Technology is changing the way business is done on a near daily basis. But small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) face unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to using technology to push their companies ahead.
SMB Group regularly surveys SMB decision-makers to gather insights about their views on technology and the opportunities and challenges it presents for their businesses.
Using that research, SMB Group recently published 2019 Top 10 SMB Technology Trends, sponsored by Oracle. This article gives you a peek at three of the biggest insights.
SMB Group notes that the trend toward cloud seems irreversible. SMBs as a whole seem to be inching toward using cloud for more and more business processes, and businesses that have been around for five years or fewer are more likely to opt for cloud options for all their technology needs—business intelligence and analytics, marketing automation, enterprise resource planning, etc.
Though SMBs may have initially turned to the cloud for a faster, cheaper, and easier way to deploy and manage solutions, new cloud offerings are infused with key technologies, like AI, machine learning, and blockchain, which make cloud adoption even more attractive. And because these technologies are embedded into applications they already use, SMBs can see benefits right away and assess where else to apply them in their business.
SMB Group found that companies that have been in business fewer than 10 years are 2.2 times more likely to be planning to increase their technology spending. They’re also more likely to connect with customers and prospects through various technologies, like social media and digital storefronts, and use technology when pursuing new business growth initiatives.
This adoption may have something to do with the fact that businesses 10 years and younger are 1.4 times more likely to forecast revenue growth. Regardless of the degree to which technology contributes to these numbers, complacent businesses would be wise to identify their most important metrics and look into seeing how new technologies can help improve outcomes.
The more devices and cloud services SMBs use, the more difficult it becomes to keep track of their data. And as cloud adoption and use of next-generation technologies rise, so does the chance that somebody will exploit these technologies for their own benefit.
With cyberattacks on SMBs growing and stricter regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), being implemented, SMBs can’t afford not to be thinking about security.
Yet, while SMB Group found that the SMBs they reached out to rank “protecting company information from threats” as their top IT challenge, they still mainly rely on inadequate, device-centric point solutions for protection.
Instead, as SMB Group notes, businesses need to modernize their approach with adaptive, multi-layered security solutions that incorporate AI and machine learning, possibly with the help of a security vendor that can supplement their own internal expertise.
By Amanda O’Callaghan, Content Marketing Manager, Oracle