the cross-border business funding platform aggregates businesses looking for funding into one place so that funders can quickly and easily locate companies looking for cryptocurrency investments.
“The VaultBank ecosystem provides a platform to lenders and investors thus eliminating the potential problem of needing to use various platforms for various purposes,” VaultBank Managing Director, Christopher Cummock explains. “This grand unification simplifies the entire model of investing while providing the added benefit of consolidating vast amounts of information and putting it all in one place — all to just make everything a lot simpler.”
3. Take advantage of big data
In today’s digital world, data is everything. Being able to analyze various metrics in order to understand what is making you successful (or hindering your success) is an integral part of any business today.
Some notable startup companies are heading up the big data game in a significant way. For example, Uber has been taking advantage of big data — through data analysis, Uber is able to see with a certain degree of accuracy where its riders are wanting to go, allowing for more efficient staffing. Spotify is using artificial intelligence data in its prediction of user’s music taste, granting them the ability to suggest songs, genres, and playlists to the user.
You might think you need to be a huge company in order to take advantage of big data, but that is not the case. The size or age of your company does not matter; any insight that you are able to gather from your users can be helpful. You shouldn’t be worried about the cost-effectiveness of data analyzation, either. The benefits will vastly outweigh any costs you may incur.
As you can see, there are many avenues you can and should take in order to keep your company on top of its technological game. By focusing on your user experience, effectively garnering funding from investors, and placing importance on the analyzation of your data, your startup will be poised to find success in the coming year.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.