If you’re interested in IT and small businesses (as we are) then this article might constitute an interesting read. The 2011 technology trends reinforce what probably most of us have already noticed happening in the tech field and tech-related domains. And now, already halfway through 2011 we have the chance to assess the accuracy of this forecast. We’ve extracted those points relevant to SMBs only while the rest of them are available on J.Gold Associates’s website.
1. The office desk phone is dead!– says the report stating that within the next 2-3 years 25%-35% of business users will use smartphones exclusively. The report suggests that as people’s preference for mobile devices increases (see the case of laptops as well) certain fixed assets will be given up to. By looking at the versatility of mobile phones and their value added for a business (such as WordPress for Blackberry and sales apps) we’d see many SMBs (especially start ups) opening up to the use and possibilities of smartphones at work. Yet, the desk phones’ ”total extinction” is currently prevented by the desk-bound departments that are still using them quite intensively.
The smartphone’s intense endorsement will also make businesses evaluate them based on their Total Cost of Ownership as they do for PCs, servers and other IT purchases.
2.Laptops will slowly replace PCs (and reach 65%- 75% of corporate PCs by 2013)- as their prices fall and the workforce becomes more and more mobile. The tablets however are not said to become largely popular for business; their only important impact, business-wise, remaining the drop in laptop prices their appearance caused.
3. Social media -increasingly important for business communication. This is partly due to the fact that small businesses started acknowledging the social media’s effectiveness as a marketing tool and consequently started using it for business. Besides that, social media represents a faster, easier and more time-efficient communication tool than emails (just monitor your Twitter feeds). The trend’s downside as acknowledged by ITBusinessEdge, resides in social media’s limitations when it comes to archival. Small businesses might need to explore tools that allow them to store and monitor business conversations that could be needed later on in a business and/or legal context.
The old ”spending to save” saying stays valid. Technical investments shouldn’t necessarily be costly for small businesses as long as they’re the right ones and done at the right time. As SME Web (an important online resource for SMEs in the UK) acknowledges that smart expenditure in the right technology could lead to a considerable increase in a company’s efficiency. In order to be successful, small businesses need to be quicker and more responsive than their larger competitors and that’s what the new technologies help them achieve.
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