Major SMB Tech Trends
All businesses demand a certain amount of technology in order to push their organizational profitability forward. Whether they invest in tried-and-true technologies or they use their capital a little more innovatively, really depends on how decision makers’ forecasts of those investments help the organization become more productive or efficient. Today, we will look at five of the most important technology trends for SMBs in 2020.
Automating business processes can have a huge effect on the business’ profitability. This has been a strategy for decades, but today, parts of your business can be automated like never before. Technology such as artificial intelligence allows businesses to automate several menial and repetitive tasks. This innovation, called Robotic Process Automation (RPA) allows businesses to reduce the number of human interactions in several key business performances.
For years, the advancement of AI (and its sister technology machine learning) was actually looked on with fear, as people’s jobs were threatened; but, today, the rise of this technology actually frees up people to focus more on human-centric tasks. As a result, RPA-based technology should grow fairly rapidly and reach $4 billion annually by 2025.
Internet of Things
You may have been one of the millions of people that have purchased some sort of smart device. Some people walk around with smart watches, but when we talk about a business benefiting from the use of smart devices, we are mostly talking about security, utility measuring, supply chain monitoring, and other line-of-business IoT devices.
The integration of these devices is being used to track business processes closely and to be able to ensure that every process, every relationship, and every interaction performs in the manner that works for the overall productivity and benefit of the business.
It’s amazing to say, but cloud services are still emerging technology. These days, a majority of small and medium-sized businesses use cloud services, but there is still room for growth. As cloud services such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Security as a Service (SEaaS), and AI as a Service (AIaaS) begin to be more utilized in the SMB sector, these products will begin to be structured in a way where SMBs can better take advantage of them.
Additionally, there are many new and emerging services being offered for businesses. Some of the largest cloud vendors have specific services they offer that span from simple storage to business intelligence and everything in-between. This provides SMBs the options to get enterprise level tools without the large capital outlay they would pay for these types of solutions.
Every business, regardless of their computing resources or budget should have some type of cybersecurity strategy in place. This is because businesses of all sizes have been virtually taken down by data breaches and other events that could be avoided if they were simply more vigilant about their cybersecurity. While some organizations simply don’t have the financial resources needed to implement enterprise-grade security solutions, reality makes the whole “we can’t afford it” position problematic. In 2019, 66 percent of SMBs were victims of a cyberattack, meaning that if you were lucky enough to get through 2019 without being attacked, 2020 won’t be so kind.
An SMB can really benefit by giving their IT issues the respect they deserve. There are several ways they can do this. They include:
- Staff training - The better equipped your staff is to deal with situations such as phishing, the more apt your organization is to avoid being the victim of a cyberattack. Since today’s IT systems feature nearly unbreakable encryption, the only way in is through deception. Training your staff to thwart deceptive efforts by hackers can go a long way toward protecting your network.
- Threat intelligence - Knowing how hackers are coming at your organization is a huge advantage. Threat intelligence is the act of understanding the most exploited vulnerabilities that businesses like yours face, and thus help you be ready for whatever comes your way.
- Multi-Layering - The only way for a smaller organization to keep threats, vulnerabilities, and exploits from becoming serious problems for them is to have a comprehensive strategy in place to reduce risk. This means having a security strategy in place that features redundant file backup, an active DNS protection strategy, and the use of AI and machine learning to fill in the gaps left by human efforts.
Finally, we get to mobility. Most businesses, big and small, are just now learning how to properly build a secure mobile strategy that is both reliable and fuels enhanced productivity. For SMBs, however, a problem with their mobility strategy can mean big problems for the security of the company.
It is important that every small business that wants to use their staff’s desire to use their own mobile devices has a comprehensive Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in place. This provides your employees the access to work-related resources as long as they give you permission to manage those resources, and the devices that ultimately show up on company-owned networks.
EpiOn is happy to talk to any Middle and East Tennessee business about the strengths and weaknesses of their organizational technology deployments and how they can improve on them to build a more efficient and profitable business. Call us today at (931) 526-3742 to learn more.