Embrace Technology To Stay Ahead Of Your Competitors
Whether you are a fan of technology or choose to fight it at every turn, there is no denying that it can be useful for your business. And if last year was anything to go by, this year is going to show that SMEs are relying on technology more than ever to stay ahead of their competitors.
More Reliance on the Cloud
A greater number of applications will continue to move towards the cloud and businesses will store more information in the cloud services reducing the need to spend as much on storage and backups. From Xero to DropBox, many companies are adopting more apps and services which take advantage of the convenient storage the cloud has to offer. Office applications such as Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365 are making the switch to the cloud easier than ever.
An Increase in Apps for Smartphones
While businesses are resorting to the usage of apps on their Smartphones to conduct business faster and more efficiently, this year will see many more organisations designing their own apps to take advantage of the billion dollar industry. Competitiveness, better customer experience and an increase in sales are the main reason for the growth in app development. Smart creatives and entrepreneurs will begin to see the benefit of it for their business and take the app plunge.
A boom in the Internet of Things
You are probably connected in more ways than you think, and much of this comes down to the Internet of things (IoT). While the term itself is becoming passé and more people are referring to the interconnectedness between objects, it doesn’t change the fact that it has altered the way we live. The information can be used to better drive customer service and support on all levels.
Cyber Security on the Rise
Hacks happen in the smallest and the largest of business. From the Red Cross to small home businesses, hackers are taking down websites and stealing details. To protect your data, cyber security needs to be a continued priority in 2017. Ransomware, phishing scams, scripting attacks – you name it, they have their ways. Focussing emphasis on cyber security is the only way to stay ahead of the hacker game.
Big Data Will Remain Big
With the rise in IoT and cloud technology, using Big Data to your advantage is more than welcome. While a relatively new industry, what this means for companies on an individual basis will vary. However, if the information is used correctly, it will ensure that you are heading in the right direction. It’s like Google Analytics on steroids – giving you all sorts of workable information from which to learn and grow. This will also lead to an increase of AI to assist in complex analytical tasks to benefit everyone.
A Variety of Payment Methods
It’s no longer just a cash, cheque or credit card option for small to medium businesses. Forward-thinking businesses are turning to tools such as PayPal and Apple Pay to give clients more payment choices. And of course, these aren’t the only alternatives available. With technology changing at a rapid rate, it is sometimes hard to know exactly what our options are. Research is critical when it comes to areas based on customer service and your ability to keep up to date with modern devices.
By the end of 2017, we will have more ideas to add to this ever growing list. Remember, if these ideas are not your subject of expertise then it is worth looking at hiring someone to assist. Failing to stay up with the trends today will mean you fall further behind your competitors tomorrow.