Is it just me, or do technology trends seem to be multiplying at an amazing rate? Innovation is all around us. For those of us in the business of information technology, it’s a good time to be here. But it’s also a challenging one.

More than ever before, we can’t sit still or rest on our laurels. And technology trends always have implications for every industry, every business, every individual – to a greater or lesser degree.

I remember my first iPod. As an early adopter, I brought it home from the US; it and I – were (for a time!) – the object of wonder among my colleagues and friends. And although that was years ago, I still find it hard to believe that the device I carry in my pocket instantly sources any facts I seek and connects me to who I want, whenever I want, wherever I am.

So if you’re still wide-eyed like me, it’s probably time to suspend disbelief for a while, as we take a look at three of the technology trends set to dominate our lives in the immediate future.

The Internet of Things and smart home technology

This is probably the technology trend we’re most familiar with, as we’ve been talking about it for a long time. But apart from a printer that orders ink when it’s running out, probably most of us don’t yet live in smart connected homes. But IoT and smart home technology will make a significant impact on our daily lives sooner rather than later.

It’s a bit like the Internet itself at first inception. We struggled to make the best use of it, flailing around in cyber space to find what we were looking for and getting frustrated when two or more sites or disparate technologies didn’t talk to another. Time – and the Cloud – has changed all that, and for most of us our online life is as important to us as eating and sleeping.

There are lots of apps and appliances available, but collaboration between the offerings and the vendors has been slow. Big names like Amazon, Google and Apple are taking IoT and smart home technology seriously. Expect user experience to improve significantly over the coming months and get ready for your own smart, connected home.

Humanised Big Data

What on earth is Humanised Big Data? We’ve been familiar with Big Data itself for quite some time. Since cloud took hold, we’ve been inundated with data, frankly drowning in it if we’re not careful. Stored and interrogated properly, Big Data has helped us personalise our business offerings, increase customer loyalty and gain competitive advantage.

Big Data does present us with some limitations, because it’s largely numerical and quantitative. As customer or user experiences (UX) become far more of a focus for global business, the capture and interrogation of Big Data is likely to evolve. This is one technology trend that’s set to become more qualitative and empathetic, more accessible for interpretation and easier to use. Hence the ‘humanising’. Move over analysts and number crunchers.

Everything on-demand

An ‘everything on-demand’ economy is a natural progression from the focus we’ve already seen with UX. Traditional business models are in decline as on-demand apps increasingly become an integral part of our day to day life. The huge success of Uber and Airbnb has given we consumers a glimpse into the future possibilities of service provision and the satisfaction that it brings. We want more of it.

Thousands of smartphone apps give us the opportunity to book transport, food, accommodation but the market won’t stop there. The industry is seeing a huge shift in how we do business. We can simply use our smartphones to find and hire service providers. The challenge for businesses today is how to incorporate on-demand into their existing business model and distribution channels.

Car repairs, maintenance, and pooling, self storage, technology support – these are just a few of the themes which dominate the explosion of on-demand apps on offer today. Disruption of the established ways of doing things is guaranteed as the on-demand economy grows; many businesses are already creating an app for their own business.

But in a market that will quickly become saturated in every industry, quality remains critical. The on-demand economy will experience notable failures if quality of service fails to keep pace with demand.

Contract management software

All of these technology trends – the services and the products on offer – are likely to embed themselves into our personal and business lives. The accompanying logistics and legalities could be mind-boggling. The uptake of these new technologies is likely to be accompanied by a plethora of new contracts.

Make life easier on yourself.  Consider the use of contract management software to take away some of the pain. We offer Contract Insight, a solution used by many Fortune 500 companies, and one that helps with contract evaluation, negotiations and renewal.

Why not revolutionise your results while keeping abreast of technology trends by contacting me, John O’Brien, Director, Four Business Solutions at john.obrien@four.co.uk?