Technology is a buzzword nowadays in all facets of the business world. The churning out of technological advancements is now so common that at times you get inundated with too many options. Whenever there is a high incidence of something noting what’s worth it or not can be tricky. Now, don’t lose sight of the fact that I’m talking about the Zimbabwean context. In this article, I’m going to discuss some technologies that you don’t really need to bother yourself with as a business person. These are the most likely technologies you hear about daily in other parts of the world. Don’t get me wrong though, they are very innovative technologies which will become necessary in the future – just not now.
This is an odd one out on my list owing to what I said my opening remarks – because it used to be necessary. I had to talk about it because some businesses might still think it’s imperative to use this tech. Now we have other innovations such as multi-purpose printers (i.e. they have scanning abilities). We now also have mobile scanning apps, your can perfectly scan any document with your phone and email it. So when setting up your office space, don’t bother yourself with getting fax machines – save yourself the cost.
Now let’s get into tech that you shouldn’t bother yourself with now (which might only be useful later).
This tech is cutting edge, I’ll admit but it really shouldn’t be your endeavour to try and incorporate it in your business. Nanotechnology is a domain that focuses on developing material things by manipulating the atomic or molecular structure of matter. The costs involved here are so high that it’s the single overriding factor for why I would discourage you from bothering yourself with it. Nanotechnology has a lot of application in medicine, agriculture, mining and so on but don’t hassle with using it now. Just an appreciation for it would suffice, after all, as a nation, we are still lagging behind in intellectual property and infrastructure to venture into this.
VR or AR
Virtual reality or augmented reality entails simulations developed by computers in order to blend or sync real environments with virtual ones. These have mainly been the preserve of the sphere of gaming technologies. In some parts of the world, they are now finding new applications in the business environment e.g. architecture, aviation or manufacturing. However, the development, setup and training of personnel to use such systems are still very costly. One of the biggest challenges we have in Zimbabwe is the lack of comprehensive data on various metrics. This presents a huge setback for such technologies which are heavily dependent on real-time data. Overall, VR or AR use in business hasn’t actually become main-stream in most developed countries so now is not yet the time locally.
This is one of the most talked about the application of blockchain technology. In essence, cryptocurrencies are digital assets which function as your usual fiat currencies. The difference here is that they are digital and the rules governing their transactions are different. They follow certain protocols that promote transparent, secure and hassle-free transactions across the world. For instance, someone in Germany can transfer funds to me here in a matter of seconds. This tech obviously holds huge prospects for the future but as a business, you now should just acquaint yourself with what it’s all about. Pay particular attention to the Blockchain technology that backs cryptocurrency. Right now in Zimbabwe, we don’t even have local currency to talk of so incorporating cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange might not work. In fact, in other developed countries, most people are still sceptical about cryptocurrencies. Very few businesses now accept these digital currencies as a means of payment.
Drones are also referred to as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Gradually drones are finding their application in virtually any field of business. Locally the least we have seen their application is in media productions i.e. aerial and multi-angle images and videos. Other than that there isn’t any other application I can recommend for businesses right now. The fact that business industries differ means that if you’re to incorporate drone tech into your business that would require customization. Creating custom-made drones for your business can be very costly. Plus there are other issues that come into play e.g. airspace regulations. So at the moment as a business, if you’re to leverage drone tech, you can do so by purchasing commercial drones for photography and videography.
This technology is revolutionary and is gradually becoming used across the world. Here’s why I think as a business you shouldn’t bother yourself with this tech. It needs specialized software, raw materials and training – which you won’t find locally. Generally, the printing process takes a while and that means pushing volumes can be problematic. The other disadvantage is that the most common specialized materials are plastic-based. This means the application of this technology can be limited to a few categories of things. Also, there are limitations on the size of printable objects. So this tech really shouldn’t be something you should muse over as a business.
So these are some of the technologies which as a local business shouldn’t disturb you if you aren’t using them yet. The dynamics of tech are so intricate and at times the untimely use of tech can render it useless. Besides, Zimbabwe still has economic, political, legislative and infrastructural limitations that stall the use of some of these technologies. My advice to you would be to, in the meantime, familiarize yourself with the concepts of these technologies. Someday it shall come a time when they might become imperative for you as a business.