With more than 30 million small businesses in the United States, many of them often competing with the major players in their industries, it’s never been more important to focus on innovation. Yet making the wrong technology investments can leave you worse off than when you started, especially if you enter the wrong stage of the hype cycle on little more than a whim. That’s why it helps to pay close attention to the more disruptive trends in the market to garner a better understanding of what to avoid and the opportunities that might be worth investing in.
Here are some of the biggest trends to look out for:
#1. Increased workforce mobility
Recent years have seen a surge in the popularity of cloud and mobile computing. By now, almost every business depends on at least one cloud-based service, while over 81% of Americans now own a smartphone. The greater connectedness and availability of key business services on demand has taken workers out of the office and into a new era of workforce mobility. This is one development that’s almost certainly worth investing in, because it’s the future of work.
#2. Adoption of automation software
As businesses grow more dependent on technology, tedious and repetitive tasks will continue to pile up. Corporate IT systems are only going to get more complex to the point that some are now largely ungovernable. Fortunately, the evolution of automation software is helping businesses get things back under control by eliminating the need for things like manual data entry and the risk of human error that comes with it.
#3. Focus on end-user experience
Product and pricing are no longer the only two things customers think about when making a purchase. They also want an excellent user experience, which typically involves technology. This might be a mobile shopping or payments app, a reservation system on your website, or something else entirely. Similarly, employees, who you might consider as internal customers, also need systems that accommodate their needs and are easy to use. That’s why the focus continues to shift heavily towards the end-user experience.
#4. Fresh cybersecurity challenges
Meeting the demands of digital security and privacy presents a constant challenge to business leaders, who are increasingly targeted by cybercriminals. The fact that technology is always changing and evolving means the threats against it are too. Over the next year, we can expect more attacks to exploit mobile users and weak access credentials to cloud-based applications. Other growing concerns in the cybersecurity environment include the proliferation of supply chain attacks and cyberwarfare. More than ever, companies need to consider security and privacy before implementing a new system or process, instead of tacking them on as an afterthought.
#6. Rise of sustainable computing
Our dependence on technology has led to a massive increase in so-called electronic waste. E-waste is now the fastest growing waste category in the developed world, and the problem continues to worsen. Organizations are increasingly finding themselves in the spotlight as they come under pressure to adopt more sustainable business models. Today, the environmentally friendly and secure disposal, reuse, and recycling of old IT assets is a must for stemming the tide of environmental degradation. In 2020, as the effects of climate change worsen, it will only become more important, prompting more companies to make real changes.
Midwest Data Center provides best-in-class technology solutions to help small businesses innovate in an era of constant change. Call us today to get access to our team of IT consultants, support engineers, and first-rate technology resources.