Technology has an incredible ability to dazzle and utilised correctly it gives organisations a significant competitive advantage. Yet it can be hard to distinguish between what technology is a fad and what requires significant investment. In this blog we highlight the top three technology trends expected to make waves in business – including examples of how companies are positioning themselves to take advantage of developments.
PwC and Accenture have recently launched metaverse services, supporting clients in understanding how to maximise virtual opportunities. Despite the concept being around for more than 30 years, “metaverse” seems to be the latest buzzword thanks to heavy investments from Facebook (rebranding to “Meta”), Google and Apple. The metaverse essentially aligns virtual and physical worlds – for example, new employees can conduct onboarding virtually, in an organisation’s metaverse. It’s considered to have evolved recently, particularly driven by the pandemic with individuals conducting personal and professional lives increasingly online.
The metaverse is being used by organisations as an additional way to deepen customer loyalty, engage communities in new ways and grow revenue. Fashion houses have unsurprisingly caught wind of this latest trend, with “Gucci Garden” in the Roblox gaming metaverse attracting 19 million visitors. This renewed interest, and evolution of the metaverse, has other fashion players eyeing up the $176 billion (£135 billion) gaming industry. With such significant opportunities available, it’s no wonder big brands have already heavily invested in the metaverse.
Despite being in its relevant infancy from a business perspective, quantum computing is a tech trend to watch. With the ability to solve vastly complex business problems, quantum computing combines machine learning, simulation, and enhanced optimisation. It has the capability to transform the way business is conducted, from rerouting supply chains in real time to improving wealth management scenarios in financial services.
Whilst there has been significant investment in quantum computing, with $1.02 billion (£781 million) invested in 2021, it has yet to hit mainstream businesses. Leading some organisations to advise watching developments in 2022, before unleashing capability in 2023 onwards.
Other organisations have already started exploring partnerships with quantum hardware and software developers, to ensure they’re not on the backfoot. And with the potential to provide a trillion more computing power than today’s advanced supercomputers, once the major players have unlocked the full potential of quantum computing – they will have significant competitive advantage.
AI and machine learning
Consultancies have traditionally number crunched, creating solutions from the results provided. But artificial intelligence and machine learning has transformed this process, making it much quicker, providing greater insight and predictions. Whilst this may have been viewed as a way to impress potential and existing clients, it’s become an expectation for many.
Digitally capable clients will already have enabled AI and machine learning across business functions, creating greater transparency. Businesses will expect consultancies to tap into existing data, build upon insights further, find new opportunities for growth and lean on their technological expertise for further innovation. The possibilities for AI and machine learning are seemingly endless, as its ability to be applied to multiple business functions and sectors continues to grow.
Whether these aforementioned technologies are yet to be explored or already in use within businesses, they all need robust strategies in place to maximise benefits and minimise risk. Consultancies can help businesses assess what technology needs developing or implementing now, to expand upon opportunities. But one thing is for sure, business leaders that ignore technology trends do so at their peril. As technology becomes more sophisticated, businesses that haven’t put the relevant provisions in place to explore opportunities risk becoming irrelevant in tomorrow’s market.