Technology disruption has hit every aspect of the economy. It’s changing every industry at every level, including the way we buy, the way we communicate with customers, and the way we do business. And this isn’t going to stop here. There’s a reason why the demand for tech jobs has exponentially increased over the past couple of years; technology is the ‘it’ industry these days. The question now is: How can we adapt to this disruption?
Data drives everything in our current world and it must always remain secure yet accessible. Companies can’t take the risk of storing their dataset in a local server anymore. They need a storage system that is more reliable and efficient. That’s why cloud technology has changed the way companies store data. With cloud storage, companies have access to information from wherever they are. This has led to a more simplified infrastructure in most companies, with some even adapting completely to a remote workforce.
The use of the internet – over traditional phone lines – for communication has changed the world immensely. Once considered only for personal use, through applications like Skype, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and others, VoIP also entered the world of business, with almost all modern phone systems powered by some form of technology. With ISDN being switched off in the UK by 2025, organisations of every size need to be seriously considering the switch to IP-based telephony.
The introduction of systems like Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams have encouraged companies to invest in telephony that combines more than voice calls and messages. Expanding into video, conferencing, file sharing and other unified communication features has allowed businesses to set up ‘virtual offices’. Cloud communications aren’t bound by copper lines, and therefore have no geographical limitations, which makes working from anywhere easier than ever before.
Good customer service is closely related to digital marketing. It has always been a crucial aspect for every company because it determines the general perception that customers have of the company. However, technology has widely changed the way we do customer service these days. In the past, the marketing department used to have a bunch of people answering calls and emails. Today, the number of workers in that area has significantly dropped.
The reason for this is because chatbots and automated voice systems have replaced—if not all, some parts of—the responsibilities of customer service managers. Now, the professionals only have to worry about more relevant tasks such as planning strategies to improve customer experience or monitoring the entire process. This has also helped companies lower their expenses in marketing efforts.
Just like any other industry, the automobile industry is being disrupted by technology. One of the most outstanding aspects of this is the development of autonomous vehicles. These vehicles, powered by technologies like machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, will soon replace the need for drivers. Most experts say this will be the future of our road trips, and it’ll create a much safer environment for those riding the vehicles.
However, this isn’t the only change technology has brought about to the automotive industry; it’s also reducing the number of car accidents by using tech mechanisms that prevent them. For example, blind-spot monitoring systems allow drivers to easily see what they’re not able to see in the rear-view mirror. This tech tool is called advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
Dr David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said to NewsRoom, “When properly utilised, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, the driver’s understanding and proper use are crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems.”
Finance is not what it used to be 20 years ago; it’s more efficiently driven now. Cash is growing to be less and less important every day. People mostly opt for cashless transactions and instead, use online payment systems such as PayPal. The reason for this is because those platforms allow them to quickly make a transaction in a matter of seconds and at lower fees.
This isn’t the only drastic change that technology has brought about to the financial industry. Maybe one of the most disrupting advances in this sector is cryptocurrency. Never in a million years could we have imagined that bank transactions could be decentralised, and that people would get paid for making these transactions possible. This is only possible through cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain is one of the leading financial trends these days. It’s a system that creates a single record for each part. This way, when one of them makes a change, it’ll be reflected in the other one’s record. This makes it simpler for people to verify transactions and makes for a more transparent process.
Several years ago, the idea of education was simple: a full classroom with a bunch of students and a teacher. While the basic concepts remain, some things have changed over the years. First, the need for a physical class has reduced. In fact, remote studying is slowly becoming the primary way for students to learn. But education is not limited to this; we also have virtual reality assisted classes for doing real-life exercises such as surgery practices. Virtual reality and augmented reality can also help us study history topics in the most realistic way. Finally, in the past the only way to make a career was by pursuing a bachelor’s degree. However, today online bootcamps have become more popular, thanks to their adaptive education method and the updated curricula.
Tourism isn’t the same as it used to be before technology arrived. When traveling, people are more dependent on the internet, so the development of cellular networks to reach 5G, for example, is helpful to many. The speed is the highest one we’ve ever had which enables enhanced connectivity and faster downloads.
Virtual reality and augmented reality play a significant role in tourism these days. Heritage centres such as The National Museum of Finland or The National Museum of Singapore are leveraging these technologies to improve visitors’ experience. On top of that, tourism companies are also using VR technology to show customers an example of how their trips would look like.
Every day there are more people ditching their cable television for streaming subscriptions. If you ask every person you know, you’ll notice that there is a considerably high percentage of them that prefer the latter than the former, for various reasons such as wider choices, schedule flexibility, and accessibility. That’s why platforms such as Netflix or Hulu are getting more attention as the years go by.
Technology will always be with us – that’s a fact. Maybe some of the companies that are in the leading spots today could be at risk of disruption if they don’t adapt to innovation. It’s important to remain resilient and prepared for what’s next in the future.
Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. Career Karma are a community of peers, mentors and coaches that help people land their dream careers in technology.