Every business owner needs to keep an eye out for technological advancements and innovations, in order to remain competitive on the market and become successful. Whether you’re a solopreneur, a startup founder or a small business owner you simply need to follow the tech trends, especially because technology can reshape the market and the way how businesses operate and develop, practically overnight.
As a rule of thumb, if you fall behind the latest trends, your business may lose its competitive advantage and ultimately fail altogether. Technology drives the market, but it also drives customers’ demands and expectations. Failing to meet or even exceed those demands or expectations will result in the loss of customers and incomes. Here are a few top tech trends that influence how small businesses operate.
The tech industry is going big with the artificial intelligence (AI) development these days. Although a fully aware AI hasn’t been created yet, the technology behind the development process has evolved and many companies, both big and small, have found ways to implement it in their business operations.
AI technology has become sophisticated enough to allow businesses to integrate machine learning into their operations and automate most of the processes. This trend will continue as AI technology progresses, meaning that AI will become a fundamental part of most businesses.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (IoT) became quite popular really fast, both with consumers and businesses alike. Even though security measures weren’t praiseworthy in older models, which led to a great number of IoT devices being used in the biggest DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service) prior to the U.S. elections in 2016, this trend doesn’t seem to lose momentum.
Newer models have improved security and people still welcome the benefits of using IoT smart devices in their everyday lives. People enjoy using smart devices to order supplies using nothing but voice commands, while businesses enjoy gathering data from simplified order processing, as well as converting data from smart devices into valuable metrics and analytics.
Nowadays, companies are highly dependent on gathering data and information about customers and the market, so they can use that information to improve their business efforts. With the rise of cloud-computing as the latest technological innovation, businesses are now migrating their business operations in the cloud. The main reason why cloud-computing is so popular is that it allows companies of all sizes to effectively gather data in real-time and process it in order to predict future trends, customer expectations and market demands.
Simply put, they convert gathered data into their business intelligence. In the past, only large enterprises were able to mine data and use it to develop their business operations, but now technology is available to every business on the market. This trend will continue to shape how businesses stay competitive on the market and how they stay relevant to their customers.
This tech trend allows businesses to expand their reach to other countries or even other continents without having to invest heavily into equipment. Not just that, but businesses can now scour the world in search for talented workers willing to join their ranks. In addition, the potential to hit other markets is an opportunity few businesses are willing to miss.
With all business data stored in the cloud, companies have the flexibility to open remote offices wherever they please and data will still be available to everyone in real-time. Cloud services such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS) allow you to implement any IT infrastructure, without investing in hardware, while software as a service (SaaS) allows you to utilize software and apps from any location and any device.
Word-of-mouth recommendations still hold sway in the business world, especially if those recommendations come from influencers. Businesses rely on social media platforms to promote their business and engage with their audience via marketing campaigns and promotions. However, social media influencers can boost those promotions up to 50%.
In fact, 49% of Twitter consumers look for recommendations from influencers, while 40% is encouraged to make a purchase after seeing an influencer’s review. Big data gathering allows businesses to identify key influencers on social media and use them to their advantage not only to boost sales, but also to promote other products and services.
Following tech trends isn’t just meant to keep yourself informed, but to identify opportunities to improve your business and outrun your competition before they have the chance to outrun you. Technology will continue to reshape how businesses operate and following trends will help your business stay on track, instead of fall behind.