5 Technology Trends Every Small Business Owner needs to know for 2013

Here we are…mid December, just before Christmas and ringing in the New Year!   Our minds are on gift-wrap and popping champagne corks!  For the office, we are pulling together year-end numbers and fine-tuning our strategic plans for 2013.  Have you incorporated technology into your upcoming strategy?

Technology has evolved to become an integral tool to help our businesses run more efficiently and thrive.  Our mindset has shifted from allowing time for a question to be answered to requiring instant information.  Often the person asking the question will follow up with a second question:  How will you get back to me?  Thanks to mobility, you can be anywhere around the globe and still respond!

For the small business, this new demand for information and network up time can prove to be either a boon or hindrance to corporate growth.  One thing is for certain, to stay competitive; the small-to-medium size business must understand technology trends and use them to their advantage.

To follow are 5 technology trends every business owner should be aware of when strategizing for 2013:

  1. The Saturation of Cloud Computing – The “cloud” is a metaphor for the Internet.  Cloud computing means:  accessing and processing files, spreadsheets and data via the Internet from any mobile device. No longer does data have to reside on a local hard drive, which can only be accessed via a finite location.  Our flexibility as an organization will help extend our corporate footprint beyond our office walls to walls within our own home or even local coffee shop!  Great examples of cloud based file-sharing programs include “Dropbox” or “Google Docs.”  Salesforce.com is another cloud application that allows your employees to store and access client information.  On a job site and want to add a quick note to your client’s account – no problem!  Just login and add your information.  How is that for productive!
  2. Pull Out your Mobile Wallet – Mobile Pay (POS) Point of Sale – You know that in a small business “cash is king!”  Collections are often the trickiest and most challenging component to running a business.  Chasing after a client to pay or even paying high credit card fees can lead to a company’s undoing.   Adding a “mobile POS system,” also known as a “mobile wallet,” such as Intuit or Square, a small business can be on an even playing field with larger organizations, paying the same fees while collecting payment on site.   Resolve to turn collections around for 2013.  Realize the gain while alleviating the pain with this cloud solution.
  3. Always on mobile workforce – In my recent article, “Is BYOD right for your business?” I explored the benefits and risks of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend.   I asserted that allowing employees to use their own preferred device at the office improves productivity as well as morale.  Yes there are security risks but the demands of our clients and their need for instant information outweigh those risks.  The notion of  “away from the office” is virtually extinct.  As a small business owner, you must embrace BYOD and incorporate a Mobile Device Management policy into your handbook.  What files are acceptable to access and which are not?  What and when can the employee use social media during the workday?
  4. Outsource your IT – As a business owner or manager, you only have so much time in your day.  Instead of spending billable time fixing computer problems, you should be servicing a client or closing a sale.  2013 should be the year where you look at all of your IT programs and determine if you can sub out any processes that either you don’t want to or can’t afford to handle any longer.  IT service providers offer a solution called: Managed Services.  This means the IT Company will monitor and maintain various aspects of your network remotely, proactively catching issues before they arise and effectively alleviating the headache from you!   As mentioned above, our clients need us to be always present and providing answers in a moment’s notice.  You cannot afford any downtime.  Managed service offerings include: network monitoring, data backup & recovery, email security and more.
  5. Data zipping through the Internet at the speed of 4G LTE! – High-speed mobile wireless being deployed by carriers such as Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T are ready to deliver your data through the wireless Internet faster than ever before! 4G is up to 10 times faster than its predecessor 3G.    What does this mean for the SMB?   You won’t need to pay a premium price tag and the connection is available everywhere allowing you to work at the speed of light!


The most important trend in technology for 2013 is that it is always evolving.   Whether it is a new cloud application, mobile payment option or increased Internet speed, we must have a plan for technology in 2013 – otherwise, you will be left hanging in the cloud…

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