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Eight innovative technologies that are changing business

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They say that change is constant. They are right, especially if they are talking about technology. Even before you are done discussing about a certain technology, an upgrade of the same is already being launched somewhere and being tried out by IT experts. That should not be worrisome. The worrisome fact here is, that those who have mastered working on that upgrade are better positioned to grab whatever job opportunity of it is available. Those who are oblivious of any such upgrade are found wanting. So the thing is, technology is actually changing business. Below are 8 such tech innovations that are changing business for the better.

Artificial Intelligence: AI, as it is known as world over, continues to be the most keenly observed technology trend. Artificial Intelligence these days is directly affecting the work we do and the way we live. Though still in its early stages, including Machine Learning (its most popular branch), it is being heralded as the technology that is going to change human lives forever. Artificial Intelligence is computer systems built to imitate human intelligence and do tasks such as recognising images, speech and patterns and also decision making. AI offers the advantage of doing these tasks faster than humans. Every 5 out of 6 Americans use AI on a daily basis, in various forms such as navigation apps, streaming devices, smartphone personal assistants, ride-sharing apps, home personal assistants, smart home devices. Other uses of AI include scheduling trains, assessing business risks, predict maintenance, improve energy efficiencies etc. The bad thing, for people fretting over employment, is that studies reveal it will eliminate 73 million jobs by 2030. This is definitely something to watch out for.

Machine Learning: Though a subset of Artificial Intelligence, ML, as it is known widely, is a subset of AI. The use of ML means that computers are programmed to learn to carry out a task they are not programmed to. How do they do this? ML enables them to learn how to discover patterns and insights from data through supervised and unsupervised learning. Just like ML is a subset of AI, ML further has subsets such as neural networks, natural language processing (NLP), deep learning etc. Each of these opens up a career field that is only going to grow with the passage of time. Studies have revealed the growth of the Machine Learning market by 2022 to $8.81 billion. Furthermore, ML applications are used for purposes such as data analytics, data mining and pattern recognition. Ml powers web search results, real-time ads and network intrusion detection. Going forward, Machine Learning jobs are going to pay really well with the median salary for someone knowing machine learning being $106,225 with jobs being that of engineers, developers, researchers and data scientists.

Robotic Process Automation: RPA, as this is famously known as, is automating jobs just like ML and AI. RPA is the use of software to automate business processes such as interpreting applications, processing transactions, replying to emails and dealing with data. Repetitive tasks pegging people back with time and productivity are automated by RPA. Not only average tasks, even as big as that of financial managers, doctors and CEOs too can be automated with the help of robotic process automation. All in all, RPO makes it possible to automate up to 45 per cent of the total tasks. The flip side to this is, that studies have revealed RPO threatens close to 230 million jobs, which is almost 9 per cent of the global workforce. Some of the jobs available in RPA include that of developers, project managers, business analysts, solution architects, consultants etc. The first step to get started in the field of RPA is to take up the Introduction to Robotic Process Automation course. This one ranks at the top of the tech innovations that are changing business for the better.

Edge Computing: What was earlier merely an emerging technology trend has now become mainstream, the proof of which is Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and AWS (Amazon Web Services). Their dominance in the market is second to none and businesses are scurrying from pillar to post to migrate to a cloud solution. Cloud computing has a shortcoming though. As the size of the data increases, it becomes a little hard to accommodate everything on cloud. Edge computing is the answer to these storage woes. The latency is bypassed easily. Edge computing makes it easy to get data to data centres for processing. It has the ability to “exist on the edge”. With edge computing lies the key to process time-sensitive data in remote locations that offer no connectivity to a centralised location. In such cases, edge computing act like mini datacentres. Jobs for those interested in edge computing will primarily be that of software engineers. The good news is, the market is expected to reach $6.72 billion by 2022. You can hire a developer if you wish to experience this in your business.

VR/AR: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are another technology trend all set to change businesses. VR immerses the user in an environment and AR enhances that environment. VR has so far only been tried in the gaming sector and to a certain extent has also been used in training, an example of which is VirtualShip, the simulation software used to the army, navy and coast guard o the United States of America. AR, on the other hand is highlighted best through Pokemon Go. Both AR as well as VR offer enormous potential as far as training, entertainment, marketing and education is concerned. Both are capable of being used to train doctors to perform surgery, visitors to a museum to get a deeper experience, get a better experience of theme parks and do better marketing as observed in the case of Pepsi Max Bus Shelter. TO get started with VR or AR, all one needs are good programming skills and a forward-thinking mindset.

Blockchain: Blockchain technologies are predominantly related to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The security it offers is useful in a lot of ways. Perhaps the best way to describe Blockchain is that data which can only be added to, not taken away from or changed. This is where the suffix ‘chain’ comes from, as what is being created in the process is a ‘chain’ of data. The key highlight about blockchain is that previous blocks of data already created cannot be changed, making it a very secure option. Also, blockchains are consensus driven, meaning no one entity gets control of the entire data. In Blockchain, there is no need for a third party to oversee or validate transactions. Studies reveal that Blockchain related jobs are some of the fastest growing ones, with 14 openings for every one blockchain developer in the offing. Blockchain developers use blockchain technology to develop and implement architecture and solutions, their average median salary being $130,000.

Internet of Things (IoT): WiFi connectivity is being used to build a lot of things these days, meaning that they can be connected with the internet and also to each other. This concept has taken the name of the ‘Internet of Things’. This is without doubt the future, enabling devices such as home appliances, cars etc. to stay connected and exchange data over the internet. This is just the beginning though. 2017 recorded the number of IoT devices to be 8.4 billion. The number is expected to reach a staggering 30 billion by 2020. Here are some of the most commonly sighted benefits of IoT. We get to lock our doors remotely even when we have to rush to work. We get to preheat our ovens on our way home. We get to track our fitness levels on our FitBits. Since IoT works on the concept of data collection and analysis, it ensures better safety, efficacy and decision making. It also enables predictive maintenance. But the thing is, for IoT to start creating jobs, there will be an additional need of 200,000 IT workers well versed in IoT security, cloud computing, data analytics, automation, embedded systems etc.

Cybersecurity: Though it has been around for a while, cybersecurity is still evolving like other technologies. Reason being, newer threats keep emerging. Hackers are still trying to illegally access data. They are still trying to get through the toughest security measures. As per Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. The fact of the matter remains that, these jobs offer six-figure incomes with roles ranging from ethical hacker to security engineer and Chief Security Officer. There is growth, provided you are patient enough to sit tight and experience it. Again, if you are not an expert in it, it is suggested that you hire a developer for the best in cybersecurity.

These are the latest tech innovations that are surely going to change business in times to come.

Shaunvir Singh Mahil, Director, Virtual Employee Private Limited