Entrepreneurs are looking to take advantage of the next emerging business trends that could explode in the near future and beyond.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur thinking about going solo with a passion for all things tech, there are great opportunities for you to develop your skills and turn that brain power into a thriving business.
While the past 18 months have undoubtedly been challenging for businesses in most industries, there has been a huge surge in demand for digital innovation as organizations have relied on technology to help them survive or prosper. This means that the opportunity is there for those with new, innovative ideas that can leverage technology in their favor.
Rising technology trends
Already on the rise long before the pandemic, cloud services have seen massive gains over the past 18 months. Gartner predicted cloud spending will reach $332.3 billion (R5.2 billion) in 2021, up from $270 billion (R4.1 billion) in 2020, as companies shifted to digital solutions that are faster, more agile and safer to deploy. And as businesses were forced to pivot and make dramatic decisions as they navigated the stormy waters of 2020-2021, the cloud was a natural accompaniment when it came to digital innovation.
Salesforce, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) all saw massive increases in revenue over this period. More and more companies started using their software. And with much of the global workforce likely to remain remote, even on a hybrid basis, once restrictions ease and the world returns to normal, demand for video apps such as Zoom and Teams, and the platforms that support them, will continue indefinitely. The opportunity to improve these offers is also there.
Not only that, but the shift to an even greater reliance on digital consumer services will also continue. We’ve all downloaded apps for local restaurants and are used to constantly having packages delivered to homes from online purchases. While this trend may slow as we return to eating out and visiting stores, it won’t go away completely. Likewise, we will not give up the additional entertainment services we have subscribed to for our entertainment. could become even more important to us.
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AI is also on the rise
That’s not to say the cloud is the only area of technology that has seen a surge in demand recently. There was a time when artificial intelligence (AI) was perhaps seen as something of the future or even to be feared, but the reality is that it is now simply part of our daily lives. Now PwC has predicted that AI has the potential to help $15.7 billion (R243.7 billion) by 2030.
From voice-activated personal assistants such as Google Home or Alexa to chatbots on the website, it doesn’t stop at consumer-facing products like these, as companies are also increasingly relying on them to spot trends and inform behind-the-scenes decisions. It’s safe to say that the reality of AI, while still incredibly innovative and exciting, is vastly different from the dystopian vision that may have been portrayed 10-15 years ago. For the techies among you, this is another area to venture into while still in its infancy, as there is still huge potential for growth.
From an entrepreneurial point of view, the landscape is also incredibly encouraging. For anyone with a unique idea and deep understanding of AI, the opportunity is there to develop new technologies with practical application. Whether it’s automating manual tasks, generating reports, or even using voice recognition in a unique way, chances are you can turn it into a successful business.
The highs and lows of entrepreneurship – do you have what it takes to go it alone?
There is no doubt that technology remains a sector full of growth potential in different niches and ecosystems. However, you should keep in mind that it’s one thing to have the technical ability, it’s quite another to have the drive and ambition to start your own business. It takes a special type of person to take on the responsibility and the challenge of start a business from scratch. You must have the passion and motivation to overcome all obstacles; it’s a real break with 9-5, where you can switch off when you leave work at the end of the day.
However, when it comes to taking the leap and hiring your first employee, it’s also worth considering that the world of work has changed dramatically over the past year. Your work week may no longer feel like a 9-5, but chances are your employees don’t want it either. So before you even post a job offer, think carefully about the type of package being offered and how it reflects the “new normal”.
Are you able to offer a remote or hybrid approach to where people are based, and flexible hours around that? If so, you’ll not only be tapping into the usual candidates, but you’ll be able to tap into talent pools that may be limited by a full-time on-site role. The upside is that despite the skills gap in tech, diversity is still a major area that still needs improvement – bringing in those who aren’t part of traditional hiring patterns will put you in a great position to make the leap in recruitment.
As you can probably tell, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to entrepreneurship beyond having a brilliant idea. Look behind any overnight success and it’s rarely just that – the moment when the light seems to flicker is usually the result of months, years or even decades of hard work. This period can see slow and steady growth until the momentum takes you to success, but it is also likely to come with mistakes and obstacles along the way. So you must be ready to learn from these to move forward.
The good news is that despite the scare stories about the economy at the start of the pandemic, there is no doubt that opportunities are there. Making sure you’re adaptable and ready to take the hits that still come, while also being ready to work harder than ever before, is the best way to make sure you’re set up for long-term success.
This article was originally published by smallbusiness.co.uk