As 2018 comes to an end, it’s time to think about what 2019 has in store for your digital presence. Staying up to date with the latest technology and most innovative solutions is challenging as the industry is constantly evolving and transforming. So, how should you plan for so many unpredictable tech trends?
We are on it! We’ve pulled together this three-step guide to provide insights, tips, and guidance on what you need for 2019 to be right on track — or even way ahead of the curve.
Resolution #1: Invest in the Table Stakes
Automation, efficiency, quality control, and going digital are key reasons why companies invest in an application. The cost of building and maintaining a website, app, or chatbot can vary depending on the features your app must-have.
Ask yourself, “What features are absolutely necessary for my business to be successful?” Once you have a list of features and a budget in mind, your developer will consult with you on the most beneficial solutions. Developing and maintaining technology is not cheap, and will continue to be an investment for your business as technology is rapidly changing. Best to know your table stakes.
Resolution #2: Stay Up-to-ReDate with Key Success Drivers
Technology has become a necessity for business growth and every business owner knows that staying up-to-date with the latest and greatest is a must to drive success.
A. Basics: Technology baselines for security and reliability
If you are in the beginning stages of planning your web or mobile app, these four elements are fundamental to your business’s success, the must-haves in 2018 that will carry over to 2019
Mobile Responsive – Mobile use continues to be on the rise, making it vital for companies with websites to cater to mobile users. Having a mobile responsive web design ensures that your user experience is optimized for a positive experience on mobile devices, ease of navigation, reading, and functionality.
HTTPS – HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP; an added layer of security protects the integrity of your website and protects the privacy and security of your users. According to Google, HTTPS is the future of the web as it’s a requirement for many new browser features, particularly those required for progressive web apps.
Modern CMS – A Content Management System (CMS) is an application used to create, customize, and manage digital information. As technology continues to boom, it’s important that your CMS is using modern templates and the latest standards to ensure security for your users, customizability, and control.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As the digital market continues to boom and becomes more competitive, SEO is now more important than ever. SEO helps users and search engine robots understand your website, ultimately improving user experience, usability, and search engine rankings.
B. Advanced: Stay current with these tech features
If you just launched your web or mobile app and are planning to improve in 2019, these four elements are for you! Since popular apps have already implemented the majority of these, it’s important to consider the urgency of updating your plan. If your budget allows for these four elements, we highly recommend planning for it.
Native App – Native apps are developed for specific devices (i.e. iPhones and Android) and are beneficial to the reliability and speed of the mobile app. Native apps interact with the device’s features such as camera, GPS, notifications, NFC, microphone, and other built-in applications.
Multi-Channel Messaging Integration – To maximize your communication efforts with your users, implementing multi-channel messaging is important. Configure personalized messages to your users through common channels such as email, mobile push notifications, SMS text messages, and in-app messages.
Advanced Analytics Using Hotjar & Tag Manager (Google) Hotjar is one of the most powerful tools available that reveals the online behavior and voice of your users. Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a tag management system that sends user interaction data to Google Analytics (GA). Having GTM implemented is important for managing tracking actions on your website such as form submissions, clicks, and scroll depth.
Chatbots – Within the past year, chatbots have become a popular source of business-to-user communication because of the rise of artificial intelligence and virtual communication. Chatbots simulate a real conversation with users and provide information and support, helping reduce costs and resources. Common chatbot tasks include answering basic questions, providing users with payment information, and assisting during online shopping.
C. Cutting Edge: Ahead of the curve and pushing the envelope
The innovative tech giants of 2018 are ahead of the game and have already, or are on track to implement at least one of the following features. If you are thinking of ways to stand out in your industry in 2019, start planning how the following features would make sense for your application.
Predictive Analytics and big data – Big data has become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. Utilizing data for better decision making and predictive analytics takes the analytics to the next level by predicting user behavior based on statistical models and machine learning. Social media data is already being mined to predict user buying patterns and also highly used in the travel industry.
AI, Machine Learning, Deep Learning – Deep learning is similar to how a human would perceive, think, learn, and conclude. Through deep learning, a machine can process large amounts of data, recognize complex patterns, and provide more detailed insights. Many of us experience apps using deep learning networks in our everyday lives. The Google Translate app uses deep learning to translate images with text in real-time to your choice of 103 languages.
Augmented Reality – Augmented reality (AR) changes the way we shop, interact, learn, and explore. Right now, there is a huge opportunity to create buzz around your AR product and provide your users with something your competitors may just be beginning to consider. AR is projected to increasingly become more popular in the next three years, in industries such as online shopping, manufacturing, education, and travel.
Blockchain – Everyone is buzzing about blockchain technology! Blockchain is the heart of popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereium, etc. Blockchain is more than Bitcoin, as it has the potential to create social change globally. (Need to say how). This technology has become increasingly popular in industries that involve cybersecurity, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, non-profit agencies, record management, identity, healthcare, real estate, and media.
Resolution #3: Keep Ahead of the Curve
Your digital transformation ROI is the compass of your strategy, making it important to map out key metrics such as your business’s goals, developmental and maintenance costs, key performance indicators, and customer lifetime value. User behavior and technology trends will continue to change, and growth strategy must cater to the newest and best technology.
Planning your tech budget can be overwhelming, but keeping ahead of the curve with the latest technology is essential in today’s marketplace. So, what’s next in your digital
transformation journey? Know what you want to invest in and how it can help your customers in 2019.
Happy Tech New Year!!