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Top 10 SMB Tech Trends – SMBs Eager to Embrace Technology
Evolving technology has let business owners trying to keep up and implementing it in all facets to improve and increase efficiency. Year 2014 is witnessing an emergence of technology trends. From analytics to payment, technology is not limited to big organizations any longer.
One could never predict technology will look like in one year (forget one month!). Some trends, however, are discernible. Following are key tech trends each SMB should be aware of going forward that could boost productivity and revenue.
1. SMBs Embracing Real Benefits of Technology
Technology usage is critically important for any business, so why only small businesses are often advised to take advantage of technology?
This is because SMBs are more focused on developing technology than supporting it. Big companies have deep pockets to spend on resources, while SMBs cannot really afford to spend profligately. Correct utilization of technology can help small businesses achieve more and faster.
According to a survey conducted by AT&T Small Business Technology, nearly two-third of SMBs cannot survive without technology. There is a growing adoption of cloud, mobile, social media among many SMBs, resulting in a positive impact on productivity and efficiency.
2. Cloud Adoption: A Big Solution for SMBs
The adoption of cloud technology helps SMBs to compete against the established organizations. Cloud, being perceived as a quick way to acquire various IT capabilities is a perfect choice for SMBs. Small and medium businesses do not always have enough resources to leverage themselves against competitors. Cloud, however, gives them an opportunity to maximize their return and stay competitive as they grow.
Cloud providing an endless storage space forms an ideal solution for companies with a small budget. It’s all about the flexibility that the technology provides SMBs to maximize the effectiveness of their resources.
3. Mobile App Adoption: Doing Business on the Go
Mobile technology has transformed how enterprises do business. Mobile technology is now being considered as a necessity for growing business to gain a competitive edge. With the easy availability and affordability of technologies such as mobile app and cloud, even small businesses are leveraging their benefits.
Many SMBs are developing mobile friendly websites, mobile apps to interact with their customers. This technology provides the flexibility to be always-on, helping you be more responsive, improved communication and be nimble.
4. An approach to Social Media
Social media use for business growth is very much on the rise. According to recent study conducted by LinkedIn and TNS, 81% of SMBs use social media for their business promotion.
Organizations are leveraging the benefits of social media to market their product and communicate with the customer that plays a key factor in enabling their success. Social media offers number of reasons for the SMBs including word-of-mouth publicity, maintain company identity and presence. The tools provided by the social media platforms are very helpful for reporting and analytics that helps them to target the right audience.
5. Latest Payment Methods: Easy and Secure
Customers are hardly bothered about the payment system being used for their transactions. As a result, SMBs are forced to use the best software that handles credit cards along with other forms of payment. They also want something that provides an easy office integration and lowest operating cost that allows a better control of their cash flow. Many SMBs have already equipped employees with mobile payment processing solutions.
6. SMBs Welcome Insight Economy
Though SMBs understand the benefits of the Big Data, they feel they do not have sufficient time and resources to shift through Big Data. SMBs find it too expensive as well as difficult to manage. Some factors that make SMBs reluctant to opt for it include – High cost, need trained people in Big Data, reliant on IT integration.
However, in near future we may see changes in the technology that focus on ease-of-use with low cost.
7. Integration Benefit for Small Businesses
To reap the complete business process value of new applications, integration is essential for SMBs. With the dropping prices of bandwidth and storage, integration of cloud-based services has become more attractive for SMBs. Integration of cloud-to-cloud solutions and cloud-to-on premises solutions would be among high priorities among SMBs. Many large vendors are making their solutions accessible and offering pre-integrated suites to SMBs.
8. Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Helps SMBs to Bring Ideas to Market
The Affordable Care Act is a health reform law that provides American people the flexibility they need to make choices about their health. It is set to take effect on January 2015. With its effect, small businesses can expect few changes for the better.
According to the law, companies with less than 50 employees are not required to offer health insurance. This helps SMBs with healthcare costs that have long been a source of anxiety.
9. Green IT: Virtualization for SMBs
With Green IT emerging as a synonym for increasing profitability and efficiency, SMBs are eager to reap its benefits. Year 2014 has seen number of natural disasters such as cyclone, flood and earthquakes. Such calamities help to make them realize the benefits of going Green that also includes cost reduction.
Making a switch from paper-based marketing to digital solutions is not much of a hard task for small businesses. They can consider web conferencing instead of travel, virtualized server and storage resources, which will not only help them to move up to the green curve but also help reduction in business expenditure.
10. New Class of SMB Influencers
SMB research indicates that in-house IT is still being adopted by many small businesses. IT needs are expected to change along with the company’s business model and play key role in decision-making process. However, with the growing cloud usage, the business decision makes are equally involved to make the final decision. Accountants, references and social media are now one of the most pervasive influencers for SMBs.
Aggressive entrepreneurs will definitely realize the benefits of adopting there tech trends while others may be disillusioned unless given proper advise, encouraged and shown correct path by the early adopters.