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Best Tech Business Niches To Get Into

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Tech Business Niche|Best Tech Business Niches To Get IntoThe employment landscape of today is more uncertain than at any point in history. With the seemingly endless digitization of business and the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), it seems there isn’t a single area of commerce that isn’t being transformed by technology.

However, while many might view the increasing reliance on computers and machines in the workplace as a negative thing, technology is opening a world of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and bringing entirely new business prospects.

If you’re looking for ways to jump on the tech bandwagon and start capitalizing on our brave new world, below are some business ideas you could look at developing now to gain a head start before the masses follow.

Graphic and web design

As the real and virtual worlds continue to merge, there is now a huge demand for designers that can aid companies in promoting themselves online and in print. Building a strong brand is essential in today’s highly competitive markets, and firms the world over are starting to wake up to the considerable importance of promoting themselves effectively both on and off-line.

Sign design, engraving and marking

While there’s little doubt about the effect the web and associated online technologies have had on business, there will always be a demand for more traditional signage, vehicle livery and engraving skills. Modern laser cutter technology is now more accurate and precise than ever, making it easy to accurately transfer digital designs onto everything from glass to laminate, wood and metal.

3D printing

For the vast majority of businesses, a 3D printer is an expense they simply can’t justify – so investing in the tech and setting up as a dedicated service provider makes good commercial sense. These days, a professional 3D printing machine can cost as little as $10,000 but will soon pay for itself as you build a market and take more clients on board.

3D printing is becoming increasingly popular for educational purposes, construction, and in particular, manufacturing and prototyping – and the demand shows no signs of slowing.

Mobile application development

When Steve Jobs first showcased Apple’s flagship mobile device, the iPhone, on June 29th, 2007, surely even he couldn’t have predicted the massive societal shift-change his product would cause. These days, pretty much all of us have a smartphone that we rely on for day-to-day tasks like messaging, browsing, emailing and shopping.

Today’s smartphones have usurped a multitude of devices – everything from personal music players to cameras and satnavs – and the majority of these capabilities are powered by mobile applications.

Mobile app growth has been exponential over the last few years and continues to increase at breakneck speed. In 2016, research shows there were a total of 140.6 billion app downloads globally. By the end of 2021, that figure is forecast to grow to a whopping 258 billion, representing an 83% increase over just five years.

Working as an app developer, you will have options to build and market your own software (normally generating revenue from sales, advertising or subscriptions) or could go the more traditional route and build applications for clients (getting paid per project). Certainly, one thing is for sure – apps are here to stay, and app development will be a key niche for the foreseeable future.

4 ways to future-proof your business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Future-proof your business|4 ways to future-proof your businessThe business landscape is highly volatile. New developments both economic and social can have a massive impact on how your business functions. This sometimes makes it seem difficult to plan ahead, exposing you to problems further down the line. Future-proofing a business isn’t as difficult as it sounds, though, and these tips should help.

1. Invest in automation and artificial intelligence

Automation and artificial intelligence go hand in hand and they’re both set to play a big role in the future of business. You can start today by automating simple tasks like answering emails, setting automatic software updates for your network and even your social media profile. Artificial intelligence is everywhere, too, and easy to implement. Chatbots can streamline your customer service department and they can even be used to build mailing lists and work on customer outreach programs. Adopting these technologies early will ensure that your business is well equipped to face the future, whatever it holds.

2. Hire an advisor

No matter your intentions, your knowledge of future tech can never really match up to that of a professional advisor. These people spend every day of their lives learning about how businesses will develop. They specialize not just in predicting business trends, but in telling you how best to leverage them. Advisors like https://www.gioletellier.com/ are well placed to make predictions and ensure that your business never falls behind the curve. An additional benefit of hiring an advisor is that they take the strain off you and your staff. Future-proofing demands an enormous amount of data crunching and analysis. Having somebody else do this for you frees up staff to concentrate their energies elsewhere.

3. Research

Research and development is a key component of any healthy business. Continual innovation ensures a steady flow of ideas that can be transformed into products and cash flow. Future research is slightly different, however. It pays to research what your competitors are doing and how bigger businesses in your sector are embracing change for the better. Keep a continual eye on your customer base, too. Demographics might change as time goes by so it’s important never to lose sight of who you’re selling to. A continuous cycle of research and implementation ensures that you’re never taken by surprise if a sudden change occurs or market conditions shift.

4. Gather data

Following on from the previous point, translate themes into data. If your identify shifts in the market, customer base changes or the mass adoption of a new technology occurs, translate those trends into raw data. This makes change more easily quantifiable and gives you something to compare, month on month, year on year. Data allows you to trace not just the trajectory of your business, but that of the business world as a whole. Too many companies are taken by surprise by sudden market shifts, but if you continue to amass and monitor data, it shouldn’t be a challenge to identify potential disruption before it happens.

10 Examples of AI In Our Everyday Lives

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |AI|10 Examples of AI In Our Everyday LivesPerhaps you think that artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) are concepts that do not concern you at all or are too complicated for everyday use? In theory, you may be correct, but in practice, these concepts are already an indispensable part of your daily life, though you may not be aware of them. In this article, we will give you ten examples of AI in our everyday lives.

Do you remember the image of artificial intelligence you had in 2010? At that time, for most of us, artificial intelligence was reserved mainly for science fiction works. It was not yet anchored in our daily lives. It was, in fact, a research discipline. Over the past eleven years, this technology has made great strides in many industrial sectors. It has also burst into our daily lives and has materialized in the form of smartphones and autonomous cars, robotic vacuum cleaners, and self-propelled lawnmowers. Based on a few particularly relevant examples, see for yourself how much artificial intelligence has changed the world in recent years.

Email Messaging

Electronic messaging relies heavily on AI to optimize its performance and increase user satisfaction. Our email boxes have been learning over time thanks to advanced algorithms—for example, spam filtering. Spam filters rely heavily on artificial intelligence, which can process large amounts of messages and detect new spam flooding of your inboxes very quickly.

The publishers of these spam emails change their strategies regularly. As a result, having a few keywords is not enough to identify adverse content. Hence the need to use AI solutions. A perfect example is Gmail from Google, which uses TensorFlow and blocks over 99.9% of spam.

Search Engines

Search engines could hardly function without AI, given the massive size of the web. The AI is deployed in robots that crawl the sites to index them, classify them, and ascertain the display order according to the search expressions. As a result, search engines are fully harnessing the benefits of AI: Technology is helping to understand user behaviors better and drive better outcomes for brands and internet users alike.

Social Networks

AI largely determines the way information is displayed, especially on social networks. For instance, Facebook distributes posts from followed pages, then filters them to highlight those considered most significant while covering the rest. However, no matter what social media platform you use, what you see and do in these applications is primarily influenced by machine learning. As a result, AI controls the channels you see when browsing these platforms or the notifications you receive.

E-commerce

While it’s impossible to predict the future with precision, an excellent data-driven strategy allows marketers to get a more holistic view of upcoming consumer trends. As a result, consumers receive more personalized purchase suggestions based on research conducted by sellers and based on their purchase decisions made so far. As a result, online retailers increasingly use AI consulting companies to take full advantage of the available data and provide their customers with more personalized offers, thus generating higher revenues.

Banking applications

When discussing online shopping, you cannot ignore online banking. Banking is one area that has adopted technological inventions earlier than most other areas. Secure payment is possible in particular thanks to artificial intelligence, as systems continually learn to recognize fraudulent transactions. Have you ever got information from your bank when you purchase using the new device? That is a case where banks used artificial intelligence to detect any potential fraud. Notifications from banks and financial institutions regarding their services and products are examples of artificial intelligence that allows you to understand your preferences, requirements, and financial condition to propose appropriate products.

But the process goes further. Banks use artificial intelligence in many areas, including analyzing customer investment trends, providing customer service, and more.

Chatbots and Customer Service

For most retailers, dealing with many inquiries and comments from consumers through multiple phones, email, and social media channels can be challenging even for the most experienced marketing departments. For this reason, brands are increasingly using chatbots.

With chatbots, the customer experience is smoother. Social media and customer service teams can free themselves from tasks like scheduling appointments and focus on more strategic activities. They can seek out brand ambassadors and create interaction with user-generated content (UGC). Through intelligent learning, chatbots can better understand the language used by each customer, which makes interactions more authentic and easier to navigate. It also allows brands to respond more quickly to micro-moments–targeted junctions where consumers look for specific products or information.

Artificial Intelligence and Smartphones

Imagining life without cell phones seems like a challenge. However, the various applications in our cell phones are now an integral part of our daily life. Many of these applications are based on artificial intelligence. The intelligent assistants built into our phones, such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, are the most prominent examples of AI that most of us know and use.

In addition, more and more mobile technology platforms are developing solutions that use artificial intelligence to manage various aspects of the device, such as battery management, event suggestions, etc. One of the standard functions, such as unlocking the screen with the image of a face, also uses artificial intelligence. As a result, AI-enabled services are now an essential part of iOS and Android platform updates.

Smart Homes

Alexa and Bixby come to mind when it comes to using AI in the development of smart homes. However, these applications of artificial intelligence are not limited to these intelligent voice assistants. A great example of smart homes are AI apps that save energy by automatically turning lights based on human presence. And we also have intelligent speakers, apps that change the color of light according to today. These are just some of the applications where AI is used to make homes smarter.

Navigation

In the morning, you leave your apartment and log into your favorite navigation app. What happens most often? Without even typing a single character, it offers to take you to your work or school, if that’s where you are used to going at that time. Artificial intelligence has changed our traffic habits. Thanks to navigation applications like Waze or Google Maps. These determine the shortest route and estimate the time of arrival. They can even take real-time traffic into account to automatically change the trajectory to avoid traffic jams.

There is no doubt that AI will grow more and more, and thanks to it, people will become more productive and lead a more comfortable life to a higher standard. The possibilities offered by artificial intelligence seem endless. Therefore, we should enjoy them and use them instead of perceiving them as a threat.

How you can use AI to become a more effective leader

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |AI|How you can use AI to become a more effective leaderOne of the greatest challenges of business is dealing with the unknown. As a business leader, you must manage risk and reward every day of your working life.

The ability to know if a new product has been marketed correctly or if your customers are satisfied with your brand is something only skill and experience can bring.

However, the rise of artificial intelligence is a potential ace card up your sleeve, waiting to be used. Armed with the ability to understand your market better, interact with it and know precisely what customers will want next can give you a huge advantage over your competition and help you lead your business far more efficiently.

Here’s how:

You can make far more informed decisions

What is the most important information you need when making a tough sales decision? Consumer data. Without it, you are operating blind, and the right decision is perilously tricky to make.

Thankfully, AI – such as the https://smartboost.ai/ system – changes this, because it can collect and quantify gigantic amounts of data on both your customers and your company. This allows you a deep, meaningful understanding of every single one of your prospects, one-time buyers and lifetime customers. The AI analyzes this data and gives you an easy-to-process report, giving you all the information you could ever need to make a reasoned decision about your brand strategy.

You know exactly how your customers are feeling

Because of this huge resource of information, you can connect far more personally with what your customers are feeling about your brand. As a business leader, it can be almost impossible to stay in touch with ‘on-the-shop-floor’ colleagues and the buyers themselves.

Previously, you could be handed completely warped information on the state of the market. Customer surveys can only go so far. This gives you the ability to correct any flaws in your products and better position your brand in the market.

While AI software will be used differently by different departments, you can use it to stay better connected to the day-to-day running of the overall business and track its progress.

Cut down on wasted resources

When marketing your product, it is difficult to analyze what works well and what doesn’t, especially with any real precision. This often leads to huge swathes of the resource being invested in advertising campaigns and even products that consumers simply don’t want. By using AI software, you can minimize this expenditure and focus on the prospects that are most likely to buy, and the products most likely to sell.

Avoid making mistakes

AI is, obviously, not human. This means it overcomes human flaws by remembering everything it has learned and never making the same mistake twice. Even the most level-headed business leader cannot deliver this level of consistency.

With every passing marketing campaign, the AI software will remember what went well in the past, and what can be improved upon in the future. This allows you to minimize the chances of managerial error and gives you peace of mind that (in theory at least) your strategy should improve the more you use AI.

6 Ways Technology Can Help Companies Innovate Out of the Coronavirus Downturn

StrategyDriven Innovation Article |Coronavirus|6 Ways Technology Can Help Companies Innovate Out of the Coronavirus DownturnAs our world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders must understand that it’s going to be technology that determines which companies survive and build success from this unprecedented event.

The current COVID-19 pandemic may be the biggest “unfreezing event” that our economy has ever experienced, certainly since World War II. To turn a block of ice into a new shape you must first unfreeze it, pour the water into a mold, and then refreeze it again. Human habits work much the same way. COVID-19 has forced us all to behave differently—To unfreeze. Our habits will mold into new shapes, habits and routines that may endure once the current crisis has passed. Businesses routines will have to change too. We are entering a new fluid state that will lead to an unprecedented period of innovation and transformation.

Before COVID-19, the world was already on a path to widespread change. In my book, “The Innovation Ultimatum: How Six Strategic Technologies Will Reshape Every Business in the 2020s,” I outline the technologies that will drive unprecedented innovation into products and services in the 2020s, creating entirely new business models. The pandemic makes those technologies more relevant now than ever. These technologies are:

  1. Artificial intelligence (AI)
  2. Blockchain
  3. The Internet of things (IoT)
  4. Augmented reality
  5. Autonomous machines
  6. 5G and satellite networks

While some organizations had begun to embrace these technologies before the pandemic, it’s now critical that business leaders keep moving ahead with innovation efforts as we move into a new normal.

With social distancing, we have already seen new behaviors emerge: Increased use of telemedicine, online food delivery services, video conferencing, and home streaming services.

Online schooling is another example. While there has been some investment in online education by various institutions, that’s going to accelerate rapidly as millions of kids are required to learn from home. Educators are installing digital infrastructure, learning how to use it themselves, figuring out best practices on how to get the most out of the medium, training kids on how to use it, and setting expectations for proper use. Once this investment of time, money, and trust is made, a new normal is created. When the current crisis is over, that investment remains, and the barriers to shifting at least some of the curriculum online are already gone. Where it makes sense, digital education may become a common part of all schooling.

This is a clear example of an acceleration. Education’s shift towards digital was already underway. The constraints placed by pandemic only accelerated the inevitable.

The same applies for telemedicine. Here, the issues holding back the shift are not technological; necessary infrastructure is mostly in place. The barrier slowing roll out before the pandemic was that doctors couldn’t bill as much for their time as for in-person visits to a clinic. Expect this challenge to be addressed quickly, and telemedicine to become a more important component of our healthcare systems in the future.

While it’s premature to determine how the world might be different going forward, it’s not too early to take a few educated guesses. Here are some initial thoughts on how things may be different, and how new technology might play a significant role.

  • Robots don’t get sick. All businesses will make moves to improve business continuity and reduce risk. This may accelerate investment in automation technologies, including artificial intelligence, robotics, sensors, autonomous vehicles (e.g. for delivery), and blockchain technology. Self-driving delivery trucks and drones don’t carry disease if properly cleaned. Even governance of operations can be encoded into blockchain networks and artificial intelligence.
  • Better supply chains. As part of a broader risk reduction exercise, we will see companies make moves to build more robust supply chains. Expect many measures here, including requirements for multiple sources across multiple countries, some onshoring (especially for critical components and products) and increased levels of transparency and traceability for goods in the supply chain. New provenance chain technology, based on Blockchain technology, can play a big role here. New automation technologies will make onshoring of manufacturing more attractive.
  • More remote workers. Again, to reduce risk, we may see bigger companies move away from large HQ campuses towards many connected, highly distributed sites. More people will work from home offices. This will constitute a balance between risk mitigation and rapid information flow in organizations. The high-speed connectivity of 5G and satellite networks will be crucial to this shift.
  • Social apps. New apps and services will emerge that help people remain social while keeping their distance. Humans are social creatures. Let’s see which company will be first to capture the world’s imagination with a new social game designed to connect far-flung family members of all ages.
  • A new reality. Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) technology will likely get far more use. VR offers a powerful sense of immersion, making you feel like you are transported to another place. At a time when that’s one of the things that we can’t do, people will crave the ability to visit distant places and to feel like they share the same space with family and friends. Avatar technology is improving, as are sensors that capture our movements and even our expressions. As low-cost, high-quality AR headsets become available in the coming few years, there is an incredible opportunity for developers to create new social experiences at a distance. Those could include, for example, an enhanced shopping experience in the home or better collaboration between remote coworkers.
  • A race for broadband. The next several weeks will make the value of a broadband connection crystal clear. Yet, broadband Internet is still not available to half the planet. People in rural areas are particularly disadvantaged. Satellite constellations, built by companies like SpaceX, OneWeb, LeoSAT, Amazon and others, will bring broadband connectivity to every corner of the earth by the end of the decade, much sooner in many locations. This build-out cannot happen quickly enough.

We live in unprecedented times. It’s too early to call how this all plays out, and we should all expect our plans to shift over time as new information becomes available, but every company must begin to think about the new normal and build their business plans accordingly.

The pandemic has proved that in order to survive, every company must become a technology company. Every company must become a data company. Business operations must be retooled using both process automation and worker augmentation.

A construct that I find useful as a futurist is to ask myself several simple questions in the face of a new force of change: What will stop, what will start, what will accelerate, what will decelerate, and what will transform? Think about how answers to these questions will affect your business in the future.

A colleague of mine, former Intel CEO, Craig Barrett, told me back in 2008 that the best way to weather a recession is to invest your way out of it. That way, when the market turns around you can race out of the gate ready to take fullest advantage of the upswing. No company ever saves their way out of a recession. Innovation will be vital to recovery.

For companies that heed Barrett’s advice and choose to innovate their way out of recession, new technology will be key. As we reimagine products, services, channels, companies, and the entire economy for the rest of the 21st century, six strategic technologies—artificial intelligence, the internet of things, Blockchain technology, 5G and satellite networks, autonomous machines, and augmented reality—will each play an important part.

Every company needs to gain a deep understanding of these technologies and how they might be deployed to meet rapidly evolving consumer needs, to create new channels (that enable remote interaction), to automate business processes, to boost business continuity, and to deliver innovative new products and services that fuel economic growth.

The best way to get out of recession is to innovate your way out of it. The sooner we start to think that way, the sooner we can slingshot ourselves out of our current situation.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Steve BrownSteve Brown is an energetic speaker, author, strategist, and advisor with over 30 years of experience in high tech. He is the former futurist and chief evangelist at Intel Corporation and helps others understand the business and societal impacts of new technologies and how they will shape the future five, 10 and 15 years from now. He is the author of The Innovation Ultimatum: How Six Strategic Technologies will Reshape Every Business in the 2020s. Steve holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in Micro-Electronic Systems Engineering from Manchester University. He was born in the U.K. and became a U.S. citizen in 2008. He lives with his wife in Portland, OR.