Here are seven significant technology trends affecting small and medium-sized organizations. Understanding them undergirds future success.
Small business technology is seldom the first to adopt new trends. Large, established corporations tend to lead corporate shifts. Consider Amazon’s drone delivery innovation. Or Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, who was campaigning for four-day weekends. Or Karl Waggoner, who wants to abolish Daylight Savings Time.
This makes sense. After all, small company entrepreneurs lack the time and resources to test new technologies. But failing to integrate new tools and methods once they’ve been proved successful is a mistake. One mistake can put you at a competitive disadvantage.
If you go through all the top small business publications and gather all the technology trends, some stand out more than others. Listed below are seven significant business technology trends affecting small and medium-sized organizations. Understanding them can help you position your firm for future success.
1. Feature-Rich CRM Apps
Customer relationship management (CRM) applications are nothing new. For decades, businesses have used them to monitor sales, client information, and more.
However, in recent years, an increasing number of solutions targeting small enterprises have joined the already congested CRM industry. Affordability and feature richness abound with these tools. However, the best thing is that they interface with practically every aspect of a company’s current IT stack, saving employees work hours every day.
Compare small company CRM software and find a system that matches your specific needs.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Terms like “artificial intelligence” and “machine learning” frighten some people. Therefore, while the underlying principles of these new technologies are complicated, small firms may nevertheless benefit from them.
Owners of businesses may use AI to automate customer-facing and internal processes. That is to say, improve customer journeys, personnel management procedures, data synchronization across platforms, etc.
Many AI-as-a-service applications are also available as independent solutions or as part of a more prominent feature kit.
3. Bot Technology
Chatbots are part of a more extensive corporate use of artificial intelligence.
However, chatbots are computer programs that can converse with humans using messaging applications like Facebook and WhatsApp. They help firms assist, process purchases, and alert consumers of critical changes.
Convenience is another benefit of chatbots. Small company owners must use chatbots with more consumers making transactions through messaging applications. Also, thanks to user-friendly chatbot systems, coding skills aren’t required.
4. Analytics Tools
Data overload is a common problem for small company owners and managers.
That is to say, particularly in manufacturing, where IoT sensors and supply chain data signals may overwhelm owners and managers. Hiring a professional data scientist is rare, and outsourcing is pricey.
So, how can small firms use data to make better decisions?
Analytics programs derive meaningful, actionable conclusions from enormous swaths of data. Not simply reporting options that give you your total conversion rate and website traffic.
These services analyze massive volumes of data to give actionable insights into your customer experience, employee activities, and company ecosystem.
Whatever your goal, today’s most valued analytics software technology packages make it easier for non-technical people to succeed. Therefore, they use data-driven management practices.
Employees of small businesses often spend hours each week on vital but straightforward chores. These may entail data input, appointment scheduling, and customer service.
Recent technological advancements have enabled small organizations to adopt automation solutions without in-house expertise.
These easy-to-use tools can help you develop a fully integrated tech stack that can perform routine chores without your or your workers’ involvement.
One such startup is Zapier, which has developed rapidly in recent years. Therefore, it’s a simple option for syncing applications and automating tasks when native software integrations aren’t available.
6. Remote Work Technology
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated an increasing tendency towards remote work.
However, companies that allow workers to work from home also have reported cheaper office expenditures, more productivity, and happier staff.
If practicable, consider allowing employees to work remotely for a few days a week. Furthermore, small enterprises should have a robust software architecture that allows workers to interact remotely.
Companies must consider how they will position themselves in the business technology job market to attract the most OK people as flexible working options become more popular.
7. Influencer Marketing
Online material is replacing more conventional media like television. Moreover, sponsored advertising has a declining return on investment, and ad blockers are gaining ground.
But emerging strategies, such as influencer marketing, are becoming successful in terms of reach and cost. Therefore, small enterprises should develop plans to seize these new possibilities as soon as possible.
Change is both challenging and exciting. This is especially true with technology.
Small firms that efficiently use modern technology may gain several benefits. These include more efficient procedures, better customer experiences, and happier staff.
Moreover, user-friendly and cost-effective applications enable small enterprises to apply innovations without specialized help. So now there’s no excuse!