In 2016, Sage launched its first chatbot. “Peggy” responded to simple commands like “How much do customers owe me?” and “What’s our gross revenues for the month?” Peg acts like a smart assistant, following up on cash flow and accounting topics with ease. This example just underscores how the world of technology is changing rapidly, embracing new and disruptive innovations, and helping all businesses remain competitive.
The Tech Areas to Watch
Sage, like many software companies, keeps a close eye on new and emerging technologies to see which are the most useful for their customers. They’ve come up with an intriguing list of tech areas to watch. And, before you assume that your business is too small to take advantage of these innovations, keep in mind that many of the technologies we take for granted today, like smartphones with enough computing power to act as a primary web-access device, are things that 10 years ago few predicted. These technologies are likely to be adapted by all size businesses within a few years.
- Chatbots and autonomous interfaces. It seems odd at first to be typing queries and speaking with an AI chatbot, but most of us have done this without even noticing that we’re not speaking with a human being. The way we currently interact with technology through a mouse, keyboard or touchpad could eventually go the way of a manual typewriter as more chatbots become available and better at decoding language nuances. The better that chatbots and autonomous interfaces get at communications, the more they’ll be rolled out and accepted by the public.
- Artificial & collective intelligence. New systems learn as they go along, growing their neural networks and remembering things they’ve encountered in the past. Data collections through the internet of things is making it imperative that larger volumes of data can be handled efficiently. AI and collective intelligence systems can process, sort, and distill such data.
- Blockchain technology: Perhaps nothing is more disruptive than blockchain technology. Originally used to create, mine, and trade digital currencies such as bitcoin, blockchain is poised to take off as a secure data transfer method with applications beyond the banking and finance world. Any industries that work as intermediaries between two parties may be able to use blockchain technology to keep transactions and information secure. While the future applications of blockchain are uncertain, it’s like we are watching the start of the era of the printing press or the application of the telephone to the world of business. It has that much potential to transform industries.
- Money transfers: New digital technologies have helped online-only banks open their virtual doors to customers. With lower overhead and infrastructure, they can afford to pay higher interest. Automatic bill pays, e-checks, ands other forms of electronic money transfers are all new technologies that have changed how companies conduct business. One-click invoice payments may be on the horizon for many small businesses who currently can’t offer the same secure one-click payments as the bigger companies can offer.
Throughout all of these changes, one thing remains clear: any new technology that helps companies conduct business smarter, faster, or better is worthy of attention. Many of these technologies developed for one purpose only but quickly adapted to other purposes and industries. As companies look to new technologies to offer them a competitive edge, these and other advances will make the difference in how companies transact business in the future.
Accounting Systems, Inc.
Accounting Systems, Inc (ASI) is always on the lookout for technologies and software to help our customers. Acumatica, Sage, and other software provides valuable business services for our clients. To explore your options, contact us today.