With technology constantly undergoing new innovations and developments, businesses today have an amazing variety of tools at their disposal. If you are a small business owner in today’s world, it is essential to always keep yourself updated with information pertaining to new technologyand how it influences the social, political and economic elements inmodern society.
These factors can guide you to keep up with the times and constantly improve the way you do business.
According to tech experts at Cyberogism,large businesses have enough capital and resources to take risks, whereas smaller businesses have to ensure that they play it smarter and safer.
Here are some of the top technological trends that are currently impacting change among small businesses.
- Mobile Synergy
Today’s world is filled with smartphones and apps. According to a 2016 survey, about 50 percent of small businesses in the United States will have developed their own app by the end of this year.
From interacting socially to shopping, people are more interested in using their mobile phones to perform daily tasks rather than by traditional means.
Everyone is living in a virtual world today, and so it is imperative that small businesses adapt to the changing environment. Through these applications, companies are able to increase sales, improve the customer experience and rise up amongst the competition.
With new technology being developed, the mobile landscape is sure to see some new trends in 2017.
- Change in SEO Standards
SEO standards started to be reshaped by Google in 2016, but 2017 has seen the significant affects of this change.
Small business owners are utilizing the power of the internet to vastly improve their sales. But with so many other companies doing the same thing, the race becomes more about visibility than any other competitive factor.
Ultimately, it is the quality of the products you’re selling and the strength of the customer experience you’re offering that will boost your ability to retain customers. But all of that cannot happen if no one can find your website.
As such, understanding how SEO works today and creating strategies to better gain visibility is the key.
- Artificial Intelligence Assistance
Bots or AI tools are ready to play a very important role in everyone’s lives as more and more apps are being developed to assist businesses in this regard.
A chatbot is designed to perform the very activities and functions that were historically only exclusively performed by human workers. Since 24/7 customer assistance can put a large amount of stress onhuman beings, chatbots can provide assistance without any risk.
Although the human variable can never be exchanged, large volumes of menial work can be transferred to AI programs.
Today, a wide variety of tasks can be handled with ease by bots. This allows the business owner to focus more on the expansion of the company.
- Freedom to Work Remotely
A business is only as good as the people who work within it. As such, it’s essential to ensure that your workforce isn’t tired or frustrated.
Today, a lot of small businesses are allowing employees to work remotely from home. With the help of emerging technology, small businesses are able to create a framework that allows them to set up an efficient system for employees to work remotely.
This not only reduces costs for the company, but it actually improves efficiency too.
People are happier when they get to work from the comfort of their own home. In most of these cases, rather than hiring full-time employees, these businesses work with people on a contract basis which helps to offset the risk of having an employee work inefficiently because he/she is at home. In such scenarios, the company will just fire that person and hire somebody new.
- IoT Security
The last few years have seen a sudden surge in malware attacks across the globe. With so many connecting “Internet of Things” devices in offices and stores, there is a great need for online security.
Insecure IoT devices can pose a huge threat for small businesses. But there are several advancements that developers are now studying in order to create more secure systems for all IoT devices.
Questions regarding ways to handle high-speed data ingestion, optimizing analytics and making decisions dependent on IoT data are all being examined to create a safer space for businesses to operate.
- Marketing Automation
Another field which is rapidly growing due to widespread technological advancements is marketing automation.
As one of the key aspects of running a successful business, marketing has always been an important job. It allows a company to better understand their customer base and even change user perception.
While it used to be a cumbersome job that created much physical and mental stress, new technology has allowed most of the previously menial processes to be automated. Email blasts and social media posts can now be executedin a simpler and more convenient way.
Marketing automation software gives more freedom to the marketing team to explore other angles and work on more hands-on projects.
- New Payment Options
As a result, many consumers are increasingly wanting to pay through these apps rather than with traditional payment methods. Small businesses are now integrating mobile payment options into their products to capture the modern customer.
- Cloud Storage and Application
Data is increasingly being transported to cloud networks today for a number of reasons. Cloud storage and networking provides many advantages for small businesses. Customer databases and accounting software programs are now being steadily shifted to cloud-based programs for superior efficiency.
This change also allows for greater flexibility, as business owners can now handle invoices and manage cash flow seamlessly and conveniently.
This is a relatively recent trend, as there are a few security concerns surrounding the subject. While business owners gain a lot of advantages from cloud services, the online security systems within these programs could use some additional technological improvements.
That’s why most small businesses are currently using a combination of both cloud and on premise systems to store and manage their data.