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Small Business Tech Trends for 2021 and Forward

Small businesses have more opportunity than ever before in 2021, an unexpected positive outcome of the COVID pandemic, which forced all businesses to re-evaluate every aspect of their operations, or die. 80% of USA-based small business owners are not yet using newly-available technology to its full advantage, but we can confidently predict further adoption, when these business owners see how new tech trends are empowering small businesses to grow and thrive.

Artificial intelligence
AI and machine learning are no longer only available to the highest bidder. Even cyber criminals are making use of these powerful functions to launch the attacks we see in daily global headlines. Meredith Schmidt, EVP and GM of small business and essentials at Salesforce predicts, “AI will help small businesses offer more personalized experiences to their customers by maximizing their time and automating manual tasks.”  AI is already commonly used by small businesses to manage their CRM and targeted ads and to maintain chat-bots to address easy customer questions. AI is becoming less mechanical, and more natural daily, making it a powerful and still developing technology you will be using for years to come.

Remote Onboarding
85% of managers believe remote work will continue to proliferate until it becomes the norm, meaning remote onboarding will be an essential part of every business. One of the biggest issues employees have with remote work is difficult communication and a feeling of disconnection. Good remote onboarding processes get remote employees off on the right foot, making them feel like an important part of the organization from their first day. Onboarding technology is useful for new employee training, to set up health insurance and payment information, and to get new equipment set up properly and quickly.

Leverage the Cloud
They don’t call it ‘cloudification’ for nothing! Leveraging the cloud to provide a collaborative work environment, analyze data and run every aspect of your business, is both a logical and necessary step in 2021. Deploying a cloud solution means less hardware, and thus less space and power needed to run your business. Using a cloud software subscription model means you only pay for the services you need, when you need them, and easily scale services forward or back, depending on changing business needs.

Proliferation of 5G
5G is faster than 4G – and thus the next logical step for small business in 2021. Faster connectivity is necessary in an environment with an overabundance of smart devices, requiring 24/7 connection. Customers are enjoying 5G technology daily, making it all the more noticeable when a small business is hanging onto 4G technology. Deployment of 5G will drive itself in the future, and will be the industry standard, until we see 6G technology emerge.

Software unification
The term might seem complex, but software unification is something most people already use in remote work and in their daily lives. Many businesses use platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack for daily communication, Outlook for email and calendar organization, and Salesforce to manage customers. There are even many products out there to automatically maintain the asset health of your software, taking the guesswork out of maintaining technology, and making it available to everyone. As technology develops, we can expect to see more seamless cooperation between technology and software platforms, further unifying remote employees and all areas of business.

Focus on cybersecurity
How could we forget about the need for more powerful cyber security, with ransomware attention-grabbing headlines daily. Every business is at risk of cyber attack in 2021, with attackers leveraging poor cyber security practices at smaller businesses, to move up the chain to the big fish (clients) at the top. No matter how essential you might be to customers, clients or partners, if you prove to be the weak link in the security chain, you will certainly lose that business in favor of a business with better security practices.

Technology is the world’s most valuable resource at the moment, and no one could possibly think this trend is temporary. It’s important to take advantage of the newest and most powerful tech trends for small business, to keep up with the competition. Tech is out there to help with everything from employee onboarding to payroll, freeing small business owners and operators up to focus on more people-centric, business-critical tasks. Nothing is impossible with the right technology. Don’t get left behind.

Meet The Author:


Nick Rojas

Nick Rojas

Nick Andrew Rojas is a business consultant turned journalist who loves working with small and medium-sized companies. He has contributed to many publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. In his spare time, he hangs out at the beach with his dog Presto.
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https://www.nase.org/about-us/media-relations/News/nase-in-the-news/2021/07/06/small-business-tech-trends-for-2021-and-forward