The last decade has brought immense changes to the way we think, work, perceive and behave. Technological development has given birth to a rapid production of digital devices, and their accessibility has absorbed us all—especially the app economy, which has given us control over many processes.

The industrial revolution spawned great ideas that emanated from population needs. Combined with the technical power of the steam engine and ingenious machinery, the era drastically changed the world like never before. Similarly, we are experiencing the fourth revolution and calling it a “Digital Revolution,” which is being driven by the power of the physical and digital combination.

The year 2018 has witnessed some of the most innovative trends in business thus far. The various forms of technology, such as artificial intelligence and automation, are bound to be some of the major drivers of businesses in the near future. Each day, more people are embracing these new trends in order to generate profits and growth.

Staying up-to-date with recent technological innovations and applying digital-friendly strategies are now the main objectives for many companies. Adapting to the evolution of the market and subsequent customer demands is what will keep you ahead of the competition and save your business from disappearing completely.

In this article, we want to focus on the top technological tendencies that will continue to dominate the entrepreneurial and remote work spheres this year.

Certain trends in entrepreneurship will continue to expand in 2018, exposing more niche, digital-oriented business practices. These entrepreneurial trends are accelerating at a more rapid pace due to the ever-changing nature of technology, which has already affected many small business owners in both positive and negative ways.

Most business are in the process of utilizing several types of innovations that connect new ideas to a completely new market—thereby providing services that never existed before.

Small-scale businesses will be able to challenge other larger mainstay firms by introducing spectacular ideas to their organizations, which categorically challenge and beat industry giants. This is because there’s a high-risk, high-rewards scenario for all businesses, as this strategy cuts out the middlemen who directly connect customers to services and products.

For instance, companies like Airbnb, Netflix and Amazon have employed the disruptive power of technology to their advantage, resulting in these companies rising to the top of their industries.

Amazon is able to connect customers to any particular product and service from the comfort of a customer’s home, thereby cutting out middlemen that previously existed, including retail shops.

Moreover, consumers can use streaming services like Netflix and Spotify to access favorite movies, documentaries or music with a single touch of a button. Many startups are also embracing this fresh trend to their business ethos in an effort to cut costs and make customers happier.

The Rise of Remote Work

With that being said, the popularity of remote work is undeniably one of the major trends of 2018. More than ever before, people are working location-independent jobs entirely online. This trend is common among workers, who can easily set their schedules and work at their own respective pace.

Remote working is extremely popular for employees of upcoming startups. Many of these businesses have completely leveraged the power of remote work and taken it to the next level, aware that most employees are willing, and wanting, to work exclusively online.

Remote work is already one of the biggest trends in 2018, because companies can easily access the best-skilled workforce across the globe, which in turn enables them to increase their revenue and capital. Proponents of remote work have stated that virtual teams are just as productive as physical ones because it creates a more dynamic, productive environment.

Artificial Intelligence Trends

Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most revolutionary advances that has taken place in the field of technology in recent years, influencing how certain functions are performed—like eating, sleeping and even marketing. This technological trend allows devices to connect to the Internet, further widening the scope of opportunities and possibilities.

This year, IoT is rapidly growing. In the business world, it provides plenty of opportunities that need to be explored in order to simplify work and do things faster and reliably. Some companies have embraced wearable devices, including smartwatches and glasses, in order to better connect people, which has further improved efficiency.

The particular use of IoT in marketing is gathering steam as more companies are using the technology to develop marketing strategies that are more targeted. By using IoT, marketers will be able to deliver personalized, specific solutions to each individual customer.

Furthermore, virtual reality (VR) is not the future anymore—it is the present. One of my predictions for the remainder of 2018 is that virtual reality will become mainstream. When you look at the growth trajectory of the VR industry over the past few years, it is clear that only great things lie ahead.

For example, just a few years ago in 2014, there were over 200 thousand active VR users. In 2017, this number increased to 90 million. While there are many unanswered questions for the future of virtual reality, one thing is certain: the technology, if not already, will be offered to the masses sometime soon, especially in the gaming industry. The challenging question will be: how long will it take for society to accept it?

Another AI trend that is bound to spread in 2-18 is automation. Already, companies have embraced the use of robotics and chatbots in order to augment reliability. The use of programmed, automated software is one of the biggest trends that companies all over the globe are using in their day-to-day activities to perform various tasks. Some pizza and food outlets have already run tests using robots to deliver orders to customers in restaurants and hotel chains.

These trends are already on the rise in 2018, as more businesses realize the value of conducting industry-related research that exposes the best platforms for their continued growth.