5 Small Business Technology Tips for 2015
Technology is a significant catalyst for driving small business growth. According to a survey conducted by the National Small Business Association in 2013, many business owners perceived technology to be a key contributor for helping them grow their business. With technologies such as cloud computing, business intelligence analytics, and marketing automation, SMBs have gained considerable competitive advantages, allowing them to snatch market share from some of the biggest multinational corporations in their industry.
However, technology is not static, but rather dynamic. In order for SMBs to continually keep ahead of the competition and ensure their growth remains consistent, they are required to keep up to date with the latest technology trends, some of which include the following.
Eliminate on-premises technology
The requirements of running a small scale business has changed drastically over the last one or two decades. A business workplace is generally associated with a number of workstations, each including hardware such as desktop PCs, printers, servers, and network switches. Not only do these items cost a significant amount of money, but also are expensive for maintenance purposes. It was time SMBs ditched most of their on-premises technology and shifted to the cloud.
This will release SMBs from a financial deadlock of continually paying for high maintenance and support services. The cloud can offer cost-effective software solutions that can help SMBs benefit from higher efficiency and profitability and allow them to better spend their cash for more useful investments.
More emphasis on cloud back and recovery
As the corporate world becomes more data-focused, it is only natural that SMBs take the initiative and effort to upgrade their cloud data backup and disaster recovery solutions. As beneficial as cloud computing is, it also creates opportunities for data to be stolen and misused by third parties. Owners of SMBs should thus focus on data archiving and data and disaster recovery. They should take into consideration firstly, the cost of the service and secondly, how quickly the cloud provider can restore your data after a crisis.
Higher security awareness
Following from the previous point, the number of cloud data breaches and data theft in general presents high risks for businesses. It has become very easy for hackers to gain access to confidential customer accounts, bank account details, and credit card number, which has the potential to erode business integrity and lead to a loss of confidence from customers.
SMBs should heavily invest in security awareness trainings to train staff on how to be vigilant in accessing data, the common ways hackers can use to gain access to corporate data, and how to quickly detect a data breach in the system.
Use Automation Marketing
One of the common reasons why most SMBs do not succeed is due to their failure to come to grip with marketing. Marketing is a broad discipline that consists of not only understanding your target market, but also know the best ways to acquire them and keep them continually engaged to remain profitable.
An automation marketing solution is one technology that can allow SMBs to know the ins and outs of marketing quickly and efficiently. It aims to synchronize a business’ digital marketing strategy by indicating how customers respond to the business and what channels are effective in gauging them.
The best part about automation marketing systems is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. SMBs can choose a solution that fits best with their specific needs and industry. It is thus important that owners use a criterion to evaluate the right software solution.
Go for Mobile Technology
The mobile platform has also made enormous leaps in the past few years. More and more users are now browsing the internet from the comfort of their phones and this is not restricted to your customers only. The opportunities for remote working speaks volumes and a company’s BYOD (bring your own device) policy has been reported to lead to tremendous increases in worker productivity. However, SMBs must be cautious regarding security as it can lead to a higher likelihood of data breaches.