It’s that time of year again! As another year (and decade!) draws to a close, it’s time to look back on everything that’s happened in the world of technology and business — and more importantly, look ahead into the next year, and explore what exciting things are to come.
In an industry as fast-moving as technology, there is almost no limit to what advances we can expect to see. But just how will these advancements in technology affect your small business in 2020, and more importantly, what will it look like? That’s what we’re going to look at in our end of year blog.
Automation, Automation, Automation
For a long time, automation has been some big complicated thing reserved only for the big companies to truly understand and use — or so it’s seemed.
The blue-chip organisations who could afford to throw a lot of money at a project in the hopes of creating a bespoke piece of software that would make their lives easier have delved into the capabilities of automation. But now, automation is everywhere, and even small businesses can access and benefit from it.
The rapid evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions is making it not only plausible, but ideal for smaller business to automate some of their business processes, including:
- Email marketing
- Customer service
- Data entry
And much more is yet to come. As AI and automation solutions filter down to small businesses, those who climb on board sooner will be able to compete with their bigger counterparts on a much more level playing field. This is truly a game-changer for small businesses and something that your IT strategy for 2020 should definitely include.
Document Management Hits the Cloud
Every year, the predictions for technology have had one thing in common – the growth of cloud computing. And in fairness, every year they have been right.
Adoption rates of cloud computing have increased every year, and now almost all businesses will be using cloud computing in some form or another. But one area is still gaining in popularity, and that’s document management.
Solutions like NetDocuments take all company data and move it into the cloud. This not only frees up space but makes collaborative working and sharing ideas much simpler and more streamlined. It’s also a great way to create audit trails and secure governance since it’s much simpler to store and protect your documents.
We predict a big surge in uptake for solutions like this, with more and more businesses moving their documents into the cloud. We’ve talked a bit about document management generally, and NetDocuments specifically in our blogs previously, so if you want a bit more information you can always seek out information and tips here.
Creating Mobile Experiences
The last few years have seen a major shift towards a more mobile-centric world, and businesses are still scrambling to keep up.
Nowadays, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly and accessible, it’s tough to stay competitive or even make an impact at all. Mobile usage is at an all-time high right now, and it’s only going to get bigger in 2020. So, you need a business plan that’s mobile-friendly, even if you run a brick and mortar store.
As we move into a mobile-first decade, there are few ways small businesses can get in on the mobile action:
- Mobile Payments In-Store.Instead of searching for a credit card, customers want to use their phone to make in-store payments by holding their phone up to a terminal or scanner.
- Mobile Payments Online.One-click online checkouts using mobile wallets have risen in popularity due to a better conversion rate. Solutions include Apple Pay, PayPal, One-Touch, and Visa Checkout.
- Mobile Marketing.Companies increasingly leverage in-store mobile marketing to meet consumer demands, especially since 32% of shoppers change their minds about purchasing items after checking out the product information on their mobiles within brick-and-mortar stores.
The beauty of technology means there are so many wide-ranging possibilities that new advancements will develop and gain traction during the year, and also change depending on customer and business demand.
But this is what we think 2020 may well look like, and we can’t wait to see how it turns out. We’d love to know what you think about the future of business technology, so please do connect and share your thoughts with us on social media.
And if you have any questions about your business IT, or would just like to know more, simply get in touch with Scott Hussey from ait Systems today.