There’s a million trends in tech for business. Not only could you not follow them, most of them are,by the law of averages, going to lead nowhere. Remember Iridium, or Microsoft Bob? No? Exactly. But some of the trends we’re watching now are actually seismic shifts in the way the tech landscape supports business. Here are five that deserve to have you on board.
1: Lock the Door!
...before the horse bolts. In a world where malware and cyber-attacks are the rule not the exception, you will be attacked, so get prepared. Verizon found in a survey earlier this year that the most popular type of cyberattack is one that could affect small businesses, not just giants. Get the best cybersecurity system you can afford.
2: Take Your Business Mobile
By 2017, mobile ecommerce will be worth almost ten times what it was worth in 2012. It’s going to be a $114 billion market- and yet, 93% of small and medium business’ websites don’t work on mobile. To succeed in a marketplace where the same customer might view your site on three or four different devices, you need a responsive website that looks great on everything.
3: Take Your Payments Mobile Too!
In 2013, 15% of smartphone users worldwide payed for something with their smartphone. And as an online payment system battle between Apple and Google gets underway and PayPal and BitCoin exemplify two radically different models, we don’t know exactly which form of mobile payment is going to triumph. But we do know that mobile payments are set to become ubiquitous.
4: Get Professional About Being Social
If you’re restricting your contact with your customers to those occasions when they actually ring you up or walk into your premises you’re leaving a lot on the table. At the same time, while customers now expect social media interaction, these networks aren’t the panaceas they once seemed. Generating organic reach is getting harder and harder,and while they’ve never cost money by comparison with traditional marketing channels social media networks have always been a time suck. Hire a professional to manage your company’s social media presence and get the most out of it.
5: Small Businesses Need Big Data
All businesses collect huge quantities of data now. When processes are digitised records are generated automatically so there’s little effort involved in generating the information in the first place, but the effort you put into analysing it yields real rewards. You’ll see patterns in customer behavior or responses to your efforts that will show you where to go next. That’s big data in action, and it’s not just for big businesses.