Technology is changing faster than you can say quantum computing. No sooner do you get used to the idea of having a mobile-responsive website, and suddenly you’re expected to have an artificial intelligence chatbot on your website too. It can be tough trying to keep up with all the latest tech trends as a busy small business owner. You’re swamped just trying to keep up with staff problems, inventory management, and marketing. There’s little time left in your day for perusing technology websites or surfing Twitter for the latest tech chatter. If you’re a small business owner wanting help identifying tech trends likely to influence the future of your company in 2019, following are five fabulous technology changes you should be monitoring.
While you’re probably already accustomed to IoT (Internet of Things) devices in your business, did you know you’ll soon need to manage IoT networks too? Technology is changing at a rapid rate, meaning you’ll soon have more IoT-enabled devices in your business and those devices will be communicating with each other. You might feel like burying your head in the proverbial sand at the thought of more gadgets to manage, but the data your devices accumulate can be instrumental in growing your business. If you want to get a head-start on your competition, immerse yourself in the possibilities of IoT networks and you’ll understand this powerful business advantage.
Artificial Intelligence as a Service
With the explosive growth in the artificial intelligence sector, it is natural for small business owners to want to take advantage of AI to help their companies grow. Thanks to savvy developers and entrepreneurs, there are now a growing number of ‘artificial intelligence as a service’ tools. A simple Google search for the term ‘ALaaS’ or ‘artificial intelligence as a service’ will highlight for you the growing number of AI tools available to small business owners like yourself. Discover which AI resources are best suited for your business, as you don’t want to overpay for services your small company doesn’t require. Once you start integrating artificial intelligence technology into your small business, you’ll marvel at its impact to help you better understand your company.
Smart Technology Payment Solutions
One tech trend likely to have a significant impact on the small business sector in 2019 is the growing interest in smart technology payment solutions. From voice-enabled payment option on devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google/Apple Pay on a smartphone to mobile payments via smartwatch swipes, the public will begin to demand smarter payment options from the small businesses they do business with. The sooner small business owners acquaint themselves with the innovation happening in the smart payments and voicefirst sectors, the sooner they can start to integrate upgraded payment options into their business.
Distributed Social Networks
If you’re currently building awareness for your business on a platform like Facebook, get ready for a shift in thinking in 2019. As privacy issues and the selling of user data becomes increasingly distasteful for social media users, there will be an increasing need for distributed social media networks based upon blockchain technology. While a blockchain-enabled social media network may not become mainstream in 2019, it is extremely important for small business owners to understand how social media is changing and to stop putting all their social media marketing eggs in a Facebook basket.
Upgraded Cloud Security
As more small business owners utilize cloud services to support the inner workings of their companies, there is a growing need for upgraded cloud security. From crypto-jacking of cloud-enabled services like Amazon’s AWS or Google’s Cloud to security oversights as more companies embark upon a digital transformation strategy, the need for an upgraded cloud security policy will be crucial in 2019. Even if you run a small business in the middle of nowhere, there’s a good chance your business’ website or your payment providers utilize cloud technology. Failing to understand the need for a high-end cloud security strategy could be disastrous for your small business.
These are five of the top tech trends small business owners should be paying close attention to in 2019. The intersection of small business and technology is changing at a rapid rate. Accept that technological shifts are happening, discover how those shifts will impact your business, and then use your new-found knowledge as a competitive advantage over others in your sector.