As new and novel tech trends sweep the world and change the way it works, many businesses are trying hard to catch up and leverage the latest tech to stay ahead of their competition. The latest tech advancements can help SMBs defeat competition and grow quickly, putting them at the forefront of their industry. 5G is getting a lot of the buzz, but it’s not the only tech trend you need to know about. Here are eight technologies that should be on the 2019 tech watch list for every SMB.
5G is a giant step toward the proliferation of IoT. While 4G struggles with a latency (delay in data transfer across terminals) of up to 50 milliseconds, 5G is expected to cut down latency to only 1 millisecond. This would result in a faster connection between networks, making it easier for companies to share and upload files. Although testing for 5G is still going on, it’s release for commercial usage has everyone excited, and digitally powered SMBs stand to gain a lot from it.
SMBs make use of a vast range of disparate software for internal communication, file storage, and so on. As of now, these software cannot connect with each other and sharing of information between one software and the other is not possible. However, linking between these platforms to allow for easy communication could be a major leap for SMBs. Software unification can help with time management and improve internal efficiency of companies. In other words, you will have fewer difficulties with work and the time to do much more.
Social media marketing
Social media advertising will continue to be stellar for SMBs throughout 2019. People purchase products that they see on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and even the controversial Twitter. This means that SMBs have every reason to expand their reach to audiences via social media. Social media profiling helps businesses target people who are likely to buy their products. It also helps in the personalization of marketing, thereby making it easier for customers to find the products they want.
SMBs can benefit greatly from e-commerce as they would be catering to the demands of an ever-growing audience, thereby boosting their chances of profit gain and reach among consumers. Instead of shipping products to supermarkets and local shops and selling them via vendors, you can ship them directly to your customers through certain suppliers. This can also strengthen the bond between your customers and your brand as there is now a near-direct line of communication.
Research has found that 60 percent of SMBs that experience cyberattacks go out of business within six months of the attack. It has also been found that such attacks cost SMBs anything between $84,000 and $148,000 for each incident. To ensure complete safety from hackers and cyber criminals, SMBs should be looking at budgeting for total data security. The data security budget for various SMBs would depend on which field they are in. For example, SMBs in retail, hospitality, and wholesale would have to spend around $20,000 while government agencies would be looking at a $40,000 or $50,000 budget for data security alone. While the expenses may seem exorbitant, it would help SMBs in the long run and ensure complete safety and security of data from others who would misuse it.
Artificial intelligence has been a subject of great interest and concern by many companies the world over. The usefulness of AI in performing programmatic tasks has received great praise from many people. However, there is a cause for concern as AI has proven to be troublesome when given too much power with regard to decision-making. This year, efforts are being made to strengthen the collaboration between humans and AI. SMBs can expect an increase in efficiency with AI and this could improve company standards and output by leaps and bounds. Once fool-proof solutions for more service-oriented AI have been found, we can expect to see a higher demand for it and faster implementation by many businesses.
Next level of cloud computing
Before cloud computing, data storage technology and business software could only be used if a business had its own computing infrastructure, which was very costly to install. The costs were too much for small businesses and they had to manage without such tools at their disposal for help. With the advent of software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, the demand for such computing infrastructure dropped. Instead of paying massive costs and burning holes in their wallets, SMBs can utilize cloud computing and pay minimum expenses for the same benefits you normally get with computing infrastructure. This also has to be the year when SMBs focus on cloud-based alternatives for all their expensive on-premises technology, whether it’s a stage system or a full-blown ERP. The smart move for SMBs is to go for cloud.
Augmented analytics is defined as “an approach that automates insights using machine learning and natural-language generation (NLG).” Augmented analytics platforms can process data faster than humans without any degree of bias that a human might add to the process. This means that you can get in-depth data analysis, more insights, productive usage of resources, and faster results. SMBs can get all these benefits to drive their business by investing in augmented analytics platforms.
Customer relationship management software
Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps in strengthening the relationship between you and your customer by interacting with them, analyzing data, and recommending products and services that they might be interested in. Aside from building relationships for customers, CRM software can help SMBs with increased sales, better coordination between teams, and healthier pipelines. Investing in this software can give SMBs a huge edge in the market and put them right at the top of the list.
Whther it’s 5G, AI, CRM or the other five technologies we looked at here, they should be on every SMB’s tech watch list for 2019. By investing in these technologies, you are ensuring a brighter and better future not only for yourself but also for your company and your employees.
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