Trending this week: Enterprise effectiveness and drones

This week we've got 2 great articles for you. The first is a fun piece about drones and how small businesses are starting to use them; a quick distraction to get your creative juices flowing on a Friday afternoon. The second is a little more technical, a little dryer, but no less creative; it examines 4 trends changing the way business makes use of new technology.

We've summarized both for you, but strongly encourage you to check out the full articles.

Using Drones in Small Business: Futuristic Dream or Soon To Be Reality?

"With strong concerns revolving around privacy and the U.S. government’s insistence on regulating this new technology, we are left to wonder what role, if any, drones will have in small business, and if they are simply a futuristic dream or a soon to be reality." By Carolyn Crummey.

This article begins with a brief explanation of what drones are, and a quick summary of their recent history. According to the author, although relatively new, drones have become a multi-billion dollar industry. She then goes on to provide a few examples of actual use:

  • In Australia, textbook company called Zookal and "the world's first autonomous aerial delivery company," Flirtey, teamed up to deliver textbooks to college students.
  • A Kickstarter campaign called Taking Autism to the Sky is hoping to use a DIY-drone kit to give kids with autism "a new perspective of the world."
  • A little bit closer to home (and not mentioned in the article), Tristan Brand is a photographer we know who recently acquired a drone that lets him shoot aerial photos of bridges and other large infrastructure for his industrial clients. After our own experience, we can assure you that in addition to being great promotional tools and opening new creative avenues, these things are entirely too much fun to play with outside of business hours.

Read the whole article here.

4 key trends that are revolutionizing enterprise effectiveness

Cloud infrastructure is enabling less expensive solutions than older on-premise deployments, and companies can now get traction with very little capital to figure out product/market fit. By Robert Siegel.

According to Siegel, the confluence of recent developments in cloud computing, data crunching, processing power and other areas are changing how computing is being applied to enterprise efficiency. In simpler terms, basically, the ways computers help companies do business is changing. The author summarizes 4 key trends:

Delivering solutions

Technologies such as natural language processing, machine learning and data visualization let companies like Lex Machina, for example, apply analytics to decisions that lawyers and companies previously made via intuition, enabling better insights with data.

Expediting processes

New computing architectures and the increased digitization of customer interactions is making the efficiencies delivered by computing automation over the past 40 years even more important than before. DropThought gives service environments the ability to get real-time feedback from customers through the use of smartphones and tablets, enabling instant measurement of improvements in customer satisfaction.

Enabling new business opportunities

Companies are now regularly offering services that were previously impossible or impractical to deliver, such as new transportation services Uber and LyftBromium uses micro-virtual machines to address the risks of mobile platforms in companies. As security becomes increasingly complex, with multiple ways for unauthorized access to confidential data, the company has figured out how to use new hardware capabilities to ensure a safer architecture against new forms of attacks and threats.

Shaping behaviours

Firms are applying science to learn how people use computers and communication platforms, and how individuals respond to stimuli.  Commerce Sciences uses behavioural science, for instance, to to better understand shoppers' concerns and motives. The firm assesses behaviors based on online actions and then works to deliver the best possible experience for each user.

These are only a few examples of how changes in computing are changing the ways computing is changing business (!). Read the whole article.

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