These are exciting times in the world of technology. Some of last year’s most-hyped tech buzzwords are already being incorporated to serve a meaningful function in our everyday lives – technologies like artificial intelligence and big data are quickly becoming fundamental aspects of how we live our lives.

We know that nothing changes faster than technology and that it can be hard to keep up with these technology trends — especially when it comes down to how they’re impacting your industry. That’s why we’ve made a selection of the 3 most interesting technology trends to keep an eye on in the coming time, and how they’ll impact the way you think about T&E.

The rise of AI and machine learning

Remember the first time you heard about AI? Chances are it was in the context of robots that are going to take over the world. But while robotics will definitely have a place in our future, the underlying technology might end up being more revolutionary.

A lot of software we use today is already powered by AI and machine learning, like the way Instagram analyses millions of comments per day to filter out the ones that look like they’re meant to bully someone. While it’s quite good at targeting the right content, it’s only getting smarter — the more data it correctly processes, the better it becomes.

The same goes for OCR, or optical character recognition — the technology that’s used by applications to read non-digital text, including hand-written documents and photos of printed documents. While the first implementations of this feature didn’t always work well, it’s now able to swiftly analyse lots of text with incredible accuracy. Take for example Rydoo’s built-in receipt scanner, which makes importing your receipts as easy as snapping a photo.

A new kind of integrated experience

Up until recently, most T&E software served a singular purpose — you would have a tool for managing your expenses, another one for booking your flights, and yet another one for finding a hotel. This separation of different tools has made it more complicated to get everything in order for your business travel needs, as you have to switch between different tools to get things done.

More recently, some companies have started offering multifunctional tools that integrate all these features into one product. These booking platforms merge expense management with business travel management, giving customers a 360-degree, end-to-end integrated experience that allows them to take care of everything in one place.

Something else that’s changing from the T&E software of the past is an increased focus on how they work. Previously, most tools in the T&E industry weren’t easy to use, focusing on providing functionality rather than a pleasant experience. However, this is changing quickly with a new generation of tools that also take into account the way they look and whether they’re easy to use. It’s important to make sure that anyone is able to use these tools — even if they don’t have much technical experience. A simple, clear, and well-designed interface can help by making it obvious what to do and helping users to find their way.

Built-in Compliance

As regulators are getting more and more active in the digital space, tax and other rules are under continuous scrutiny and regularly modernised to fit the new digital reality. While the overall regulatory trend is clearly converging, tax rules remain essentially a national matter. Companies with offices across multiple countries see themselves confronted with multiple regulatory systems and authorities to deal with. T&E tools will need to be capable of following suit with this multinational context if they want to survive in 2020.

While the exact laws vary from state to state, there’s a significant number of countries that require companies to save their receipts for a long period of time. Features like the ability to store receipts digitally can make it easy to comply with these kinds of rules. Additionally, platform creators can always decide to offer custom tools to their biggest markets, helping their audience in these countries with their specific needs.

No matter if local legislation requires businesses to limit their per diem rates, keep track of driven mileage, follow GDPR rules or store certain documents electronically, T&E platforms can differentiate themselves from competitors by offering features that are focused on compliance.

Stay ahead of the curve with Rydoo

All of this might be a lot to take in, but we have good news — taking advantage of the latest technology trends has never been easier. We’ve created Rydoo to be at the forefront of innovation, with smart features like a mobile receipt scanner and easy approval of expenses by managers. What are you waiting for? Get started with Rydoo today.