17 Jan Four trends to keep an eye on in 2018
In the middle of what experts have dubbed a fourth industrial revolution, there are plenty of developments to try to stay on top of. Here are four of the most important technological and business trends for small business owners to be aware of in 2018.
Virtual reality is now a reality
It began as a sci-fi fantasy, then found a natural home in the gaming world. After a lot of premature hype, virtual or augmented reality now seems to be reaching a tipping point.
VR tours are helping developers sell apartments off the plan, cosmetic surgeons are using VR to provide patients with before and after simulations of their planned procedures, and anyone with an iPhone X can Photoshop a piece of furniture they are considering buying into a photo they’ve taken of their living room. If VR hasn’t already impacted your business, be prepared for it to do so in the next year or two.
The share economy promises a bigger share of profits
Expect Australians to keep embracing the sharing economy with gusto in 2018 as online platforms continue to take off. As the recently launched Agtribe (it’s a marketplace which allows farmers to recoup some of the cost of big-ticket agricultural machinery by renting it out) demonstrates, there’s still plenty of potential for lots of industries to be ‘Airbnbised’.
A study by Deloitte found the NSW sharing economy was worth $2.6 billion in 2015-16, up from $1.6 billion the previous year. Research published by RateSetter in 2017 found 75 per cent of us intended to use at least one sharing economy service in the next six months.
As the likes of Agtribe show, the sharing economy isn’t just for consumers. Being able to rent out your business’s ‘spare capacity’, or access the assets of other businesses at an affordable price, promises to provide a boost to the bottom lines of Australian SMEs.
“Zs comprise 20 per cent of Australia’s population and are the first generation to come of age in the hyper-connected internet era..”