16 Tech Trends Poised To Make A Big Impact On Product-Based Businesses

Whatever a product-based business produces or sells—whether it’s software, sedans, sandals or salsa—it’s essential to keep up with the latest developments in technology. The Covid-19 pandemic, for example, ushered in an explosion in e-commerce, with many product businesses starting or expanding their online retail operations. That trend is not the first time technology has revolutionized product-based business operations, and it certainly won’t be the last.

The tech trends experts see coming to product-based enterprise include tools and services to reach new customers, generate marketing copy, collect and analyze customer data, and even take over the actual manufacture of products (and much more). Below, 16 members of Forbes Technology Council discuss the new and emerging tech developments they believe will have a big impact on product-based businesses.

1. Large Language Models

Large language models, such as GPT-3, are a new category of artificial intelligence models that can understand and generate free-form text. We already see impressive use cases that leverage LLMs today, including copywriting, synthesizing insights from conversation transcripts and assisting engineers to write better software. I expect this technology to be even more transformative over the next five years. – Nihit Desai, Refuel.ai

2. Telematics

The ability of vehicles to transmit data via telematics is revolutionizing the insurance industry. Not only does it enable more affordable pay-as-you-go pricing, but it also allows for more accurate risk assessment that’s demographic-agnostic and based on real-time behaviors. – Kevin Philpott, Pie Insurance

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3. 5G Private Networks

I believe the emergence of 5G private networks will have a significant impact on how enterprises do business. Added to that, it opens up a whole new world of products and applications to cater to these new markets. – Suresh Chintada, Subex

4. Automation Via Known Data

We will increasingly be using known data to remove mundane, mindless activities from humans. We can use data to predict many things in our lives so that tasks can be automated. Why do we have to ask a device to turn on lights when we know exactly when the sun sets? Our houses should simply light themselves. Companies that move beyond the simplistic “automation” we have today will change humanity. – Laureen Knudsen, Broadcom

5. Decision Intelligence Platforms

Decision intelligence platforms will redefine the way we think, work and build products. The way many companies do business tends to be tedious and unpredictable. I believe there is a way to have better support in decision making, which eventually will lead to predictive outcomes. – Mex Emini, KaFe Rocks

6. AI For Supply Chain Management

AI is transforming the supply chain crisis by creating resilient, agile and reliable manufacturers. AI analyzes fluctuating market/supply conditions in consumer packaged goods industries to ensure products are not only on the shelf when expected but also maintain the highest standards of ethical traceability, sustainability and safety through data monitoring, smart analytics and the detection of process deviations. – Andrew McCloskey, AVEVA

7. V2X Communication

New enhancements to 5G standards are bringing in V2X—vehicle-to-everything—communications, allowing cars to talk to each other directly. This technology would enable cars to warn other vehicles about accidents and fleets of driverless vehicles to travel together at high speeds. Wireless enhancements will have a profound impact on the future of the vehicle industry. – Ritesh Mukherjee, Inseego

8. Distributed Application Architecture

With more software products than ever before, there just aren’t enough developers to build them all. The shift to distributed application architecture (cloud-native or not) introduced new challenges in existing development paradigms, platform engineering and, more generally, the developer experience. It’s an evolving ecosystem that focuses on the developer journey and optimizing dev velocity. – Maya Mandel, Helios

9. The IoT

I think the technology that will have the biggest impact on product-based businesses is the Internet of Things. This technology has the potential to transform the way product-based businesses operate by enabling them to collect data about their products and customers in real time and then use that data to improve their products and operations. – Fabio Moioli, Microsoft

10. Augmented Reality

The technology I believe will have a big impact on product-based businesses is augmented reality. Imagine a furniture retailer using AR to let customers place their couch in their home before they even buy it, or an online clothing retailer using AR to allow customers to try on clothes before they purchase them. – Leon Gordon, Pomerol Partners

11. The Metaverse

Don’t believe the metaverse is here? Think again. A 19-year-old virtual influencer—that is, a digital rendition—has 3 million followers on Instagram. She has landed partnerships with Prada, Dior and Calvin Klein. But this should come as no surprise, as brands are stressing participation in the metaverse. Investing in virtual stores and nonfungible tokens, brands such as Pacsun are doing everything to connect with younger customers. – Nicholas Domnisch, EES Health

12. Gesture-Based Applications

One piece of emerging technology that will revolutionize product-based business is the use of gesture-based applications in a post-mobile world. As augmented reality and virtual reality progress, more and more applications will depend on the physical actions of users to create a particular application outcome. This will have far-reaching effects on how users and businesses interact with technology. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

13. 3D Printing

3D printing has already shown a strong potential to revolutionize many industries, and I believe it still has a long way to go for product-based companies. The flexibility in design, the easy prototyping, the ability to adjust, the reduced waste, and the time and cost efficiency are just some of the benefits that businesses cannot achieve through traditional production methods. – Peter Abualzolof, Mashvisor

14. Manufacturing As A Service

Manufacturing as a service is a game changer. This model enables product-based businesses to forego the costs of machinery, manufacturing, logistics and shipping. MaaS will do for product-based businesses what Amazon did for compute and storage via AWS. – Mark Francis, Electronic Caregiver

15. Digital Twins

Digital twins aren’t completely new, but they are in demand these days. With the world going digital, every business requires virtual models—from retail to manufacturing and beyond. Digital twins allow companies to test production processes or improve workflows. For example, retail businesses can create a virtual shopping mall or individual store to simulate the customer experience, thus getting valuable insights. – Slava Podmurnyi, Visartech Inc.

16. NLP

It is time for natural language processing to become standard practice in the majority of product-based enterprises. Particularly in the SaaS industry, NLP should replace slow and impractical keystrokes. NLP powered by AI can take into account human emotions as well as the linguistic meanings of words. – Ravi Adatrao, Lean Summit Solutions

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