The world is changing every day and technology is influencing the way we live and work. Whether it is the use of social media for communication or the manner in which we are getting an education, advancements in technology have gripped our imagination like never before. It is therefore intriguing to see how this rapid expansion of technology affects the business world.
As a small business owner, it is essential to be aware of small business technology trends that help you further grow your company. Let’s discuss small business technology trends that can positively meet small business technology needs.
1. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning
The rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning is one of the most significant trends. AI is a rapidly growing technology and has become a universal part of our lives. Due to this rapid growth in technology, a tremendous transformation can be seen taking place within businesses every day.
While machines and systems become more capable of handling workload and managing processes, a greater amount of R&D in AI and its applications is now poised to revolutionize nearly every industry in the next decade. Keap’s CRM is an example of the integration of AI with its automation capabilities. Big companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Apple, and Amazon are already using AI technology to boost the customer experience.
2. Edge computing
As cloud computing is an internet-based technology that allows users to access data, share computers, use cloud hosting to store data and resources from anywhere, it’s not without its risks.
More companies in 2020 are leaning toward edge computing, where content and data storage are brought closer to the location where it is needed, improving response times and saving bandwidth. This meets the need of understanding and making decisions about data without having to send it to the cloud.
The rise of AI algorithms and improved sensors in the hardware will also yield the ability to host more applications.
Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise and are becoming big issues for every online business. The level of sophistication of cybercrimes is also getting more advanced and in order to protect company data, every business has to consider cybersecurity in terms of a prevention. In 2020, smarter and more brute AI-powered attacks could be adopted by hackers by narrowing down probable passwords. This year will also see cryptographic attacks using advanced level pattern recognition capabilities.
4. Big data
According to industry experts, data is creating new opportunities for businesses’ growth. Big data helps in filtering, managing, and analyzing hundreds of billions of rows of information. The use of big data is becoming common these days and as far as services or ecommerce companies are concerned, big data tools like Hadoop, R-Programming, Cloudera, OpenRefine, Data Mining are proving to be of significant help. These tools are analyzing customer databases to improve their business and to find new growth opportunities. If you want detailed information about them, you can also read about the best big data tools and how to use them.
5. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on utilizing the expertise of key leaders in various relevant industries. They help you deliver your brand message using content marketing strategies to reach your target audiences. Last year saw a significant rise in influencer marketing that helped many businesses improve their marketing campaigns.
Take Keap's Lifecycle Automation Assessment to identify growth opportunities for your business.
6. Chatbot technology
Chatbots is a software or computer program that can be easily incorporated on any website, and people use them to communicate with the help of artificial intelligence. Chatbots are gaining instant popularity and being implemented by companies that are providing 24/7 services. This technology is excellent for managing customer service and improving productivity. Customers can put across their queries directly to the customer service agents and get a response immediately. Here are live chat solutions for small businesses to integrate with third-party apps and customer management.
7. Blockchain technology
Blockchain has enormous potential for integrating future technologies. It is a powerful, secure transaction technology for digital assets that can help in improving payment systems, identity verification, distributing digital information and transactions through various cryptocurrencies. The distributed ledger network of blockchain keeps verifiable records of each and every transaction ever made in the system.
Because of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, the transaction technology is getting so much buzz that the Linux Foundation has created tools for building out blockchain collaboration networks.
8. Automation technology
Automation tools are primed to be the next key factors for the success of small businesses because they are extremely helpful in managing and improving work performance of employees and company growth. Automation technology can be helpful for business in terms of revving up marketing campaigns, monitoring and analyzing numbers and information from a variety of sources. In addition to that, automation tools improve communications, sales, and revenues, access data, create and manage invoicing, organize webinars, manage inventories, increase customer experience, payroll, HR, so on and so forth. There are many automation tools like Hootsuite and Keap that can dramatically increase efficiency and productivity of businesses.
9. Social payments
With the advent and popularity of social media, social shopping is clearly on the rise. According to a Sprout Social study, 75 percent of people bought something after seeing it on social media. Hence, social payments should always be offered as an option at checkout. Many popular companies are integrating these payment systems, for example, Google and Facebook also have their own. Such a creative approach will transform ecommerce and other types of business transactions, which will make it easier to sell products and services online.
5G is the fifth generation cellular network technology that is poised to gradually replace 4G LTE connection. 5G promises faster downloading and uploading times and the elimination of latency between different devices’ communication.
5G was built with IoT sensors in mind and small businesses can leverage those sensors by optimizing their workflows with automation, assisting them with tracking devices in delivery vehicles, operating CCTV cameras, or placing a motion detector in a store during afterhours. With 5G, the possibilities are endless.
Birbahadur Singh Kathayat is an entrepreneur, online marketer, and writer. With over 10 years of experience in online marketing and Content Marketing, he helps and guides budding business owners to manage, grow and scale their businesses. As an entrepreneur, he himself as director of LBSWebSoft, a leading digital media solution company.