TOP 5 Technology Trends for Entrepreneurs
Rinalds Sluckis, CEO of business technology company Digital Mind, to ir.lv
As the end of the year approaches, various global technology research institutes and media publish the latest innovation trends for the coming year. This gives company managers the opportunity to keep up with technological developments and to think ahead of time about developing their business in line with global trends, allowing them to improve their competitiveness, increase the level of digitization, increase efficiency and provide better service to their customers. The Internet of Things, the development of artificial intelligence and various productivity tools are moving forward at a rapid pace, so it is important for entrepreneurs to choose the most appropriate solutions for their business and adapt them to their needs.
According to a survey* of entrepreneurs conducted by Digital Mind earlier this year, 77% of Latvian medium and large enterprises expect to use more planning and management technology solutions in the coming years to achieve their business development goals and overcome problems. This demonstrates that Latvian companies understand the importance of digital solutions in future business and are ready to introduce new solutions to ensure better management.
It is true that leading Internet technology analysts, such as Gartner and IDC, do not mention radically new, disruptive technologies when they talk about trends for the coming years, but rather discuss the intensification of existing trends and the further development of already known technologies – more widespread use, faster diffusion, more intensive use in different sectors. Here are five of the most important ones that I think will be relevant for Latvian companies and organizations in the coming years.
1. Delegating functions to artificial intelligence
The evolution of global technology in the coming years will focus on making it easier and cheaper to use huge amounts of data for certain business functions, to adapt them to different self-service solutions. Most of the data processing and analysis will be outsourced to artificial intelligence, which is undeniably capable of doing this much faster and better than humans. Decision-making will also be automated, if not fully, then significantly speeding up decision-making. Artificial intelligence will analyze the available information and propose reasoned scenarios, risk and probability analyses, which will significantly improve the process.
2. Easier data management
Storing, managing and archiving data is one of the most important daily concerns for businesses – to make it easy to find, to meet all the company’s security requirements. This is especially important now, when employees work from home and it is likely that at least part of their work will be organized remotely in the future. The number of applications used by businesses has increased in recent years, so integration is essential. This will lead to the development of technologies and architectural solutions (e.g. data fabric) for data aggregation and management. Machine learning will improve as the performance of cloud computing services and the amount of data processed increase. These tools will also become cheaper and more accessible for smaller businesses, without the need to hire data engineers to successfully apply smart decision-making solutions to everyday processes.
3. Digitization and process automation will become the agenda
I believe that in Latvia in the coming year we will see much wider use of robotic process automation in organizations, as well as an improvement in remote services. Rising inflation, labor shortages, pandemic changes in employee habits will put significant upward pressure on staff costs and talent availability. Digitization and automation of processes will become the day-to-day business management agenda in most organizations in Latvia, not just in the financial sector and larger companies, as has been the case so far.
4. Cybersecurity will become more relevant
Cybersecurity and data protection will become even more relevant as data processing and the use of internet technology solutions increase. As a large part of the business community still lacks knowledge and understanding of these issues, we will, unfortunately, hear more and more about data leaks or encryption ransomware attacks, which encrypt information on servers, individual hard drives and computers, denying the user access to the information. Therefore, as businesses become increasingly digitalized, they will inevitably need to strengthen data security.
5. The rise of cloud computing services
The use of different cloud services and systems is also likely to increase significantly, in terms of the speed with which the service or solution required can be delivered. According to the Digital Mind survey of entrepreneurs, the biggest concern for Latvian entrepreneurs when it comes to cloud solutions is data security – 49% of entrepreneurs surveyed say they would not choose cloud options for this reason, 23% worry about lack of control, while 20% worry about high costs and 9% about data availability in the event of an internet outage. However, the lack of talent and the need to change quickly will force organizations to overcome the stigma and misconceptions that have led to the non-use of cloud computing services.
* The survey was conducted in January and February 2021, interviewing the top managers or IT directors of 154 Latvian companies. This is done in companies with at least 90 employees, excluding state-owned companies.