2023 is seeing Small and Medium Businesses thrive; the most significant contributor seems to be adopting the latest technologies. These emerging technologies enhance efficiency, customer engagement, and more. By integrating these technologies into software applications, businesses easily automate routine tasks, optimize operations, and make data-driven decisions. Some of the latest technologies that are transforming the way an enterprise functions are:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
Intelligent computers, objects( IoT), and tools equipped with Machine learning techniques are a boon to modern man. Machines imparted with artificial intelligence help businesses undergo digital transformation, reinvent customer experiences, optimize operations, and make data-driven decisions. AI software development further reduces staff requirements, thus saving organizations time and money.
Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
Chatbots and virtual assistants help growing businesses handle more customer inquiries, assist with online shopping, and provide 24/7 support, improving customer service without needing to employ extra personnel.
Distributed ledger, more commonly known as Blockchain technology, is proving to be another great asset for SMEs. Decentralized transactions provide extra security to applications owned by enterprises at no extra cost. Blockchain technology enhances transparency and security in financial transactions, supply chain management, and data sharing.
5G technology is another digital revolution that is bound to benefit the SMBs to a large extent. The rollout of 5G networks has enabled faster and more reliable internet connections, encouraging seamless communication, IoT devices, and real-time data processing.
IoT (Internet of Things)
IoT, or the Internet of Things, refers to the collective network of connected devices and technology communicating within themselves. IoT is extremely popular these days. From Smartwatches to Smart cars and household appliances, many intangible objects are connected via the internet today. SMBs can leverage IoT for inventory management, remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, and creating innovative products/services.
Edge computing is another trend that is bound to help SMBs grow. Edge computing is a distributed computing methodology that aligns computation processes and data storage to keep them closer to the data sources. This further improves response times and saves bandwidth, improving data delivery on all fronts. It further reduces latency and enables real-time analytics for AR/VR applications, robotics, and IoT.
With more and more businesses undergoing digital transformation, the threat of cyberattacks has only increased. This is why SMBs can benefit greatly from advanced cybersecurity solutions provided by AI-driven threat detection and zero-trust security models.
Cloud Computing may as well be the greatest gift technology has given to mankind. Cloud computing is a recent technology that ensures on-demand availability of resources, data storage, and computing power by hosting everything on the cloud which is accessed via the internet.
Besides being cost-effective solutions, Cloud services are extremely scalable and reliable solutions for storage, data analytics, software development, and remote work collaboration. SMBs can benefit significantly from these advantages.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Augmented and Virtual Reality adds digital elements to our surroundings and is quite a viral trend amongst users, gamers, and enterprises. AR and VR can enhance customer engagement through immersive experiences, training simulations, and product demonstrations.AR/VR helps enterprises help their clients visualize products better without spending on physical mockups, demos, and products.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
RPA is software technology that allows robots to emulate human action with the help of a set of instructions in preprogrammed software. RPA not only brings out digital transformation for the business that employs it but also takes care of repetitive menial tasks that take up extra manpower. The technology also helps streamline workflows and improve operational efficiency.
As the name suggests, Biometric authentication is a cybersecurity process that authenticates and allows access only when the unique biological traits of each individual are verified. This type of authentication is way more secure than traditional forms of multi-factor authentication.
SMBs can implement these to enhance security and user experience with biometric authentication methods like fingerprint scanning, facial recognition, or voice recognition.
The new-age collaboration platforms are all worth the hype. Examples of digital collaboration tools include ProofHub, Filestage, GanttPRO, Nuclino, Basecamp, Asana, etc. Small and Medium-sized enterprises can invest in these platforms to facilitate remote work, communication, and project management at a fraction of the cost.
The choice of technologies that will benefit different SMBs also depends on the industries they belong to, business goals, and resources they have access to. It is also essential to assess your business needs carefully and consider how these emerging technologies can be integrated into your operations to drive growth and competitiveness.
Benefits of using emergent technologies for small businesses
Small businesses have a variety of technologies to choose from when it comes to digital transformation. Each emerging technology future proves these businesses in many ways.
A few advantages of using the latest technologies by SMBs are:
Improved Efficiency: New tech automates repetitive tasks and streamlines processes while mitigating risks. This boosts employees’ efficiency and helps organizations focus on higher-value tasks, ultimately increasing productivity.
Cost Savings: Even though implementing these emergent technologies can be pricey, businesses can expect a higher ROI in the long run. Reduced labor costs and operational expenses further help organizations save huge amounts of resources, money, and manpower.
Enhanced Customer Experience: By providing hyper-personalization to customers, SMBs elevate their customer experiences, which helps them stay ahead of the competition. Customers are bound to remember a brand that offers unique, unforgettable interaction experiences. Chatbots and social media platforms further help design and promote a brand identity.
Competitive Advantage: Incorporating the latest technologies helps SMBs up their brand game. It allows them to offer innovative products and services, adapt to changing markets and offer innovative products or services. This, in turn, helps gain newfound businesses and SMBs gain a competitive advantage.
Data-Driven Decision-Making: SMBs gain crucial insights and information from cutting-edge analytics technologies and data-collecting techniques. Making educated decisions, spotting market trends, and optimizing development plans are benefits of emergent technologies.
Flexibility and Scalability: Software Development services like cloud computing and SaaS provide flexibility and scalability by making it easy to modify IT infrastructure and applications to meet evolving business demands.
Remote Work Capabilities: SMBs can easily accommodate remote work using cloud-based collaboration tools, video conferencing, and project management software. These tools simplify recruiting and retaining employees and adjusting to changing work conditions.
Improved Marketing and Customer Outreach: As mentioned earlier, digital marketing tools and social media platforms assist SMBs in reaching wider audiences, targeting specific demographics, and measuring the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
Innovation and Adaptation: Staying current with the latest technology trends imbibes and encourages organizations to innovate and adapt. SMBs who adapt to emerging market demands explore new business models more easily.
By understanding the latest technologies, SMBs unlock growth opportunities and provide personalized customer experiences, ultimately positioning themselves for long-term success in instantaneously evolving business markets. Once a business implements the latest technologies, the next step is to pick the right development partner. Many companies’ software development services include AI software development, IoT application development, and blockchain development services.
However, not all companies can be relied on, and businesses must look for development companies that can provide quality solutions. OpenXcell is a credible software development company with a rich portfolio of successful software products integrated with the latest emergent technologies. Visit their website to learn all about high-end software development.
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Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
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