It's a crazy time right now trying to predict what's to come. From uncertainty in the federal government, to the increasing speed at which automated technology is able to perform human tasks. However, if we take a closer look at the technology that's already right in front of us, we can find a bit more clarity on where things are going.

Immersive Experiences

Thanks to games like Pokemon Go and highly anticipated gear like Google Daydream, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are starting to take off--but they've both been around for a while. However, once coupled with other technology trends--like the potential for self-driving--means that immersive experiences are becoming a reality in which we will evolve from screens and laptops to glasses with a heads-up display attached to your mobile phone providing all the daily information you need.

What you need to know for your business

With a new technology trend comes the need for applications and accessories to support this capability. As smart phones rose in prominence, people took advantage of building mobile apps that surged early on and made accessories for gadgets that were deemed must haves by much of the population. Consider your product and service, and how it might fit into an augmented experience or virtual reality environment. Though the barrier is high right now to develop something in a technology that hasn't fully taken root, the bar will get lower and development made much easier as immersive experiences become less expensive (2-3 years out potentially) so thinking and preparing now means you'll be ready with a concept and approach when the time is right.

Self-Deleting Apps

With growing uncertainty, fear, and radicalization in a rumored "post-truth" era of politics and world affairs, encryption and disposable communication are going to grow in strength as more companies like Dust grow in popularity. In countries where a minority group opposes the party in power, corporations communicating internationally, or a radical group wanting to step out with viewpoints going against mainstream, people will flock to technologies that ensure there isn't anything intercepted or monitored.

What you need to know for your business

Even if you aren't a fringe group, or paranoid security consultant, there are many valid reasons to use technology such as Dust (mobile app that destroys all records of message after period of time or on opening). From HR related issues, to exchanging financial information or social security numbers, with the rise of technologies that ensure security comes the opportunity to inexpensively do day to day business without paying a small fortune for specialized services. As these technologies grow to be more mainstream, consider what sensitive transactions you perform today and how encrypted or self-deleting apps could help give you more peace of mind.

Big Data for Everyone

Right now, "Big Data" is a buzz word typically reserved for research scientists and corporations. Chances are though, that if you're paying for a web based social media marketing tool or sales workflow automation (aka "Software as a Service" or "SaaS"), that you're taking advantage of the services that make up big data (Machine learning, Neural networks, AI, data lakes, etc). More and more SaaS based start-ups that provide services to businesses of all sizes are using data analytics to help provide guidance and support in new and interesting ways.

As more companies invest in these technologies however, the cost goes down and sophistication goes up. That means you soon could be taking more advantage of big data, and go from hiring a service to handle your sales to building your own tailored sales solution via the many platforms online that enable companies to craft / tailor what they need for their business.

What you need to know for your business

With so many different data analytics tools available on the market, you might not know where to start when looking for a service that can help you identify some of your businesses' biggest workflow issues. Making a list of bottlenecks though, or areas in your business you feel could use the biggest improvement, work on articulating those things into a paragraph each. Then head to web based forums such as Quora or Stack Overflow and ask for advice on what ways you can use data analytics, and big data to help your business. People on larger forums are often willing to provide guidance, as long as the questions are phrased the right way. You can help ensure you're not left behind as big data becomes more universally accessible and tailored applications become easier to use outside of the Fortune 500 bubble.