Two big trends that impacted small businesses over the last few years are mobile computing and cloud services.
Cloud services are now the norm rather than exception when it comes to choosing software for your office and they’ve allowed companies to do more while paying less.
The use of mobile phones and tablets at work has also been a big trend that’s transformed business workloads. Approximately 87% of companies now expect their employees to use personal devices at work, and they’ve enabled businesses to work from anywhere.
Companies that were the first to take advantage of those tends where the ones that jumped out ahead of their competition and gained some significant advantages. It seems in a time when tech is evolving so fast, the early adopters are the ones that can really boost their bottom line.
Small businesses that are considered “digitally advanced” experience year over year revenue growth nearly 4x higher than those that aren’t.
So, what big impacts are coming to further transform the way we work in 2020? What trends should you watch for this year? We’ll go through the ones everyone is taking about.
Emerging Technology to Take Advantage of Right Now
Technology has been a great equalizer for small and medium-sized businesses. It’s enabled them to afford productivity tools that previously were only in the price range of enterprise corporations. That trend of getting more for less continues with the new tech trends coming in 2020.
Here are the top trends and how you can take advantage of them before your competition.
AI Redefining Customer Service
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are being deployed to help companies serve their customers better and do it 24/7 without needing to add additional staff. AI can improve the answers it gives based upon customer feedback and can even employ use of “personality packs” to avoid sounding so robotic.
One of the ways you can take advantage of this at your business is through use of Facebook Messenger chatbots, which allow your customers to interact with your company through direct message. Chatbots can answer questions, book appointments, take survey’s, and more to improve your customer interaction.
Democratization of Expertise
Democratization of expertise is a fancy way of saying “simplify the complex.” The term refers to removing the need to hire programmers or others with specialized experience to accomplish certain tasks. Which is basically putting more technology power into more hands and removing barriers like price and expertise.
A way that you can take advantage of this trend right now is by trialing Microsoft Power Apps. This platform makes it simple for anyone to create custom business apps for their company without needing to know a single line of code. Pricing is also affordable for most small businesses, starting at $10/user/app/month.
All-in-One Connected Cloud Platforms
When most companies first started using the cloud, they started with one service, then added another, then another. Until they ended up with multiple cloud services that might not communicate well or have shared security policies.
As companies go full cloud, this is something that has to change for them to take advantage of automation and data sharing across platforms, which is why you’ll see more small businesses creating a connected platform for the future.
For your small business, this means taking a look at IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure to act as an all-in-one platform upon which to build your cloud services. Working with an IT consultant can ensure you’ve got your bases covered and are ready for the future with one integrated cloud workflow.
No one wants to see this tech trend, but it’s here anyhow. 75% of companies infected with ransomware in 2018 were running up-to-date endpoint protection. The problem is that AI is being used by malware creators to design even more sophisticated threats.
What can you do? Make cybersecurity a main tech priority in 2020 and look for the software that has advanced threat protection and more sophisticated tactics, such as:
● Artificial Intelligence
● Machine Learning
● Application Whitelisting
Faster Networks (Wi-Fi 6 & 5G)
Get ready for much faster connections without that annoying lag time and networks to have the capacity to handle more connected devices.
Both Wi-Fi 6 and 5G will change the speed at which we connect to our data, along with adding better integration of mobile and IoT devices into our business networks.
You can get a jump on the productivity boost that’s going to come from faster networks by buying a Wi-Fi 6 router for your business and looking into 5G compatible mobile and other smart devices now, so you’ll be ready.
Stay Competitive with IT Help from Pro Tech Guy
New technologies can be exciting rather than confusing if you have the right “guy” on your team. Pro Tech Guy offers solutions for small businesses for streamlining their productivity and maximizing their return on their IT investment.
Contact us today to do a 2020 technology review. Call 508-364-8189 or reach us online.