Business Technology Trends to Tap Into

Business Technology Trends to Tap Into

With over a 1.2 billion smartphones and tablets expected to sell this year alone and over 50% of businesses already turning to cloud computing solutions, technology is rapidly reshaping the business world. Coupled with increasingly globalized competition and the accelerating speed and impact of disruptive trends from mobile payments to advancements in online search, recommendation and review tools, it’s high-time you considered giving your own workplace an upgrade. Between increasingly affordable off the shelf technology and growing access to customers, it bears noting: There’s never better a better time to start, run or turbo-charge companies of every scope and size. Following are five key high-tech trends every working professional should be aware of going forward, which can help any enterprising executive boost productivity, revenues and performance seemingly overnight.

Cloud Storage and Applications – Smart devices are predicted to outnumber PCs by 2015, according to research firm IDC, even as mobile handsets become more powerful and a skyrocketing range of online applications effectively allows your desktop to travel wherever you do. Outsource data storage and archival to remote Internet servers, rendering key files and programs accessible on-demand from any high-speed connection, and employees can literally share, collaborate, and retrieve important files or updates virtually anytime, anywhere. Using these online storage and delivery systems, distributed workforces can join together in real-time to do business from hotel rooms or remotely-flung offices, and remain in constant contact no matter how far afield they go. Able to simplify IT management, enhance connectivity, and reduce infrastructure costs, all can help your team get the job done efficiently, and stay in contact, wherever business takes them. With the mobile workforce anticipated to swell to 1.3 billion by 2015, big data’s impact on everyday operations only threatens to grow in coming months.

Mobile Devices and Communications – Dozens of smartphones and tablet PCs are making massive gains in power, performance and connectivity. With screen sizes growing, battery life expanding, and processors making massive strides in horsepower as well, all are also offering an ever-expanding range of features and versatile software programs for solving common tasks from managing inventory to videoconferencing and conducting sizzling HD product demonstrations. Allowing you to juggle a full calendar, get turn-by-turn directions to meetings, or even offer customers specials and deals right from their pocket, these gadgets are becoming ever more important productivity tools. But beyond simply enhancing daily operations, such devices also continue to transform customer expectations and behaviors, increasingly demanding that businesses now design websites, content and media for consumption in ways best suited to these formats.

Content and Inbound Marketing – With more customers turning online to research and purchase goods and services than ever, and companies’ identities growingly defined by their online presence, firms in every field are increasingly finding themselves in the publishing business. Small wonder 78% of CMOs see custom content as the future of marketing according to promotions firm Hanley-Wood, while nearly nine of every ten B2B and B2C marketers currently swear by these advertising strategies. With word of mouth recommendation, online reviews, and social media booming in influence in impact, companies spent $118.4 billion on content, video and social media marketing last year alone. From email newsletters to promotional videos and targeted Facebook, Twitter and Google+ advertising campaigns, all potentially provide powerful, cost-effective ways to cut through daily life’s clutter, connect with buyers at crucial inflection points, and send click-through and revenue rates soaring.

Practical, Problem-Solving Development Approaches – In the past, businesses were quick to chase ambitious visions and attempt to raise the bar for innovation by building sprawling and wildly-ambitious creations. Today, a growing number of successful ventures are instead winning by adopting a philosophy based on smaller, faster, and less complex releases, instead chasing organic growth, and steadily improving products, services and strategies over time based on market feedback gained with each new launch. Market leaders in every field are growingly taking a more cautious approach. Like app developers, who ship products quickly, track customer habits, and make rapid improvements based on usage patterns, more entrepreneurs are finding growing success by pursuing smaller, speedier, more value-oriented debut approaches. Numerous low-cost, readily available technologies now let savvy business owners produce minimum viable products, launch faster, and learn more rapidly, allowing ample time to pivot, adjust strategy, or slash spending as needed.

5 Ways to Easily Communicate on the Road

5 Ways to Easily Communicate on the Road

Staying connected is a top priority for today’s traveler. Thankfully, a wide range of high-tech devices andservices now provide countlessways to keep up with friends, family and coworkers wherever you go. Looking to effortlessly stay in touch with the gang back home or office from any location? From cloud computing solutions to cutting-edge hospitality and lodging services, following are five ways to practically guarantee maintaining seamless communication anytime, anywhere:

Put Your Head in the Clouds – Cloud computing services like Google Docs, Zoho, OneDrive and Dropbox let you easily store and share files, photos, documents, and spreadsheets online, so your desktop travels wherever you do. Using these tools, accessible from Web browsers, apps and even desktop folders, you can synchronize all your data across tablets, smartphones and computers.Coworkers can even collaborate on projects in real-time. Dozens of providers (even more include Amazon, Box, Hightail, etc.) make it easy to stay in touch, team up on shared efforts or transport files and folders full of music, movies and more to any destination.

Get Connected – If you’re a modern professional or parent, or simply want more face-to-face time with your friends and family, free videoconferencing services like Skype, Tango and ooVoo are a must. Make voice and video calls from mobile or stationary devices with an Internet connection so you can tuck in your kids or take calls with key clients from hundreds of miles away. Instant messaging programs such as WhatsApp (see: its free international text messaging services), Trillian and Kik also put contacts and comrades just a tap away. With these, you can easilysend and receive text messages or share photos, videos and more multimedia goodies from a variety of popular portable devices.

Stay Smart – Many hotel brandsoffer wireless Internet connections at significant cost and variable speeds. Others such as Hyatt Place (already notable for its design with the 24/7 traveler in mind and roomyrooms) offer greater convenience and comfort by providing free dependable Wi-Filocation-wide along with USB charging ports.When booking a room, don’t just choose based on location. Look for lodging choices such as these which offer ample power plugs, generous work spaces, and complimentary wireless connectivity.That way, it’s easy to make video or voice calls, visit your Inbox and access social apps and networks.

Use Go-Go Gadgets – Mobile devices make the perfect portable communications solution, but battery life seldom lasts the entire day. Save yourself from sprinting for a power outlet by grabbing recharger cases for your favorite device, which can provide a quick energy refill to go, such as those made my Mophie, PowerSkin and Powermat. If you’re a high-speed cellular customer, virtually every carrier offers mobile wireless hotspot options that can help you stay connected day-round as well. These handy gizmos, which sync up to 3G and 4G LTE networks, make it possible to connect several devices (tablets, laptops, digital cameras, etc.) to the Internet and enjoy mobile connectivity to go.

Bring the World to You – A variety of helpful blogging services such as TravelPod, Tumblr, Blogger and WordPress make it possible to create your own travelogue or running diary, and post updates, photos and videos from every stop on your itinerary. Popular social networks such as Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter also provide a quick and easy way to share updates from every stopover, or even in some cases post up videos or entire photo galleries’ worth of vacation snapshots. You can not only keep others up to date with your travels, but also create a greater sense of connection by helping them see the world through your eyes.

Just as important as knowing the best ways to communicate is taking the time to disconnect. Explore the area you’re visiting using advice from friends in the area, local blogs and newspapers or asking your hotel for their favorite suggestions. You’re bound to discover a something new to share the next time you connect. 

This post was sponsored by Hyatt Place as part of its Seamless Travel Series. The opinions are my own and based on my experience.

Top 5 Tech Must-Haves for Travel in 2014

11 February, 2014 Life No comments
Top 5 Tech Must-Haves for Travel in 2014

With travel a growing part of business and daily life in 2014, it’s only natural that technology would be going more seamless and mobile to match. Brands are recognizing the need and Hyatt Place is leading the way for hotels. Hyatt Place has transformed the on-the-road experience in much the same way that leading innovators have transformed technology through added convenience, by providing free Wi-Fi and swiveling 42” flat screen TVs with USB charging ports custom-tailored to offer an experience that’s just right for modern travelers.

Designed to help you easily keep in touch with colleagues or loved ones, and boost productivity and entertainment while on the road, a variety of new portable gadgets reflect this growingly uncomplicated mentality. Following, you’ll find five of the best gadgets for business travelers in 2014, featuring top devices from CES and beyond, perfect for packing into any carry-on.

Polaroid Socialmatic

www.socialmatic.com

This revisiting of the classic camera updates its iconic design and fast-turn photos for the 21st century, transforming it into a 14MP Android app-enabled digital shooter with 4.5-inch LCD touchscreen display. Owners can easily share photos on social networks or print small snapshots in seconds, making it an excellent excuse to get out and explore scenic locales.

Mophie Space Pack

www.mophie.com

Everyone’s on the run these days. Save yourself from having to sprint for a power outlet with this combination battery life extender case and portable storage solution for the iPhone. Not only does it roughly double your smartphone’s battery life, but also offers up to 32GB of additional storage so you  can cram in hours of additional video, or thousands of photos and songs.

Pebble Steel

www.getpebble.com

Time to wake up and grab an a.m. Kitchen Skillet? Wondering what’s in the news? Want to pay for a cup of coffee right from your wrist? This app-powered “smart watch” – a mini-computer for your wrist styled after classic men’s watches – offers a high-tech way to keep the time, and keep up with the latest innovations.

Airtame

www.airtame.com

Here’s the scenario: You’re resting in the cozy corner of a spacious Hyatt Place room, when the office calls, requesting that you create a presentation for a key client ASAP. Rather than squint a tiny laptop screen, just plug this accessory into an HDMI port on your monitor or TV, and you can wirelessly stream your screen right to its display. Problem solved!

Jaybird Reign

www.jaybirdsport.com

It’s not easy to stay fit on the road. But with this fitness tracker – an electronic wristband that tracks physical activity, monitors health, and suggests when to step it up or dial back on activity – you’ll always stay in stride. Seamless and uncomplicated, it’s exactly how every experience (the travel experience, working experiences, your entertainment experience, etc.) should be.

This post was sponsored by Hyatt Place as part of its Seamless Travel Series. The opinions are my own and based on my experience.