It is well known the rise of AI and robotics, and of the related impacts of automation across all industries. In fact, just months ago, 52% of employers in a Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas survey said they expected automation to impact their workforce by 2020.

Amid this backdrop, it is important to know what you can and cannot automate, and what your employees need to understand about the future. Here are the seven most important technologies in the area of machine learning, robotics, artificial intelligence, autonomous technologies, and the associated futures in 2019. You may think they are not applicable to your business today. Yet, over the next three years, several of these technologies will undoubtedly impact or automate your business. If you wait until 2020 to invest, you may miss out.

1. Virtual Reality

One of the other sci-fi predictions about the future was the power of virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) to vastly improve communication.

You can already use such technologies to deliver training, tools, and training videos, which is why many companies today use it extensively. Not just your employees today, but the professionals who provide you training will increasingly be adopting VR, AR, or other VR technologies.

The attractions to adopting VR and AR as training platforms are clear: it can also “take a video of a blacksmith working on a piece of metal and overlay it onto a digital perspective of the cut he made,” according to The New York Times. The apparent ease of application is, if not inevitable, then close to it.

At the same time, there are some dangers: “While they may reduce some training costs, and potentially improve the quality of training, they also come with their own problems, according to industry professionals,” according to The Washington Post. One of those problems is the loss of memory. As students learn in VR and AR, they may forget how to do the same task or apply what they learn. It can also cause them to replicate failure in the real world, an error pattern that leaves them vulnerable to danger in the real world.

2. Cloud-based Interoperability

The cloud is a big technological buzzword, “and it’s a good one,” according to computer scientist and MIT professor Vint Cerf. Cerf joined Facebook’s platform group in 2013.

Some cloud providers offer compelling value for large enterprise clients. No case in point is single server file storage. Therefore, many companies today use cloud-based file storage, which tend to be co-located with other enterprise-scale cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Companies that have adopted large clouds generally have discovered that, from an internal point of view, it’s easier to move, consolidate, consolidate, and scale their traditional infrastructure into the cloud. Moreover, it can be accomplished with minimum disruption to business operations.

Cloud providers, after a lengthy and convoluted approval process, will often allow you to host files anywhere on their cloud platform. For example, you can host files on several cloud platforms simultaneously at the same time and quickly distribute files using Amazon’s OneDrive, QuickServe, or Microsoft SharePoint. This gives you a ton of flexibility, because you are effectively using each one for different tasks.

Cloud-based APIs mean you are not limited by your aging own infrastructure and legacy management processes. You can link and map existing processes to meet your new cloud services.

Ultimately, this means you can be at the forefront of innovation while minimizing disruption.

3. Emotional Intelligence Systems

Researchers are increasingly interested in how to improve human performance and how to make the workplace more attractive to employees and drive productivity. One idea they are considering is improving employee performance and workplace engagement through emotional intelligence systems.

Emotional intelligence is about four core capabilities:

* People Skills: How we relate to each other; how we learn to work with others; how we motivate others

* Social Skills: How we relate to others; how we think and feel; how we interact with people in a social context

* People Skills: How we interact with others; how we recognize and work with others; how we work with others to accomplish a goal

* Social Skills: How we operate in social situations; how we relate to other people

Finally, emotional intelligence can lead to improved productivity.

As with any new technology, there are challenges, but the benefits can be sizable and meaningful.