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We have entered a new year. Like every year, this year we will see breakthroughs in technology. Over the years, established players have driven the technological changes and small businesses follow it.
It is understandable, as small businesses don’t have the money or time to experiment with new technology. A failure for them could have a significant impact on their profits. For big giants, R&D is part of the business.
In order to take advantage of advancing technology, you should keep yourself updated with technology trends to make the most of the advancing technology. In this article, we talk about 8 technology trends for small businesses.
Technology Trends for Small Businesses
Have a look at them closely and see which ones you can implement in your business. Here is the list of top technology trends:
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1. Artificial Intelligence
AI and Machine Learning (ML) have been trending technologies for years, and they continue to be on top of the list. With every passing year, these technologies have found usage in different sectors and areas of business. In 2022, we will see them getting implemented into more solutions. It is estimated that the global AI market is expected to be almost $60 billion by 2025.
A small business owner can keep an eye on the latest developments and plan to incorporate new processes. There is some existing trend like personalized customer experience and voice assistants – small businesses can consider using them in their business.
Most people think AI and ML are used only by large companies. However, the trend is now changing. AI can increase business productivity by 40%, while the number of AI start-ups grew by 14 times over the last 20 times. A growing number of small businesses are now embracing it, and you should not miss it.
2. CRM with rich features
Customer Relation Management (CRM) apps are not new. Companies have been using them for a while now. CRM is being used to keep track of sales, interpret data, manage customer details, and more. There is no denying the CRM market is overcrowded with so many tools. Second, most of these CRM tools are only for large enterprises.
The developing companies are now creating CRM tools specifically for small businesses. The CRM market is expected to touch $80 Billion by 2025. The tools for small businesses are inexpensive, easy to use, and cater to the needs of small businesses.
CRM tools now come with added layers of automation that save a lot of time for employees. It has also proved to be a top preferred tool for creating personalized interactions with a business’s customers.
3. The adoption of 5G
5G technology has been around for a couple of years but has not reached the masses as of now. The trend is changing now. It is estimated that the number of 5G global subscriptions will reach 3 Billion by 2025. More and more companies are launching 5G services across the globe. The 5G technology will significantly increase the data transmission with little or no latency.
Small businesses that are working around IoT have a way to go now. With 5G, one can now expect significant development in the Internet of Things, as 5G networks are able to support an influx of smart devices that are interconnected.
Chatbots are one broader application of Artificial Intelligence we discussed above. Chatbots can integrate with messenger apps like WhatsApp and Facebook and mimic human interactions. They provide a range of applications and enable companies to process purchases, provide support and notify customers of important updates. Since they are available 24*7, they are highly useful.
Small businesses will have to leverage chatbots now as more and more customers have started making purchases through messaging apps. Chatbots have cut down the operational costs of the companies by 30%. Around 69% of the users have said that they prefer chatbots because they give quick answers to any questions. The trend is likely to grow in the coming years.
5. Comprehensive HR tech
One area where technology had to come in and come in the fast post the pandemic was to develop comprehensive human resource software. The need has now changed into a trend and is likely to continue in 2022. These human resource tools help small businesses to keep track of their employees and fulfil their needs.
Given that a large percentage of employees are working from home, small businesses have to ensure the productivity, culture, and engagement continue and hence a lot of them are using high-tech HR tools. The use of excel to manage the employees is not going to work now. Small businesses have realized this and have started adopting HR tech.
6. Analytics Tools
In some sectors, like manufacturing, small business owners (and managers) struggle to work with large quantities of data. Hiring a data scientist is not possible for small businesses since the cost is too high. The growth of their business depends on how well they can make use of the data.
The solution is analytics apps – these apps make the life of managers easy by drawing a meaningful, actionable conclusion from any data size. These apps are highly advanced and can do much more than you would have thought off, eventually helping you.
These apps are designed such that even non-technical people find them easy to use. As a result, small businesses have started using such apps to make the most of the data they have at hand.
7. Focus on Cybersecurity
As per a recent study, 60% of small business owners are confident that their business will never be targeted in a cyberattack. The reality is quite the opposite. Many small businesses across the globe have been affected by cyberattacks and data breaches. Experts believe that small (and mid) businesses should look at security through the lens of enterprise businesses.
It is something that cannot be compromised. The trend is developing where many small business owners are taking security measures to heart. They are working on having comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solutions to handle all kinds of external damage.
Large enterprises have long adopted automation. Now everyone knows the advantages of automation, and hence now small businesses are also focusing on automation. In small companies, employees mostly spend hours doing straightforward and low-level but necessary tasks every week.
These could be appointment scheduling, data entry, customer support, and so on. Research and Markets have anticipated that the global marketing automation market size will touch USD 8.42 billion by 2027.
The recent advancement in technology has ensured that even small businesses can automate most of these activities without a full-time developer or expert. There are several tools now available in the market that enable owners to handle a range of day-to-day tasks without any human intervention.
A new wave of trends is emerging that let businesses plan to create a more automated solution for small industries. With more automation tools coming, inevitably, the demand for automation will heat up.
These are the top 8 technology trends we discussed in detail for small businesses. Owners should follow social media advertising, influencer marketing, software unification, and remote working.
The change is not easy to adopt most times. However, businesses should look at the change as an opportunity. Change around technology is something no one should avoid, even though it can be difficult initially. Small businesses should make use of technology to achieve a variety of positive outcomes.
The equation is simple: if you are not, your competitor may do it, giving them an edge. Surely you don’t want that to happen. You don’t need experts to make use of these trends. So what are you waiting for?
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