How Technology is Shaping a Small Business

Technology is impacting every business size and niche today – even small businesses. Here are a few ways in which this is happening.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that 58% of consumers and 77% of business buyers say technology has significantly changed how they expect businesses to interact with them. When you look around you’ll see that technology has already reshaped our world over the past decade. It’s made it so that small businesses can now compete with their larger counterparts in a world that’s growing more tech-focused by the day. This is because businesses of every size are increasingly adopting CRM, connecting data throughout their various departments, and adding elements of artificial intelligence. There are many lessons to be learned here.

SMBs Need CRM

Sales Force says small businesses usually find themselves under time and financial constraints that make new technology more of a pipe dream. While they know this technology would give them more time, they don’t have enough time to explore and implement it. Nevertheless, once they do find the time to implement it, they soon discover that CRM helps them find, win, and keep more customers. These are the key factors of growth. These are also some of the reasons why growing small businesses are twice as likely as their stagnant counterparts to rely on CRM in their daily lives.

When you take this a step farther, you’ll see that CRM quickly becomes important to those who can manage to adopt it. In fact, once they’ve adopted it and started to grow, 34% of small businesses would prefer to give up social media instead of losing their CRM, 20% would even go so far as to sleep on a bed of nails if it meant not losing their CRM and another 19% would be willing to walk across hot coals to keep theirs.

Connecting Data Across all Departments

Many small businesses are choosing to rely on CRM with G-suite integration to receive a 360° customer view today. This occurs when all their business data is interconnected. This is something that 69% of those growing small businesses think will be important for them in the future.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

About 61% of today’s small business owners say their businesses aren’t ready for AI yet. They say that it’s too complex to meet their needs. Nevertheless, the approximate 11% of small businesses that have already implemented AI elements will admit to having experienced significant growth. So, while AI hasn’t completely infiltrated the small business world yet, it’s promising to make a huge impact there once it does. These businesses are bound to benefit by:

  • Automating send times for their marketing emails
  • Using predictive forecasting for sales
  • Automating basic responses for customer service
  • Automating recommendations for customers

Biometric Security

Winnipeg Free Press says that biometric security is about to reach the billions. They feel this is especially true in regard to fingerprint reader-equipped devices and the various elements included within the 5G network architecture. These are important parts in making steady progress towards the full launch of 5G which is something many people believe we’ll see in 2020.

Digital Navigation

The great indoors is the final frontier for digital navigation. Some are predicting that by 2022, about one quarter of the digital navigation that’s being used by humans and machines will include (either partially or exclusively) indoors enabled things like Wi-Fi hotspots, beacons, and even some emerging technologies that we haven’t thought of yet.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is about to go mobile. We already have over 300 million smartphones is use today. More than one fifth of all the smartphones being sold already contain on-board machine-learning capabilities.

TV Advertising

TV advertising in the U.S. was once a booming industry but in recent years it has flatlined. Some experts believe that spending in this arena won’t ever pass the $72 billion U.S.D. point again.

DDoS Attacks

Now that the terabit is so common, we’re likely to see at least one terabit Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack per month on a global scale. Experts believe that we’ll also see more than 10 million smaller attacks during the year. All of this is because of the huge growth that’s taken place in the insecure base of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. They go on to say that we’ll also see an increase in online instructions for unskilled attackers and a rise in uplink data speeds too.

Immersive Experiences

Inc. says games like Pokemon Go and gear like the Google Daydream have helped launch Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. While these have both been around for a while, now that they’re being coupled with other technology trends, immersive experiences are becoming a reality. Eventually this will affect our computer screens, laptops, and phones too. For instance, having an AI voice phone system is important because its heads-up display will provide you with all the information you need.

Self-Deleting Apps

As more people grow uncertain and fearful about the radicalization of politics and world affairs, encryption and disposable communication will continue growing stronger. This is because people will start to use technology to make sure their lives aren’t being intercepted or monitored – especially people who live in countries where a minority group opposes the party in power. Radical groups and international corporations will also take advantage of these new apps.

Big Data

Currently, “Big Data” is a buzzword that’s only heard among research scientists and businesses. However, anyone who’s buying a web based social media marketing tool or sales workflow automation software (a.k.a. Software as a Service, SaaS) will start taking advantage of services that compose big data (e.g. machine learning, neural networks, AI, data lakes). This means that we’ll see a growing number of SaaS based startups offering businesses services so they can receive guidance and support in new and interesting ways. This will drive the cost of these services down even while they grow more sophisticated. As this happens, many businesses will no longer need to hire a service to handle their sales for them. Instead, they’ll be able to use online platforms to build their own tailored sales solution – one that meets their specific needs.

Author Bio:

Being a senior business associate, Peter Davidson strives to help different brands and startups to make effective business decisions and plan effective business strategies. With years of rich domain expertise, he loves to share his views on the latest technologies and applications through his well-researched content pieces. Follow him on Google+ and Twitter.

 

Photo Credit: wuestenigel Flickr via Compfight cc

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