Technology analysts Gartner have released a new report highlighting the key trends for business in the coming year. These focus on the impact of digital business innovation and also how the after-effects can often be more disruptive to companies than the initial burst of change.
According to its report, browsing habits are likely to change significantly in 2017, with more consumers using augmented reality to help them make informed decisions about their purchases. In 2016, the rise of Pokemon Go demonstrated how this tech can be brought into the mainstream. This is going to be crucial for all sectors, especially accountancy as augmented reality plays a more significant role in everyday jobs. Some predict that augmented reality software will help accountants better visualise data and figures, while also completing other tasks at the same time.
Indeed a number of retailers used this to their advantage, using the application to tempt more people into their stores.
Other companies will use augmented reality to help consumers make informed decisions about their purchases by allowing them to place furniture in their virtual home or seeing what clothes will look like on their virtual body.
Research cited by the report revealed that a fifth of businesses will use augmented reality by the end of 2017 and, by 2020, 100 million consumers will use it to shop.
Although this shows how evolving technology will impact consumer behaviour for many businesses, Gartner also predicts that there will be a decline in other areas, as features like augmented reality grow.
The report expects brands' usage of mobile apps to drop dramatically over the next few years. This is because many aren't seeing the ROI they expected when they had their mobile apps developed. Gartner expects this to cause 20 per cent of brands to abandon their apps by 2019, leaving bigger companies to dominate.
Continued investment by bigger companies like Apple and Google will help make the mobile web more "applike" and a better tool for user engagement.
By 2020, the report also predicts that algorithms will have a positive impact on the behaviour of over 1 billion global workers. Consumer websites like Amazon already use contextual algorithms to guide people but a growing set of "persuasive technologies" will take this to the next step.
Virgin Atlantic uses influence algorithms to help its pilots reduce their fuel consumption and more companies will use these methods to boost the behaviour of their employees.
At least some of the predictions outlined in the report will affect most businesses, whether directly or indirectly. Being aware of these changes help your company to stay abreast of the latest developments and see whether it will be profitable to invest in these areas.