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3 Digital Trends to Watch for in 2021: Why Businesses Need Robots to Survive

By Technology

Today we are taking a deep dive on the big trends the business world will face in 2021. 

This topic has been addressed thousands, if not millions of times by now. It’s related to COVID-19 and how, in my opinion, it’s going to affect the business digital landscape in 2021. We will dive deep into the three obvious, or not so obvious, trends that businesses will see more of in 2021 because of COVID-19. How has COVID-10 shaken up the business world and changed it for the foreseeable future, on a local and global level?

What three obvious (or not so obvious) trends are we going to see in the digital business world in 2021?

NUMBER ONE: The Necessity of Analytics + an Online Presence

Companies who weren’t heavily invested in analytics in 2020 probably won’t be in business in 2021. Now, when I say analytics, a lot of people are going to say, well duh, of course analytics are important for any business. We are seeing the importance especially for small businesses. Large enterprises, large brands, and corporations are accustomed to analytics, data, business intelligence, and using data and statistics to back their strategic decisions and make calls related to their business. Small businesses, even mid-sized businesses, are not. 

The pandemic thrust analytics, or the importance of them, onto small business owners already full plates. The reason being that margins have been smaller now than ever before because of COVID-19. Every decision that a small business owner makes during this pandemic is that much more crucial to the survival of their business. It could be the life or death of your business. What was once a menial decision could now end your business today or tomorrow, or those decisions may keep your business alive. Having analytics, data and hard numbers behind decisions for small business owners adds value and confidence in what they’re doing.

Analytics pairs perfectly with the most obvious change due to the pandemic for small to mid-sized businesses: diving into the deep end in the digital world. An example of this is mom and pop shops that were not involved previously using digital have been forced to use PPC for the first time. They are looking into SEO and investing in a website. They’re trying to sell their products online, replacing in-person sales. These digital platforms are ways of advertising and marketing. 

The shift to digital is a silver lining for small and midsize business owners because it allows them to see insights, statistics, and analytics that they otherwise were not seeing before. Having always relied on traditional marketing and advertising pre-COVID-19, a shift toward all digital is not easy. But moving online opens up the possibility of tracking and measuring everything that happens in real time, if done intelligently. 

Being able to track, measure, and record results from the digital world is a silver lining for all businesses. This is something that small and mid-sized businesses are going to carry well into 2021. And hey, we can and should use analytics, data, and statistics the way the big businesses do. This trend will allow small and mid-sized businesses to be more strategic, confident, and ESPECIALLY efficient going forward. Expect to see small and midsize businesses using Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, Instagram analytics, and other basic analytics and statistics to back their decisions going forward. They will be more efficient because of it. I guarantee that in 2021. 

NUMBER TWO: AI + Machine Learning

In 2021 we will continue to see AI and machine learning come into play, quicker. It will be faster in 2021 and adopted more in 2021. In speaking with some colleagues, it feels like the year 2030 has been thrown at us, but a decade sooner than anticipated. Because of COVID-19, we have seen aspects of the digital world and technology we would not have seen until 2030. We’re going to see these advances early into 2021. 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are hot words and topics right now. AI and machine learning will be critical for the success of businesses with the influx of data and analytics as a result of the pandemic. The drastic increase of data will overwhelm the human capabilities, our human systems, and our understanding. To cope, we’re going to need systems and processes like artificial intelligence and machine learning to sift through, share, and make sense of this data to make strategic decisions at higher levels. There’s too much data for any one human or even a team of humans, an army of humans, to make all of the decisions. We’re going to see A.I. and machine learning become a part of every business. 

We will see new platforms, tools, and agencies that are going to employ these strategies enabling businesses and business owners to use data and analytics to help their companies grow and succeed. Small businesses will see the use of artificial intelligence in SAS tools or platforms in 2021. I’ve seen the power in digital marketing tools available for small agencies to leverage artificial intelligence. Although these tools and processes are new and unfamiliar, there’s plenty of things to work through and work out. It’s exciting to see how this area of technology, and how fast it has grown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

NUMBER THREE: Robotic Process Automation

The new year will usher in an increase in RPA. RPA stands for robotic process automation. RPA provides organizations the ability to reduce staffing costs and human error. David Chatzky, a managing director at Deloitte L.P., points to a bank’s experience with implementing RPA. The bank redesigned its claims process by deploying 85 bots to run 13 processes, handling one point five million requests per year. The bank’s RPA added capacity equivalent to more than 200 full-time employees at approximately 30% of the cost of recruiting more staff. This is something we’ve already heard, and we kind of roll our eyes and say, “Robots? Really?” Or we say, “Oh my gosh, we’re putting computers in the fast food lines where they’re taking our order instead of humans.” But it’s all a bit more nuanced than that.

You’re going to see businesses of all sizes looking to use RPA on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. They’re going to look for ways to use robotic process optimization because it makes their businesses more efficient. It’s a fancy term, but at the end of the day, it’s trying to find ways of using digital or automations to make your business more efficient. Finding lower quality tasks, ones that do not require high levels of creativity or strategy, the irreplaceable human element, to complete. Let’s be honest, when you think about it that way, those things should be automated.

I know that the immediate response is, “Robots are taking our jobs!”. My take is that RPAs free up the human species to focus on what we do best. Humans are best at creating and being creative. We excel at strategic thinking and implementation. We work well with other humans. We are entrepreneurs. We are pioneers. Automating lower tasks frees up time for innovation. When you kind of look at someone’s task sheet, you might say, “Wow, you know, I feel like 70% of these tasks could be automated.” Automated tasks can include email responses or chatbots on a website. We can automate welcome emails, newsletters, or drip campaigns through a website. We already automate online ads and bidding strategies. Most digital tools have the capacity to automate these processes. As previously mentioned, the biggest benefit is more time to focus on what you do best: creativity, strategy, and human interaction. 

You will see all business types and sizes continue to leverage RPA, robotic process automation, going forward. My challenge to you is to write out some of your daily or weekly tasks. Write them all down on a list and circle the ones that you feel like could be automated. You will be shocked at the amount that can and should be automated. Make it a 2021 resolution to look into automation processes. Many businesses have been forced to do this. Automation is another silver lining from this coronavirus pandemic. Businesses will come out the other side more efficient and with the ability to see the power of digital, allowing for more creativity. 

Those are the three obvious (and not so obvious) trends and changes we will see more of in 2021. To review really quick: 

  1. Use of analytics, especially for small businesses and decision makers 
  2. Increased artificial intelligence and machine learning to interpret, understand, and digest analytics and data 
  3. RPA, or robotic process automation to free up time on menial tasks and dive into innovation, creativity, human interaction, and strategic thinking and implementation  

These are the three things that Big Red Jelly will continue to implement for our business and our clients. What do you think? What are some digital trends that you think are going to make waves in 2021 because of this COVID-19 pandemic? 

Let’s continue this conversation on our social media channels! Check out our weekly industry videos on our Facebook or Instagram accounts at 3PM (MST) every Thursday.

Today’s article comes from a previously recorded video. Check out the video here!

girl in vr headset

7 Fascinating Facts About Technology 

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7 Fascinating Facts About Technology 

It is amazing, and almost a little scary to think about how advanced technology has become in just a few short decades. Here are some facts about technology that will put what you thought you knew about technology into a whole new perspective. 

1. In the 1950’s PCs went by the name “Electronic Brains.”

Although this may seem funny to modern viewers, this was a serious term back then. It makes you wonder about the sorts of names we have for modern-day technology that will be made fun of in the future (although I think we should never have deviated from that cool nickname).

2. Technology companies HP, Google, Microsoft and Apple were all started in garages.

Next time you have a great idea you better head straight to your garage! Many of the creators were also college drop-outs, so remember to never give up hope. You just might create the next big thing because you failed something else first.

3. When it was released, the Apple ll had only 5 megabytes of storage on its hard drive.

This is an incredible comparison to the whopping 130 GB you can get on the new Macbooks. At the time of the release, however, this was considered a huge amount of storage for such a small portable device.

4. 51% of internet traffic is, in fact, made up of hackers and spammers. 

Seems like 51% of all emails are spam too…

5. The first computer ever was almost 2.5 meters high and weighed almost 60,000 pounds.

Compared to the size and weight of today’s computers it is pretty astonishing to think there could have been a computer that large. 

6. Time magazine named the computer “Man of the Year” in 1982.

No real successful human feelings were hurt in this decision, hopefully… Read more on this here

7. The name Google was actually created by accident. A spelling error was made by the creators who were intentionally going for the name Googol.

For those of you that don’t know what a Googol is, it is the number equivalent to ten raised to the power of a hundred (10100).

 

Utilize these fun facts about technology to improve your company’s online brand. Our experts at Big Red Jelly can help you up your technology game. Visit our website for additional information, or schedule a free consultation with one of our experts now.

What’s the Hype Over AI all of a Sudden?

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What’s the Hype Over Artificial Intelligence all of a Sudden?

AI. What is the hype around Artificial Intelligence and why now?

Artificial Intelligence, AI is computer intelligence and machinery combined with human touch and reaction according to Technopedia. This includes speech recognition like Siri or Alexa, self-driving cars like Tesla, customer support like Cognito, recommending shows or movies like Netflix, recommending music like Spotify and so on. Our thermostats, watches, vacuums, they all are using AI to produce the work we want.

So what about companies using AI to select employees? Companies like JPMorgan Chase, Delta Airlines, Unilever, Oracle are just some of the companies using a digital interview software that uses AI. The digital interview software offered by HireVue, Montage Talent and more are popping up during recruiting processes.

Why should we be looking into this more? This digital interviewing software is using AI to recruit and hiring the “best” people. Companies that use software with AI are creating ethics behind AI. HireVue lists their ethics behind AI and explains the principles they have put in place.

Artificial Intelligence is something to be aware of. Know what software you are using with it to better aware of yourself. It’s better to learn the facts and understand the ethics behind it.  AI is all around us. It isn’t something new and it’s not going away.

Technology Over The Past Decade and How it’s Improving

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Technology Over The Past Decade and How it’s Improving

To some 2009 might seem like it was just yesterday, but we are in 2019. Ten years later with lots of advancement, yet it still seems like yesterday. Ten years, 120 months, 521 weeks; a ton of technological advancement.

In 2009 many major events occurred. President Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president, the Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII, a volcano in Alaska named Mount Redoubt erupted after being dormant, and after eight years, The Statue of Liberty’s crown reopens to the public according to On This Day.

But over the past ten years, major advancements in technology have taken place. From new gaming consoles to digital interviews to Instagram to more advanced smartphones; technology has skyrocketed.

Smartphones

Smartphones themselves have added new enhancements for the users. Take a look at the iPhone 3GS back from 2009 and the latest iPhone XR.

Features from iPhone 3GS included:

  • Faster performance, which is what the “S” stood for.
  • 7.2 Mbps 3G network connection.
  • Bigger storage capacity.
  • 3-megapixel camera.
  • Improved battery life.
  • Video-editing software
  • Voice Control
  • The size was 4.5” tall x 2.4” wide x .48” deep

Features from iPhone XR include:

  • No home button
  • Face ID
  • Six new colors
  • Wireless charging
  • Better battery life

But Apple isn’t the only Smartphone developer to come out with new advancements. In 2009 there was the LG enV Touch, Samsung Omnia, RIM BlackBerry Storm, LG Dare, Motorola Droid, and Palm Pre according to CNet. Now in 2019, we have phones such as the Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy X, OnePlus 7, and Motorola Moto G7 according to Stuff. As technology advances, more and more smartphones pop up with new features that are better than ever before.

Earphones

One day people won’t know the struggle of untangling earphones just to listen to your jams or watch that YouTube clip. Earphones have changed since 2009 by becoming wireless and Bluetooth. Before you would have to untangle the pair every time no matter how you stored them. But now you can find wireless and Bluetooth earphones from almost anywhere. From Beats to Apple to Skullcandy and much more.

Social Media

Social media ten years ago was definitely not what we see today. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ have all developed over the years. LinkedIn was created in 2002. Facebook first came out in 2004. Twitter was launched in 2006. Instagram and Pinterest were founded in 2010. Snapchat and Google+ were born in 2011. All having a different idea of content but all for the same function, taking up our time. Social media is a place for business, friendships, inspiration, blogging, and much more.

Technology will always keep changing. It changes overnight, by day, and every year. By 2029 who knows what we will be using. New ways to live our lives will be developing and evolving.