2014 is just getting started and already it’s shaping up to be an exciting year in terms of technologies for small businesses. So what are we all looking forward to this year? Read on to find out.
Big Data will be simpler and easier for small businesses to implement
Big Data has been a powerful tool wielded by mostly large companies in order to drive their marketing strategies and drive profit. It’s not surprising since many of the analytics software used for Big Data analysis have been either too costly or too complicated for small businesses to employ.
This year, that will change.
Many of the top providers for Big Data and Analytics have been placing a lot of effort in simplifying their solutions to make it more accessible for small businesses. While it won’t be widespread at first, you can bet that the most forward-thinking entrepreneurs would be the first adopters of the technology.
Big Data can help small businesses by giving owners a better view of their industry as well as trends that may affect their company. This removes much of the guesswork and allows small businesses to invest their relatively limited resources to things that count at minimal risk.
With manufacturing costs beginning to sky-rocket, small businesses that need to build their own products are always on the lookout for ways to make their manufacturing costs to maintain their profit without jacking-up prices.
This year, 3D printers have begun to drop in costs as the technology continues to mature. 3D printers will allow individuals and small businesses to manufacture their products locally, making their manufacturing process more flexible while minimizing import costs for goods produced off-shore.
Consumers are also starting to look into more customization options for their favorite products. This is why Motorola has been offering several ways to customize your MotoX and Apple has started offering different color options for the iPhone 5C. 3D printing will provide local manufacturers and small businesses the ability to change their designs on the fly so that they can serve their customer’s demands better and faster.
More small businesses will move to the cloud
With the decline of desktop PCs and the rise of mobile, more businesses will turn to cloud-based solutions for their day-to-day operations. Microsoft has noticed this trend so they are now offering their ever-popular Office suite in the cloud. Office 365 is a completely cloud-based solution that looks and feels almost exactly like a local installation of Office does.
Data storage is also steadily moving to the cloud. Broadband internet has evolved to the point where storing large amounts of data on secure servers has become practical and affordable for even small businesses. The move to the cloud secures your data against hardware failure since multiple back-ups are kept, unlike in normal local hard drives where should they fail, then that’s the end of it.
Social networks will continue to play an important role
While most social networks may not be the best place to sell your products online, they are great places to drive awareness of your products and services and attract new customers to your stores. Social media sharing will continue to be an important tool for small business owners in promoting their business.
Every year brings in new challenges and new solutions based on what we’ve learned in the past. Technology is here to give every business owner the tools they need in order to make the most out of their business. 2014 will shape up to be another great year in tech for small businesses. I can’t wait to see how it pans out.