IBM’s 5 in 5 for 2014: How Will Your Business Be Affected?

Each year, IT support professionals eagerly await the release of IBM’s 5 in 5 predictions. The electronics giant forecasts five advancements we can expect to see in the next five years. This is the eighth consecutive year IBM has released this list and, each year, the company takes a bold leap in declaring which of the many innovations currently in the works will change the way we live.

Your Business and Technology

When summarizing this year’s list, IBM wrote, “In the future, everything will learn.” The company predicts that computers will begin to learn from us and change its behavior based on what it learns. The result will be computers that can interact with us in a way that is more human-like than machine-like. This change will dramatically impact both the classroom and the doctor’s office, as computers determine what each student needs to learn and what course of care a sick patient needs based on DNA.

But for businesses, one of the most important items on the 5 in 5 list this year is the bold statement that local businesses will begin to beat online businesses. As technology becomes more advanced, small businesses will have the tools they need to compete with even the largest retailers. Since local businesses have an advantage when it comes to delivering locally and personalizing a customer’s shopping experience, “mom and pop” shops will begin to overtake chain stores.

Online Personalization

But even as local businesses gain an edge, customers will still seek the convenience of online shopping. These customers are increasingly expecting a personalized online shopping experience, however, complete with product suggestions and discounts based on the products they buy. By delivering exactly the experience consumers want, even smaller online businesses will begin to excel.

Thanks to the emerging popularity of data analytics, businesses have access to technology that will determine what its customers want before they even realize it. This information will allow your SMB to give your customers a level of service they will never receive from a larger retailer, therefore increasing your loyal customer base.