Business Innovation: Who’s On Top In 2015?

thumb-328420_640“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Those wise words from the late Steve Jobs sum up why businesses are always striving to innovate. By doing so they are able to lead and stay ahead of their competitors and, in turn, by being at the head of the pack they are seen as a brand worth investing in and doing business with.

So who is proving their strength when it comes to innovation in 2015, and how is this impacting on the business world?

Microsoft

It’s a big year for Microsoft, not least because Windows 10 is upon us. The new operating system will undoubtedly be important for businesses and consumers alike – with neat new tools to utilise – but the bigger game changer might well come with the accompanying release of the Hololens.

This device might seem like a bit of fun for the end user – the chance to play with holograms as if you’re in your own personal Star Wars film, with hand gestures, voice control and gaze helping to control the virtual world your visor projects onto the world in front of you. Yet actually this could be the business innovation of 2015.

The device will actually allow the user to pop it on, ring an expert and show the person at the other end what is in front of them. The expert could then annotate that view and point the user in the right direction – a powerful use that could be transformative in a host of industries. It could certainly help to assist the design, manufacture and installation of high tech specialist equipment so that a customer purchasing paint spray booths from Airblast Eurospray could call on one of the firm’s experts to ensure the machinery and materials were being correctly handled.

Apple

If it’s a big year for Microsoft then it has to be a big year for Apple too, right?

Well, the rival tech giant has come up with two innovations that impact on the business world in different ways. The Apple Watch is braced to help wearable technology break through to be properly mainstream and for businesses it offers an opportunity to expand BYOD and encourage the use of technology that makes it easier than ever to organise a schedule and keep in contact.

Apple Pay is set for a huge expansion this year too, with a wave of banks and credit card companies offering this as a way of conducting transactions. Users with the latest iPhones, iPads or Apple Watch will be able to upload their card details to their device and use it to pay in shops, with a fingerprint scan required for security.

The technology will not only have an impact on the retail sector but can also be used to help pay wages and expenses to employees.

Coca-Cola

The drinks manufacturer has developed a game-changing recyclable plastic bottle made partially from plants. The product now makes up almost a third of the firm’s packaging in North America and 7% worldwide. By 2020 all of its significant output of plastic bottles should be converted to plant-based alternatives, extending a process that has slashed CO2 emissions by 240,000 metric tons in five years. The symbolic nature of this change could lead a revolution that turns the tide on the impact of packaging on the environment.

These three big names know that to stay at the top they must heed Jobs’ advice and innovate. Through the Hololens, Apple Pay and plant-based bottles, the trio of Microsoft, Apple and Coca-Cola are leading the way in the field and releasing products in 2015 that should shape the future in their respective fields.

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