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Ask the experts: what’s going to be the next forward-thinking tech in 2019?

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Technology is moving faster today than ever before. Over the last decade we’ve seen technology change the way we communicate, retrieve and deal with information as well as directly affecting consumer lifestyle choices, with innovations such as IoT and AI.

 

But where are we going? At the speed of innovation within the sector, it seems difficult to predict what will be the next big thing in 2019. That’s why we decided to speak to some experts across various business sectors to give their top predictions on what they think will be the biggest forward-thinking tech trends as we come into the new year.

 

Alex Tebbs, Founder of VIA

“A technology trend we have increasingly seen over the years is consolidation of our communication, and this is only going to get more advanced and important as we come into the new year. Previously in business, every communication channel was hosted separately, including phones, online chats, email and videos – whereas today we’re seeing a increase in the integration capabilities of online systems which helps to facilitate flexible and more collaborative working.  Unified communications in this way brings together a range of communication platforms, allowing better connection with customers and colleagues across business as a whole, which will be relevant to all sectors in 2019.”

 

Matthew Brouker, Group Product Director, Six Degrees

“The threats posed by cyber criminals continue to grow in frequency, sophistication and success; the Cabinet Office estimates the cost of cyber-crime to the UK economy to be £27 billion. We’re seeing organisations come to the realisation that traditional IT security measures like firewall and antivirus are ineffective in preventing cyber-attacks unless they are deployed as part of a wider cyber security strategy.

 

In 2019, I expect more organisations to build out their multi-layered security approaches that combine security solutions with robust processes and targeted staff training programmes in order to enhance their overall security postures.”

     

Deral Heiland, IoT Research Lead, Rapid7

 

“With the ever growing influx of new IoT products such as stoves, cookers, and microwaves, I expect we will see an increase in physical injuries directly related to the IoT enablement of devices. These devices, on their own, have a risk of physical injury, but with remote, and voice enabled functions they become potentially more dangerous.

 

With the number of IoT technologies in the workplace beginning to outnumber conventional IT assets, there is an ever increasing probability that these devices will be used as entry points by malicious actors to further compromise corporations for data breaches. Expect in 2019 to see this become a reality and news of several breaches directly tied to installed IoT technology.”

 

Michael Foote, Founder of Quote Goat.

“I predict that 2019 will be the year of data centralisation. With GDPR being a big part of 2018 as well as growing concern with regards to data breaches, I’m expecting to see the development of online passports whereby a user creates and manages their data through one central provider, removing the need to create a different account for every website.

 

When a user wishes to sign up to an online service, that website will send a request to access necessary elements of the user’s data in order to provide their service. Users will benefit from being able to control which online services have access to what information at any time, all from one place, not to mention the fact that we’ll all hopefully only need to remember one password in the future.”

 

Mat Clothier, CEO and Founder at Cloudhouse

“As the Q4 2018 Forrester New Wave for Container Platform Software Suites reveals, external integration and application life-cycle management tools are becoming increasingly key to help build, connect, scale and operate container-based apps in public cloud environments, and this only looks set to continue into the new year.

 

As more and more enterprises move away from legacy systems and towards a cloud-based future, they will realise that migrating traditional apps is challenging; there is a growing need for the tools that offer portability that may not be possible otherwise. 2019 will inevitably see more enterprise workloads move to Azure, AWS and Citrix, but what remains to be seen is how many businesses will realise the importance of tools that manage the delivery of these applications across a global network of data centres.”

 

Lindsay Notwell, Senior VP of 5G Strategy and Global Carrier Operations, Cradlepoint

“In 2018, we saw major wireless carriers in the U.S. and around the world announce and launch commercial 5G services. In the U.S., Verizon launched their 5G Ultra Wideband residential offering in four initial markets while AT&T has announced that they will be rolling-out mobile 5G by end of year.

 

However, there’s an underlying framework below the radar of these headline-grabbing 5G announcements that will impact more people in a big way. As a prelude to 5G, just about every major carrier is busy upgrading their current LTE infrastructure to prepare for the more widespread rollout of 5G and – in the process – are providing gigabit-class LTE services.

 

With more urban 5G services deploying in 2019 and gigabit-class LTE available on a nationwide level, I’m predicting that 2019 will be a breakout year when enterprise and public sector customers will start to ‘Cut the Cord’ and migrate their WANs to wireless 4G LTE connections that deliver game-changing levels of performance and integrate seamlessly with 5G when and where it’s available.”

 

Chris Unwin, CEO of LAC Conveyors

“As the manufacturing industry becomes more aware of the potential for robotic solutions, alongside skilled programming become more available, there may well be an increasing desire for robotic solutions as we come into 2019.

 

Robotic solutions may play a part across industries, where difficulties arise with recruiting human labour due to the nature of the activity. As we come into the new year, there is an increasing demand for high speed that also requires accuracy, and robots can help deliver the required productivity. Furthermore, forward thinking tech such as robots will also be able to be utilised in areas where humans are restricted through problems such as space restraints, or health and safety problems.”

 

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Business

How ecommerce businesses can retain customer loyalty during a recession

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By Olusegun Akande, founder of Samis & S&T Enterprises

As the UK’s recession worsens and consumers continue to feel the pinch caused by the cost-of-living crisis, many stores (online and in-person) are under pressure to retain existing customers and win over new customers to keep their businesses going in 2023.

Whilst smaller shops and ecommerce businesses might not have the reputation and accessibility of some of the larger supermarkets, there are benefits to being small and nimble, which means a leg up over the bigger players too. Here’s how small commerce businesses can continue to build relationships with customers and increase their loyalty, even in a recession.

Keep things personal

Whether it’s in-store, online or through social media, customers still respond well to a personalised service. Whether that’s the cashier notifying them that their favourite product is back in stock, or a response to a comment they left on your social media pages, small personal gestures can increase your relationship with your customers and in turn, can keep them loyal to your services.

Ask your customers what they want

This builds on my point about personalisation, but if you have a group of customers that regularly buy products from you, or come to your store, ask them what it is they enjoy about the experience, why they come to you and what they would like to see more of.

This doesn’t just tell your customers that they’re a valued customer and that you value their opinion, it also offers you free insight into how to build your business in a way that customers will respond well to, and increase your profitability. It can also work the opposite way – asking your customers what they don’t like. Showing you which products, services or aspects of your business that might not be generating value, or stopping the sales pipeline. Customer pet peeves might include long queues (if in person), not having a search function on your website or a complicated checkout process.

Introduce a customer rewards scheme

Introducing a rewards scheme is a great way to keep customers coming back to your store. Sometimes, the software programmes that your loyalty rewards scheme is built through enable you to track what products your customers buy the most, the money they’ve spent and how frequently they shop, so this can also be a way to see what products are most popular.

Show customer’s the value in shopping with you

The tactics mentioned above are great ways to drive customer loyalty, but ultimately it comes down to whether you can save customers’ money. It’s important that you do offer products at a cheaper rate than competitors; highlight it on your website or showcase it on social media. Customers will pay attention and it will help to drive new customers to your store.

You could even go a step further and get customers who have saved money to appear as case studies on your social media or website. Nothing is more persuasive than a real world example!

As you can see, there are a multitude of ways you can engage customers to keep them loyal during a recession, it’s just a case of getting creative.

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Business

2023 crypto trends that businesses need to know about

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By Marcus de Maria, Founder and Chairman of Investment Mastery

 

As cryptocurrencies have started to enjoy wider global acceptance in recent years, businesses and financial institutions have been slower to join the trend. Perhaps wisely, the business community has been more cautious in its approach to adopting cryptocurrencies than previously anticipated when Bitcoin first launched in 2009.

The tide is shifting though. The ever-changing digital marketplace has meant we’re now seeing increasingly more household name brands such as Microsoft, Google and Starbucks embracing payment in Bitcoin for some or all of its services or certainly trialling it. As 2022 draws to a close, over 15000 companies are excepting Bitcoin as payment around the world.

As more businesses take the plunge into the crypto world and off the back of one of the most volatile years in crypto history, what changes can we expect to see over the next year?

John Castro, CEO of Investment Mastery shares his 2023 cryptocurrency predictions below.

Marcus de Maria

Like the stock markets the crypto market is struggling against a backdrop of high inflation, the soaring cost of living, and a recessionary environment. As such prices have dropped a lot. However, sit up and take note for businesses who are looking into cryptocurrencies, 2023 could be looking promising for these three key reasons:

  1. The entering of institutions: What we are seeing now and what we will be seeing more of in 2023 are institutions entering the market. Pension funds are adding cryptos to their assets for the first time, news broke earlier this year that BlackRock is partnering with Coinbase to deliver crypto to their customers, and Fidelity and Citigroup are joining with their millions of clients. As the market inevitably becomes more regulated, we can expect this trend to continue which will encourage market growth.
  2. The formation of partnerships: As well as reputable institutions entering the market, 2023 will be bolstered by new partnerships between crypto and big business. We’re seeing Amazon partnering with either Ethereum and Solana among other cryptocurrencies and blockchains to host their cloud service. This has made the idea of crypto payment more attractive to global business leaders. As more businesses adopt cryptocurrency, we are likely to see a more stable crypto market in 2023.
  1. Bad players leaving the game: Like any market, crypto has had its share of bad players. In 2022 the market lost a lot of value thanks to the likes of Celsius ftx. This has inevitably shaken investors’ faith having a knock-on effect on price. But as these bad payers are knocked out, we predict that much needed trust will be rebuilt throughout the next year which will help lead to an increase in value.

With reputable institutions entering the market, powerful partnerships being made and the removal of those giving crypto a bad name, the prediction for 2023 is that demand for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is only going to increase. With supply staying the same thanks to the very nature of crypto, we can expect the price to inevitably increase.

So could a Bull market be upon us in 2023? Time will tell but one thing is for sure, cryptocurrencies are here to stay. It’s time for businesses to put their game faces on…

 

About Investment Mastery

Founded in 2003, Investment Mastery is a premium training and education company delivering easy to follow and profitable trading and investing strategies.

Today, Investment Mastery delivers training seminars and workshops, online and live in-person, annually. They have educated over thousands of people across 25 countries, while also developing and delivering industry-leading online support and training that is delivered in three different languages.

Led by founder and chairman Marcus de Maria and his expert team of real traders and investors in the fields of stocks, cryptocurrencies and forex, Investment Mastery’s training education is influenced by the exact same proven techniques that Marcus uses to trade and invest his own money.

The team at Investment Mastery do not just help clients to strengthen their finances, but their mindset too. This helps clients uncover, address and breakthrough their limiting beliefs behind wealth creation and find their reasons ‘why’. This unique approach is what sets them apart from other wealth creation educators and is why clients achieve such incredible results.

 

 

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