Technology has evolved over time, and is accelerating evolution by transforming the way we live and work everyday. Some organisations have been slow to adapt to the technological changes, however, companies that have seen and responded to the shift are reaping the benefits. Advancements in technology have allowed many different sectors of business to flourish, whether that be in gaining greater insights into the marketplace and customer needs or making certain processes more efficient and successful. Technology, in the form of PC’s, then the Internet, then mobile devices, then smartphones have increasingly empowered consumers. Social media has brought about huge changes in how customers can openly review and engage with companies, breaking down the traditional one-way communication. Businesses have had to become more social by creating this two way communication consumers now expect. By engaging and monitoring customer opinions and breaking down the barriers, businesses often retain a better reputation and in turn gain a stronger relationship and better understanding of their customers.
Virtual reality in businesses
Virtual reality can make it possible to experience anything, anywhere, anytime, providing a fully immersive experience. It can convince the human brain that it is somewhere it is really not. Currently, the largest technology companies in the world (Facebook, Google, and Microsoft) are investing billions into virtual reality companies and startups and this technology is set to be a part of our everyday future lives.
Virtual reality is benefiting many businesses and industries, including the revolutionary changes it is causing in the medical field – transforming healthcare. VR technology is already widely used in medical areas such as operational, psychotherapy and rehabilitation training, and it is expected to find further applications in the near future – although challenges with the technology are still being faced. China has become a global centre for developing the technology, however many Chinese enterprises lack the cooperation in the industry chain of virtual reality. With integration of virtual reality and artificial intelligence being a general trend set for the future, organisations may need to focus on introducing VR strategies to remain competitive.
Businesses are slowly learning about cloud technology and its benefits
Until recently, the business sector in Hong Kong did not appear to be overly excited about adopting cloud technology or using any of the services – however, there has now been a significant shift in attitude. More large and small businesses from different sectors have been finding out how they can harness cloud and digital technology, while realising how it can benefit them. It has simply been an unknown technology to many and education and knowledge is key to changing these attitudes.
Cloud technology allows business to operate more efficiently even with their people on the move. Information can easily be uploaded and stored on online servers and shared instantaneously with stakeholders. Businesses don’t need to invest in expensive equipment or hire someone to look after them. Monthly costs are therefore greatly reduced and the services allow for far more flexibility. Confidentiality with customer data used to be the hurdle. However, more businesses are adapting and becoming more eager to tap into the analytic power of cloud services, to gain useful insight from this data. The greater an understanding a business has on their customer behaviour will lead to a more successful strategy being shaped to satisfy their customers’ needs.
Office technology is evolving
The office workplace is evolving faster than ever, with big changes resulting from new technologies and behaviours entering our organisations. Businesses must now learn to adapt. As a response, PropTech is on the rise in Hong Kong and in other regions around the world. With a poor property market and risks associated with purchasing property in Hong Kong, PropTech aims to innovate the way real estate works – in turn, aiming to lower the cost to businesses, while improving productivity for everyone involved. Briefly, PropTech is changing our office properties by combining many of the technologies mentioned; Smart Scenery Technology, Virtual Reality and 3D, Cloud Based Technology, Big Data and Enhanced CRM tools. Businesses are slowly awakening to the opportunities of evolving technology and the role it will inevitably have in our daily lives – many already reaping its benefits.
The future and investing in innovation
It has become clear that there has been a shift in emphasis on innovation and technology, which has shaken up rankings of competitiveness for many businesses. It will be imperative that businesses respond to this shift in order to remain relevant and competitive within any market. Although Hong Kong is one of the world’s most digitally connected places, it must target a growth in various technologies if it is to regain its past glory as one of the world most competitive cities.