2018 has been a hell of a year for the world of business. It’s now ten years since the economic downturn, and the markets have done their best to recover. As a result, the business landscape today is considerably different from that of ten years ago. Particularly regarding technological innovation, there’s now an entire world of technology that promises major breakthroughs in the near future. In terms of investment, more and more people are tipping innovation as a key area with guaranteed success around the corner. But, there are plenty of other things to take into consideration, and we’re going to look at a few of them. The following are decent bets for business in the year to come.

Online Banking and Transactions Are Moving Forward

One obvious development is a change in the way that people carry out transactions and how banking works. This area has seen major changes in the past ten or so years. The arrival of contactless payments, and the prevalence of online banks with no brick-and-mortar presence, has changed the world of finance in a major way. More and more people are losing faith in the previously steadfast financial industries and turning to smaller startups and independent providers that promise a more human and less punitive approach to the world of finance. These new providers offer a speed of transactions and convenience that surpasses the organisations that came before them. As a result, consumers, in general, are becoming far more accustomed to speed and convenience, no matter what the transaction. Businesses would do well to ensure that they can meet these demands. With more and more commerce moving online, you’re going to need to make sure that, in 2019, your business is making use of the fastest online transaction companies, and the most reliable banking options.

Robotics Will Emerge in New Industries

One area that investors have been flocking to in ever-greater numbers is robotics. We already know that robotics plays a huge part in manufacturing automobiles, personal technology, and white goods. However, new horizons are emerging where the introductions of robotics are set to revolutionise large swathes of other industries, a good example for that provided by BestRoboFest supported by Max Polyakov. In medicine, there have already been trials involving doctors controlling robots to perform keyhole surgery. Agriculture is set to undergo major changes through robotics that can both monitor crop development and harvest the crop itself to bring in higher yields than ever. Even fast food might never be the same, with the invention of a robot that can flip burger patties on the grill. With so many industries looking to robotics as a means of making bigger returns through more efficient processes, this is a sector with immense potential for growth.

Artificial Intelligence Is Finally a Reality

Artificial intelligence has finally arrived in a workable form. It’s already taken off in a range of different industries, but the unsung success story of AI lies in the world of big data analytics. Given the ability companies now have to follow every step of a customer’s journey, from initial interest to conversion and purchase, businesses have never had more data on their client base. However, with such a huge amount of data available, the only way to successfully interpret it lies in data analytics. Data analytics relies in large part on AI, the only possible way to draw up patterns and similarities within huge data sets. More and more companies are investing in improving business-driven AI, and in 2019, this trend looks set to be bigger than ever. If you’re looking to get a head start on your competitors, you should look into ensuring that your business has the best analytics possible for the year ahead.

The Knowledge Economy Is Becoming a Reality

Many pundits have repeatedly raised the idea of the knowledge economy in recent years. This is the concept that, in a world where companies deal less and less in material commodities and more and more in online transactions and concepts, knowledge rather than materials is set to become the major trading commodity. This is mirrored more and more by the success that repeated innovation in the online world has reaped. Businesses can no longer afford to simply try and corner or excel in an established market. More and more, the emphasis is on gaining the knowledge needed to get the upper hand on your competitors. Whether this comes in the form of the innovation needed to develop your service and beat the competition, or the ability to monitor others in your industry and stay one step ahead, the need for knowledge and understanding has never been greater in business.

Blockchain Technology Is Coming into Its Own

On the other hand, while data analytics are providing businesses with more opportunities than ever before to understand their customers, blockchain technology is doing the opposite. Continuous data harvesting scandals, coupled with the threat of scams and cyber attacks, mean that people are more cautious than ever before of giving away their personal data. Blockchain technology has become a leading innovation in the way that people protect their anonymity. Initially coming to most people’s attention through cryptocurrencies, it has already found its way into a wide range of different online industries. It’s set to continue expanding throughout 2019. And, while cryptocurrencies have clearly had their day, there’s nevertheless plenty to be gained from investing in, and investigating, the technology that drove them forward.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the predictions for the year ahead. The gradual recovery of global markets means that businesses are able to look ahead with a degree of confidence that they haven’t enjoyed in a decade. Facing a new and promising landscape, there’s no shortage of successful investments waiting for you out there. You simply need to work out which ones are best suited to your business.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Leah Green is a graduate of the University of Liverpool. She started her business when she was 24 and now she is an owner of Copywriting Agency in Liverpool. Leah likes spending time with her colleagues who are her second family. Her hobby is psychology and self-improvement as an endless source of inspiration.