With robots responding to customer feedback, AI anticipating your order before it’s made, 3D prototypes being printed with the touch of a button, and online streaming platforms telling us what music we want to listen to or movie we’d like to watch – technology is transforming at pace, and completely altering the way we live and the way we do business.
Businesses today are faced with two choices: innovate or stagnate. Those who don’t embrace change and implement tech-based solutions risk being left behind, while tomorrow’s industry leaders are already using new tech to gain and maintain competitive advantages. Whether your business is in its infancy or well established, a robust, tech-focussed approach will serve you well.
Here are six crucial advancements your business should be integrating today, along with our seven favourite tech gifts this Christmas.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
While it may sound like something out of a futuristic movie, you’ll be surprised how much AI is already integrated into your daily life. It’s the brains behind things like Apple’s popular personal assistant, Siri, it’s responsible for curating your Facebook news feed, working behind the scenes within Spotify to personalise your playlist, and interpreting hundreds of thousands of data points within Google Maps to get you from A to B – to name a few.
So, how does it work, and how can it benefit your business? AI simulates human intelligence within machines or computer systems by creating complex algorithms. These enable AI to learn, reason, problem solve, recognise patterns, process natural language, and adapt to new information. According to studies by Harvard Business Review, the three main business needs AI can support are automating processes (taking the reins on repetitive manual tasks), analysing vast amounts of data to gain insights at lightning speed, and engaging with customers and employees with tools like chatbots.
AI has many uses, and at First National Real Estate, we utilise AI to create property listing descriptions through a tool called ListSMRT. This allows our team to focus on what they do best, facilitating the buying and selling process.
2. Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT involves connecting multiple devices to the internet to gather and share data, and it’s estimated there are approximately 15 billion of them worldwide. These ‘things’ can include a Fitbit or Apple Watch, household appliances (like robot vacuum cleaners), and sensors and GPS used in supply chain management to pinpoint assets as they travel to their destination, or in a logistics and fleet management setting.
The main features of IoT devices are connectivity, data collection, data analysis, automation, and interoperability. These allow IoT devices to communicate with and work with complementary systems and to act without human intervention.
3. Cloud Computing
Most of us use various cloud computing services daily, with applications like Gmail, Google Drive, Facebook, and Instagram all operating through cloud-hosted servers that store information for later access. While these are useful on a personal level, they’re even more valuable to businesses. Cloud computing allows large amounts of data to be stored online and easily accessed through a secure connection (anytime, anywhere) rather than relying on costly local servers with limited capacity. It also makes it easy for businesses to scale up (or down) as required (thanks to the pay-as-you-go or subscription-based offerings), and perhaps best of all, you won’t need an IT degree to operate it, as most interfaces are intuitive and user-friendly.
4. 5G Connectivity
5G is the fifth generation of mobile wireless communication technology (the next technological upgrade from its predecessor, 4G) and is set to transform our lives and how we do business. How does it differ from 4G?
Efficiency in business is often down to speed, and with 5G said to be up to 100 times faster than 4G, 5G has it in spades. This speed also impacts latency periods (the gap between when data is sent and when it is received and acknowledged), which is critical for applications like real-time gaming, autonomous vehicles, and remote medical procedures. 5G can also cope with multiple applications simultaneously, which is essential for developing connected devices.
These factors, combined with other technologies such as the cloud and IoT, will change how business is done and even how entire industries operate in the future.
5. Cybersecurity Solutions
As our reliance on technology and digitalisation rises, so does the incidence of cybercrime. The World Wide Web has provided global access to victims, granted anonymity, and has proven to be a highly profitable hunting ground for data theft, fraud, and ransomware attacks. Many businesses and individuals fall victim to cybercrime due to inadequate or outdated cybersecurity measures, so investing in robust and up-to-date solutions is something you can’t afford to be without. The key elements to consider are firewalls, antivirus and anti-malware software, encryption technologies, access control systems and multi-factor authentication. It’s also crucial for businesses to regularly test and audit their systems, ensure employees are adequately trained in cybersecurity practices and have robust plans to respond to a cybersecurity attack.
At First National Real Estate, we take cybersecurity seriously through a partnership with Cynch Security. We ensure our buyers and sellers’ personal data is kept safe and secure. If you want more information to protect your business, we recommend you visit cyber.gov.au.Top of Form
6. Green Technologies
Sustainable practices and technologies are becoming increasingly important, and while completely transforming a business overnight isn’t practical or affordable, every little change made that benefits the environment counts. The best way to progress is to make small upgrades, like switching lights to LED bulbs, choosing more energy-efficient models as appliances need replacing, and considering investing in more significant changes like solar panels and hybrid or electric company vehicles. Physical changes aside, new technologies are enabling businesses to operate in a greener manner. This includes shifts like cloud computing, which reduces individual businesses’ infrastructure needs, remote working cutting commuting and the need for physical premises, and adapting digital communication technologies that support the move to a paperless office.
Now that we’ve explored several advances in business tech, what new technology or gadgets could be of benefit to buy or gift this Christmas?
Here are our top seven tech gifts for Christmas 2023:
1. Get smart at home – smart home devices offer a wide range of benefits that can enhance convenience, security, energy efficiency, and overall quality of life. There are a few options available, but our top picks are: Google Home, Alexa or Amazon Echo.
2. Be adaptable – with a USB-C adaptor, a versatile and practical gift idea that serves a variety of uses, the ultimate accessory for any modern electronic device. It will boost efficiency and reduce cable overload!
3. Put a ring on it – move over smartwatches, the Oura Ring is the hottest gift on Santa’s sleigh. This new wearable tech will help a business-owner friend, or loved one keep on track with their health and maintain the all-important work/life balance.
4. Stay focussed – whether taking calls or blocking out background noise, our propensity to Zoom makes a good pair of wireless headphones
5. Remove low battery stress – keep them connected with a portable power bank. It’s a lifesaver for on-the-go laptop users, fading smartphones and even a cheeky Nintendo Switch session.
6. Encourage downtime – not the newest tech on the block, but an eReader makes an excellent gift for a bookworm who struggles to find the time to pick up a physical book.
7. Indulge their love of tech – not strictly work-related, but if you’ve got a lover of the latest tech on your hands, the Apple Vision Pro is the latest and greatest in “spatial computing”. It combines AR and VR in a wearable computer to seamlessly blend digital content (like watching TV, reliving digital memories, or collaborating with people via FaceTime) with your physical space.
Embrace tech innovation, be future-ready
Technology can be scary, weird, and wonderful, and it’s progressing at an astronomical pace. Businesses must keep abreast of the latest advancements to remain competitive, to future-proof, and to be future-ready.
If you’re looking to embrace change to your office premises or work from home space, reach out to your local First National Real Estate office. We have the expertise to guide you on a move that will benefit you and your business.