From the emergence of computers to today's regular usage of cloud computing and software, there have always been high-tech communication devices that have disrupted or enhanced how businesses are run. The next step is automation and what's known as the "internet of things," which many businesses are beginning to use.
Many owners of small and mid-sized businesses are wondering when they should start investing in the latest groundbreaking technology to get a strong return on investment. Some automated technology is ready for small business use, while other tech tools still need work. The following provides an overview of some technologies that have started making their way to small business owners.
Use of Robotics in the Workplace
Robots may still be considered a luxury for business owners, but they are being used more and more in the modern workplace, especially in the manufacturing sector. Researchers at MIT recently explored the use of robots in the school's Technology Review magazine.
Robotic devices are becoming more affordable, and the training and work integration that human workers have to do to learn how to work these machines does not usually take long. Not only that, but robotic process automation technology uses artificial intelligence to execute repetitive tasks faster, cheaper, and more accurately than humans can. Making it so that businesses can be more efficient and workers don't have to do as much menial labor. Robots may not be as ubiquitous in smaller towns where small businesses operate, but the market is certainly growing in larger areas. Talking about process automation powered by artificial intelligence leads us to the next point.
Investing in Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of those innovations that has so many different uses. Some AI devices are available to businesses today, and many others are still in development, a fact that Tech Emergence has pointed out. Not every business needs to be wired up with devices powered by the next Siri or Alexa, but AI does offer many benefits. Most of what business owners want from AI is being able to turn machine learning into uses that can save valuable time.
Use of 3D Printers
Somewhat in a class of their own, 3D printers can reduce production costs by cutting out middlemen between factories and distribution centers. The 3D printers currently available to small business owners can provide a great return on investment if one knows what they're looking for and they can have them configured properly. These devices are still very expensive and can be out of reach for many small businesses, however.
In conclusion, the automation revolution is in full swing, but taking part in it is less about following trends than it is about meeting your end goals. Before investing in AI and automated technology, it's important to carefully consider if doing so will help you create a better customer experience.
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