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A new year brings with it new opportunities and tools, and in this smartphone- and Silicon Valley-dominated age many of the most promising among them come from the world of technology.

Here are some of the technology trends that every business needs to be aware of in 2016. If your business isn’t already examining or implementing these strategies and models, you’re probably missing out on some huge opportunities.

1. Mobile will matter more than ever

In 2015, mobile search and usage finally surpassed desktop, according to Google. And in July, ComScore released its own report showing that Canadians spend the majority of their digital time on a mobile device. This shouldn’t come as a surprise—mobile usage has been on the rise for years. But last year’s milestones were a warning to businesses of all sizes that they must learn to engage audiences while they’re on the go.

A study from Think With Google (the department responsible for producing insights for marketers) showed that 75% of all mobile purchases by Canadians happened within an hour of searching for a product. And 54% of holiday shoppers said they planned to shop on smartphones in spare moments throughout the day, like walking or commuting, instead of taking long trips at the mall. The data from these shorter sessions showed that people spent 7% less time per session, but that smartphones’ share of online purchases has gone up 64% over the past year.

With 30% of all online shopping purchases now taking place on mobile phones, the days of browsing on the go and buying later will soon be over.

MORE MOBILE SHOPPING: A New Way to Get Customers’ Attention »

2. The Device Mesh will begin to form

The Internet of Things made an appearance on my list of the top tech buzzwords of 2015, and it’s importance will continue to grow this year. Google (via Nest), Philips and Amazon have already introduced connected products for the smart home. While the Internet enables remote control of everyday appliances like thermostats and smart light bulbs, it’s just a small piece of the puzzle. Technology research firm Gartner predicts the emergence of a “device mesh,” consisting of connected and inter-communicating mobile devices, wearables, consumer and home electronics, automotive devices and sensors.

MORE INTERNET OF THINGS: Why You Need to Stop Re-inventing the Wheel »

3. Enterprise gets disrupted

Slack, Stripe and Square have all been hugely successful because they provide a product that solves the problems created by the use of necessary business tools. Slack streamlines team communications by eliminating the need to constantly check emails, while Stripe and Square give companies of all sizes access to sophisticated but inexpensive Point of Sale (POS) systems. In 2016 even more startups will create technologies to solve the pain points that businesses and professionals face on a daily basis.

MORE ENTERPRISE: Why the Tech Industry Finally Wants Your Business Again » 

4. The machines will rise

According to market intelligence firm IDC Canada, about half of developers will integrate some form of cognitive computing into their code by 2020. Machine learning—code that allows systems to learn and act like a human brain—has been under development for years. In 2016, more businesses will start to utilize elements of this technology to learn from collected customer data and serve up customized and improved user experiences.

MORE MACHINE LEARNING: Where Robots Are Starting to Get Jobs »

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