Technology is changing the world around us, we all know that, and one industry that hasn’t escaped its positive touch in recent years is the small business world.
According to the latest stats from the British government, 5.4 million small businesses now thrive across the UK. Moreover, when you look at the world’s entrepreneurial hub, the US, a 2015 estimate by Forbes suggests that there are 27 million small businesses currently in operation.
Wherever you look, small business is booming as more people take the plunge and set-up on their own. A major reason for the rise in small businesses and, moreover, people’s willingness to go it alone is improvements in modern technology. In contrast to the mid-nineties when a home computer was only good for rudimentary Internet access and writing letters, today’s tech allows you to interact with the world in a plethora of ways.
From PCs and laptops to tablets and smartphones, people can now connect to the Internet any way they like, and that means they connections to cloud services and a whole array of business aids. Essentially, when we look at today’s tech culture, it’s possible to say that people now have the world at their feet.
From Simple Solutions to the Clouds
So what is tech that entrepreneurs can now use to their advantage? Obviously, there are staple products like Microsoft Word and Excel, an email service (like Gmail or Outlook), Skype and so on. However, as any business owner will know, these aren’t enough to ensure everything runs smoothly. Indeed, one of the biggest headaches for small business owners is tech trouble. When you’ve got a team of people all working on their computers connected to the network, there’s always going to be issues.
A decade ago bespoke helpdesk services not only took the time to create but were expensive. Fortunately, thanks to the advent of cloud technology, IT support has not only become more accessible and efficient, but it’s become more cost-effective. SysAid’s helpdesk service not only provides a ticketing system so problems can be logged in an efficient manner, but it provides analytics option via its cloud server.
Instead of carrying out a server change and taking your system offline during a time that will cost your business money, SysAid’s CMDB software will track configurations in your ecosystem and map the connections between them to predict the cost impact of each change.
Also helping small businesses to stay productive are the myriad of cloud services out there. Web application firewalls from companies like Barracuda Networks now only provide real-time protection for users but offer a more affordable option for businesses. By removing unnecessary software installation costs, cloud-based security is keeping businesses safer and, therefore, more productive.
Mixed Reality Making Business Success a Reality
Naturally, the trajectory of technology is never-ending and, with virtual reality now starting to hit the mainstream, new possibilities are opening up in the business world. The combination of augmented reality and virtual reality, which Magic Leap, Google, and Microsoft are calling mixed technology, should mean more options and more efficiency in the coming years.
According to Esmeralda Swartz, vice-president of marketing, enterprise and cloud at a communications firm, Ericsson, virtual private assistants and artificial intelligence will be the norm. Using products such as augmented reality (AR) glasses, business owners can literally work on the move. AR glasses will simultaneously immerse users in an online environment while allowing them to see through the glasses in a standard fashion.
The possibilities for technology such as this are intriguing and yet another example of how technology is moving business forward. From the products currently on offer to future innovations, small businesses are booming because of technology.