If your business uses technology to be more productive and efficient, you know that as soon as you buy a piece of new technology, there is another one right behind it that has more power, or better features. This is true for consumers as well. This constant innovation is what has made technology a viable option for many small businesses. After all, if computers hadn’t been innovated on constantly, they’d still be the size of a room (or wouldn’t exist at all).
The cool thing about technology is that, just like a combination of ingredients go into a recipe, constant innovation of technology ultimately creates new technology. Today, we will go through four emerging technologies that any small business can deploy to help them build a more efficient and productive business.
Cloud computing may not be seen as emerging by many industry professionals, since it has been around for a while, but it is growing at a remarkable rate. According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market’s projected growth is a whopping 21.4 percent from 2017-to-2018, with every cloud sector showing substantial growth.
Most businesses today have begun to utilize cloud services in one way or another. Services like Gmail, Microsoft Office 365, and Amazon Web Services, provide small businesses cost-effective alternatives to purchasing hardware and software outright; and, today many software developers offer their software as a cloud service, including completely-hosted tools for communication, collaboration, productivity, administration, and even security.
Every business uses software for administration. Whether it’s for managing a complicated supply chain, for inventorying products, or simply for paying employees, software makes running an efficient business possible. Today, more developers are creating tools designed to help even the smallest of businesses do business their way.
Even the smallest businesses can justify the expense of software that will increase their ability to bring in revenue, manage the work they have, or keep their company and client’s data safe. If a decision is precarious for a big company, it is exponentially risky for a small business. For this reason, specialized software, designed to solve (or help manage) specific problems are good options when trying to fill the gaps created by management software.
The Internet of Things
When you run a business, cost seems to just pile up. The Internet of Things, which is essentially the strategy of putting sensors in every product (to make them smart), can actually work to save any business money. Typically this technology can be used to cut costs associated with energy usage, waste accumulation, and managing inventory levels.
The IoT can also be beneficial in the management of your organization’s security. Smart locks, digital surveillance cameras, and RFID Tags for merchandise are only three examples. With morel smarter “things” being added each day, small business owners need to keep their eye on the IoT market to ensure that they aren’t missing out on some useful and affordable technology that could potentially put their whole organization in a more advantageous position.
Automation (with A.I.)
Since people have begun to automate processes, namely over the past 50 years, productivity has skyrocketed. Today’s small businesses depend on automation in many of their processes. From creating unique customer experiences to managing their workflow, automation delivers the small business owner more time to focus on the human-to-human parts of their business, magnifying their effectiveness.
Today’s automations often mention the use of artificial intelligence. You can’t go anywhere without someone mentioning artificial intelligence. The A.I. that is constantly referenced by any businesses using the technology today isn’t exactly intelligent. Firstly, most of the time, the A.I. they cite is actually a subset of the discipline called machine learning. Essentially, people can only analyze so much information, but with help from properly configured machines that can alter their algorithm based on the situation, businesses are benefiting. The race to see which company can make the best and most useful A.I.-powered program is ongoing and that competition is sure to bring further value to the small businesses.
It’s a renaissance time for the entrepreneur and the IT professionals at Washington Works are in a unique position to assist you with the deployment of the technology you need, whether it is a tried-and-true platform, or one that utilizes today’s most innovative tools. Call us at 301-571-5040 for more information.