Business Today
Top technology trends set to change the future of small businesses

For SMBs to be competitive in the national and international arena, they need to have access to new production and management technologies.

Top technology trends set to change the future of small businesses

PC: Reuters

There is nothing small about SMBs. The hours one puts into building up a business with a reputation is not small. The ownerships are huge, and the partnerships you forge are bigger. Most small businesses start small but take steps and face hurdles to grow and compete. 

For SMBs to be competitive in the national and international arena, they need to have access to new production and management technologies. Since the transfer of information is not properly geared towards the needs of SMBs, they lag behind large enterprises in the adoption of new technologies. Despite this, most SMBs not only survive for a long time, but generate returns comparable to large firms. In some cases, though, one is beginning to see the adoption of computer and advanced technologies in specific industries as SMBs have innovation capacities and the ability to carve a niche in smaller markets.

One advantage SMBs have over larger corporations is to respond to challenges and opportunities faster and the ability to change course quickly. With the advent of cloud computing, mobile devices, and unified communications in the market, a small business can capitalise on changes faster, thus giving it a compelling competitive advantage. SMBs need to predict and assimilate change. This they can do by adopting tools that help them become more nimble and receptive. In fact, the Dell Small Business Solution Center is one place where such tools and solutions are available to them. Technology can help SMBs create a more responsive and inclusive working culture where employees can work from anywhere and be more alert to customers' needs.

SMBs are now exposed to newer and smarter opportunities as technology and its impact on businesses changes at a dazzling speed. Capterra's 2017 survey of 699 SMBs reveals that changing technologies are one of the main reasons impacting business goals. A small business's ability to survive or thrive depends on its owners' ability to match this technological change. SMBs who respond well to this critical technology will gain customers and revenues in both the short and long term. The research also revealed the top 5 technological trends for SMBs over the next 1-2 years. While each trend is unique in its own way, when combined with others they significantly alter the customer and employee experience. In short, these trends are:

1: The conversational user interface is fundamentally shifting how we build and use computers. Conversational chatbot technologies are developing at a frenetic pace and SMBs are adopting them on a large scale.

2: AI and machine learning will turn nearly every app into a smart app. SMBs in the manufacturing, construction, services and education sectors are adopting this rapidly and most will internalise this technology by 2020.

3: The internet of things is entering the small business sector. Industries that are asset heavy are those most likely to embrace IoT technology. However, leading industries are also adopting this technology in a planned manner.

4: Wearable computing is turning everyone into a sensor. Medical, retail, insurance and fitness are the industries that are most impacted by wearable computing. Businesses are increasingly building wearable computing into their business models although it is largely used for personal monitoring.

5: 3D printing is disrupting more than the manufacturing industry. 3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing where you build something by adding something incremental. However, the cost of industrial strength 3D printing, is still beyond the reach of most SMBs.

So, as technology advances, it has the potential to drive productivity in two ways: firstly, by empowering employees to perform tasks quicker by nurturing innovation. Secondly, IT can create efficiency gains from the increased automation of workplace processes and practices. Today's workers want greater flexibility and mobility to work effectively. For them, technology presents a key avenue to fulfil their preferred working style.

Establishing a link between productivity and an increasingly flexible and mobile workforce enabled by technology is very much a 'work in progress.' Indeed, large and small sized corporations are adopting a more reflective approach that sees business leaders thoroughly reviewing and appraising the ability of new IT hardware, and solutions to deliver greater productivity.

Dell provides you one to one partnerships to grow your business. Dell's been a fantastic partner in helping SMBs understand what technological challenges might  be. For a SMB, working with Dell is like having a technology partner about which you don't have to worry.

So how does Dell first come into the picture while helping a SMB? Dell first does, what is called a technology audit---it understands how the owner runs his business, and what kind of tools, products and services he uses to be more effective and efficient. Technology is going to be increasingly an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to growing a brand nationally or internationally. Dell's technology is a vehicle that helps SMBs bring great products and services to their customers.

Get in touch with experts who can help you take your business to the next level seamlessly. Click here.

Get latest news & live updates on the go on your phone with our News App. Download The Business Today news app on your device