We are currently living in an age of unpredictable technology changes. The introduction of the internet became the base of every technological marvel that we see today as without the internet we wouldn’t have witnessed so much advancement and growth in the field of technology. Various businesses and customers have benefited from the modern web-enabled technologies and this trend will continue to grow even in the future as well.
Today we can see robots having debates with humans and flipping burgers at restaurants. All these technological marvels were once a part of fantasy only but now they are slowly becoming a reality. When it comes to technological innovations that are becoming a magic wand for businesses then technologies like machine learning and big data come in our mind. But all the available technologies are not a practical solution for small and medium-sized businesses, mainly because of their cost and complexity. This is why, in this blog post, we will look at the top 5 practical and advanced technologies that every SME should consider.
Costly IT servers and bulky hardware systems have now become thing of past. Small and medium-sized businesses have now flocked towards different cloud computing solutions as it is simplified, cost-effective and efficient as well. Now, SMEs don’t have to worry about building on-site IT infrastructure and hire IT teams to maintain different IT solutions. From improved customer experience to reduced operational cost, cloud computing offers many benefits to SMEs.
If an SME is looking forward to embrace cloud computing then it has many options. Cloud storage solutions like GoogleDrive and cloud accounting tools like QuickBooks hosting are being used by SMEs from all over the world. In addition to the reduced operation cost and enhanced flexibility in business processes, cloud computing is a flexible solution as well. But the application of cloud computing isn’t only confined to storage and hosting only. Cloud computing is currently being used for app development, backup, and disaster recovery as well and in the future, the application of cloud computing will further widen for SMEs.
Internet of things
With the help of sensors, every modern-day technology is becoming smart like humans. Your fridge can tell you when you are out of eggs. Your home can sense you when you are coming home and warm the house. But do you know that these smart machines have the ability to make dramatic changes to small and medium-sized businesses as well?
The smart technologies can provide relevant and crucial data to small businesses which will prove to be very useful. Currently various IoT applications like tracking stock level, cutting energy usage, and waste reduction are being used by small and medium sized businesses. But this is just the glimpse of the capability of IoT.
IoT can be used in health and wellness sector as well and many firms in this industry have even started harnessing the benefits of various IoT applications. In addition to this, IoT application is proving to be very effective in accounting and finance industry as well. Following are some of the most common IoT applications that are currently available for small and medium-sized businesses:-
- Smart locks
- Connected cameras
- RFID tags for merchandise
- Azure IoT suite
- Mobile card readers
- Shipping trackers
- Sensors for measuring room occupancy
Digital currency and blockchain
Blockchains is basically a growing list of records known as blocks that are linked through cryptography. Every block in the blockchain contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and a transaction data. The decentralized nature of blockchain allows users to record transactions in a completely secure environment where the third party fee is almost negligible. The three main benefits of blockchain are safety, speed and complete control.
One of the best known applications of blockchain that can be used by small businesses is cryptocurrency. It is basically a form of digital currency that can be stored on a gigantic network of buyer’s and sellers’ computers. If you keep tabs on news then you must have heard about Bitcoin which is one of the types of cryptocurrencies.
If you are thinking that cryptocurrency is very complicated then you are completely wrong. Using cryptocurrency is as simple as setting up a wallet and integrating it with your POS system. Understanding cryptocurrency will act as a springboard to exploring the possible opportunities of blockchain.
Marketing and sales automation
Businesses are flocking towards automation because it is offering them many advantages. Although there are many ways through which automation is being achieved by businesses of every size and industry but in this section, we will talk about marketing and sales automation.
By adopting automation tools in both marketing and sales, small and medium sized businesses that have less than 500 employees can get instant palpable results. One of the biggest complaints is that huge amount of resource is wasted on menial but important business operations.
With the growth of AI and machine learning, automation is going to become more powerful and its benefits will also widen its borders. Although complete automation is still a thing of distant future, on a practical level, automation software can be integrated with the existing system for boosting up the speed of everything, from advertising to reordering.
Currently there is a wide range of automation tools available in the market and they can be used to automate various marketing and sales related tasks. You just need to find the best automation software for marketing and sales according to the need and demands of your business. It is also very necessary to keep tabs on the new innovation in automation if you want to harness the benefits of the latest technologies.
Those days are long gone when small and medium-sized businesses were an exception for integrating technology in business operation. Now, without using technology, the survival of even SMEs becomes questionable. Therefore, look out for the latest technologies like cloud computing and try out different technology management services like managed IT service, in order to stay relevant in the industry.
Kashyapi Prajapati is a writer at NetworksGrid with several years of experience in the IT industry. She loves writing and exploring the world of technology while making the digital platform a more informative platform. Technology is what she eats and drink and she has a firm grasp on topics like managed IT service and managed NOC service.