In 2021, it’s impossible to deny the important role that technology plays in the success of businesses. Small businesses in particular are in a position to use new innovations to scale up. Technology makes things easier by letting fewer people do more tasks and by making those tasks both less stressful and more productive. Here are five new technologies that you should consider taking advantage of in your business.
Between the ever-growing need for remote work and the increasing use of the so-called “Internet of Things (IoT), a high-speed internet connection is a critical piece of business infrastructure that you should always have. 5G, meaning the fifth generation of broadband telecommunications technology, is promising an end to the sluggish connectivity that often handicaps video conferencing. Convergent charging, a billing solution that folds charges for multiple services into one bill, is one efficient way in which companies are handling the array of services available to businesses via the Web.
Cloud computing refers to the computer system resources available via a common data centre rather than limited to a single user’s machine. This networking enables on-demand processing power and data storage. The benefit of this for a business is clear: data can be backed up in the cloud instead of being stored locally. In addition, the decentralization of processing power enables a vast array of powerful, smartphone-based applications like project management and automation programs. Cloud computing can make possible for small businesses a level of agility that was previously reserved only for large corporations.
The time-saving consequences of increased automation can be seen every day in the field of sales and marketing. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is being employed to do the menial work of outreach. Through this technology, relations between a company and the people it serves can be tracked and digital sales campaigns sustained with a minimum of human input. Customer service itself is being changed by the impact of natural language processing programs and chatbots. Research shows that more than 40% of customers prefer using chatbots to interacting with a virtual assistant, now that technology is finally making them less obtuse and more user-friendly.
There’s a lot of buzz in the business world regarding augmented reality (AR) systems and for good reason. Instead of immersing a user in a computer-generated reality, AR overlays digital data atop perceptual information in the real world. This technology usually takes the form of wearable devices like Google Glass and other heads-up display systems. Workplace safety has benefited greatly from these tools; in fact, a 2015 study in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion found that virtual reality and augmented reality training was more effective than traditional classroom training. Consider this technology as a possible augmentation and improvement for your workplace safety protocols.
Endpoint security is less a technology than a technique. It’s all about meeting the challenge of protecting computer networks that are attached to multiple client devices at once. This goes beyond just installing antivirus software on everything. Virtual private networks, mobile device management (MDM) and advanced firewalls all play a role. Endpoint security also includes data leak detection and response, which is crucial given that the average time to identify and fully contain a data breach is a costly 280 days. Remember, though, that safety protocols are just as important as tools. Make sure that employees and managers alike update security patches on company devices regularly and know how to recognize phishing and other common scams. Criminals won’t stop developing new exploits and intrusion software, so it’s the responsibility of entrepreneurs to be just as relentless in their pursuit of online safety.
Technology is advancing faster than ever before. Business owners risk losing out if they don’t keep up with the rapid pace of progress. Keep these five transformative technologies in mind when planning the tech infrastructure of your business.
Author: Kevin Devoto