7 Essential Tech Trends SMBs Cannot Afford to Ignore This Year

Published 2. 6. 2023

Are you curious about upcoming tech trends? Here are our top 7 trends you shouldn't ignore, based on extensive research and our experience.

Join us as we explore tech trends that unlock new business opportunities.

 

Table of Contents:

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
2. Cloud Computing and SaaS
3. Internet of Things (IoT)
4. Mobile Commerce
5. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
6. 5G
7. Cybersecurity
Conclusion

 

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

AI's undeniable advancements greatly benefit Small-scale enterprises and other business models. Hence, AI and ML top the list of essential tech trends for SMBs.

So, instead of questioning AI's benefits, small businesses focus on effectively leveraging these technologies.

Microsoft provides a concrete example illustrating how ML can enhance e-commerce upselling for small businesses. This illustrates the vast potential of artificial intelligence in boosting small firms.

Additionally, SMBs can employ AI-powered cybersecurity to effectively safeguard their data and assets.

Not only that, but small-scale enterprises can leverage machine learning to boost productivity. For instance, using chatbots like ChatGPT enables easy email creation and concise content summaries. Moreover, ML and AI have revolutionized data management, inventory control, and customer service.

 

2. Cloud Computing and SaaS

cloud computing

Cloud computing is vital for sole proprietorships. It provides cost-effective access to powerful computing resources via the Internet.

Previously, small businesses had financial burdens from server purchases, installations, and software licenses. Nowadays, they can subscribe to cloud services like AWS or Microsoft Azure at a reasonable monthly fee.

 

Did you know?
You can get 200 GB of Google Cloud storage at a budget-friendly monthly rate.

 

According to the portal Business News Daily, small enterprises can utilize cloud computing in multiple ways. For example, they can cut costs by storing and backing up data on cloud services like Google Drive, OneDrive, or Dropbox.

Moreover, small-scale establishments can significantly cut costs by employing Cloud hosting and Software as a Service (SaaS) models.

 

3. Internet of Things (IoT)

infographics iot61 % of businesses use IoT platforms. Source: Kaspersky

New to IoT? Here's a quick intro: It is a network of interconnected data-sharing devices. The Internet of Things technology combines computing and non-computing devices, enabling data sharing beyond laptops, smartphones, and game consoles.

You might have unknowingly used the Internet of Things in your home. For example, if you've used a smart refrigerator or made your home "smart," you've experienced the interconnectedness of devices firsthand. But how does it work?

Each device is equipped with a sensor. Once connected to Wi-Fi, smart devices can send data for monitoring and analysis. If you want to dive deeper, Forbes presented strategies for niche enterprises to leverage connected technology. They highlighted optimizing websites for voice search and real-time data monitoring as valuable IoT applications for SMBs.

 

Pro Tip
Utilize internet-connected devices to streamline inventory management for your small business. Gain real-time insights into stock levels, automate replenishment, and optimize your supply chain for efficient operations and cost reduction.

 

4. Mobile Commerce

m-commerce97% of Americans own a mobile phone. Source: Pew Research Centre

Mobile commerce (or m-commerce) involves using smartphones and tablets for online commercial transactions. Simply, it refers to people shopping online with their handheld devices.

If the statistic above hasn't provoked your curiosity as a small business owner, this certainly will: shopping on mobile devices is the fastest-growing channel in the US, according to statista.com. If you're wondering how to capitalize on this tech trend, keep reading.

Firstly, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Secondly, incorporate social media into your mobile commerce strategy.

 

Pro Tip
Adopt mobile commerce to expand your small business reach. Ensure your business website is mobile-friendly to capitalize on the increasing number of smartphone users.

 

5. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

Small businesses often overlook the significance of immersive computing, assuming they are only accessible to large corporations. However, businesses of all sizes can benefit from Augmented Reality.

Have you considered enabling your customers to visualize products before making a purchase?

You can achieve this through immersive marketing powered by AR and VR technologies. By integrating VR tech into your marketing strategy, you can enhance brand awareness and engage customers. This leads to greater satisfaction and reduced return rates.

With these realistic visualization technologies, SMB owners can bring their products to life, ultimately driving increased sales.

Additionally, small businesses can utilize VR technologies for immersive employee training, remote collaboration, and virtual tours.

 

6. 5G

5G

The fifth generation of mobile communications has been available since 2019. It offers faster speed and lower latency as its primary advantages. But why should entrepreneurial ventures pay attention to this?

We emphasized the importance of cloud computing, IoT, and mobile commerce for small and medium-sized firms. These technologies rely on fast internet with low latency. And accessing cloud computers and data requires high-speed internet. Additionally, faster mobile speed benefits the interconnection of IoT devices.

Therefore, businesses dependent on IoT should explore how faster 5G can enhance their delivery processes. Regarding mobile commerce, 5G provides stronger signals, enhancing customers' ability to shop on their phones. Multiple sources indicate consumers use their mobile in different ways while shopping in-store.

Research commissioned by Google indicates that 84% of shoppers consult their phones in a physical store. This highlights the prevalence of mobile device usage among shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores.

Small-scale enterprises can utilize this information in two ways.

Firstly, businesses offering in-store shopping can provide free 5G-driven in-store Wi-Fi, encouraging longer stays and increased shopping.

Secondly, small business owners can intentionally incorporate services that leverage mobile technology.

 

7. Cybersecurity

We discuss Cybersecurity last, not to diminish its importance, but due to its critical role in safeguarding the other technologies mentioned earlier.

As start-up businesses implement cloud computing, AI, IoT, and other efficient technologies, it becomes crucial to know the associated cybersecurity risks.

For example, operating from a cloud computer or utilizing SaaS applications exposes your business to potential vulnerabilities. Therefore, safeguarding these technologies with robust cybersecurity measures is very important.

Notable technologies to learn and implement in this domain include Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) and Data Encryption. Furthermore, small businesses must safeguard their computers using antivirus software and regular updates.

 

Conclusion

Staying ahead in technology is crucial for all business models, including smaller firms. The discussed tech trends offer opportunities for small businesses to thrive in the coming year.

By embracing AI and ML, small-scale organizations can unlock the power of intelligent automation and data-driven decision-making. Additionally, by leveraging Cloud Computing and SaaS, they can scale operations, enhance collaboration, and cut costs drastically.

Furthermore, with the IoT, start-ups gain real-time insights and efficient resource management. Moreover, Mobile Commerce presents SMBs with the opportunity to tap into the expanding market of smartphone users.

AR and VR offer immersive experiences and innovative customer engagement. Similarly, 5G revolutionizes connectivity, unlocking new possibilities for entrepreneurs.

Lastly, prioritizing Cybersecurity safeguards valuable data and protects against potential threats.

If you want to to ensure future growth and competitiveness of your company, don’t avoid these tech trends.