The rate at which IT has been adopted in businesses in the last twenty years has soared. It has changed how people in business communicate with each other and how they communicate with clients and suppliers. Technology has also improved business processes, how data is stored as well as how people work and are managed. Here are ways in which IT will shape small business ideas in future.
Internet connectivity will make tasks that were once impossible, possible.
The “internet of things” has already begun. This is seeing machines, devices, objects, locations and even people connected by electronics and software. There are now more devices than people. It is estimated by Philip Howard of the University of Washington, writing for Brookings, that by 2020 there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet. It will create huge efficiencies in how we operate. For example, imagine the struggle of trying to find a (free!) parking space resolved by an app that guides you from your present location to an available bay a kilometre away. The implications for small business ideas then, are expansive!
Big Data analysis will continue to provide detailed analysis that determine a business’ success.
We can now collect large amounts of data and analyse it to make insightful decisions that improve revenue, cut costs and improve relationships with customers. Big Data and analytics are two other small business ideas that are now becoming a requirement in today’s business landscape, and not just a luxury for large companies. Luckily this is now a viable option for a small business, thanks to affordable software like Numascale, which offers various products that let you store and process large amounts of data in real-time. You can ensure business continuity and adaptability if you are equipped with the insights from your Big Data. Unforeseen changes in the business environment must be responded to and you must be able to scale your company up or down quickly.
IT is will increasingly give people flexibility at work as well as change the way staff are hired.
Other small business ideas to seriously consider are the outsourcing of certain tasks such as bookkeeping or social media management. This can benefit your business as you’ll reduce the amount of full time employees needed. Thanks to connectivity and the prevalence of laptops, mobiles and tablets, it is possible to work from anywhere. Fast Company Magazine reported on research conducted by the Global Leadership Summit in London that found that 34% of business leaders predict half their workforce would work remotely by 2020. Someone can work for you, but you don’t have to employ them full time and worry about paying them a monthly salary. Tapping into the right people with the right skills at short notice is made easier if more roles are outsourced. For those staff members you do decide to take on full-time, letting them use their own devices will make the need for bulky desktop computers obsolete.
Sophisticated cloud hosting will enable the automation and streamlining of processes.
Hosting your company’s network in the cloud, as opposed to an internal server is another reason why people are adjusting their working habits from in situ to remote. People involved in your business can access anything they need without being constrained by time and place. You can work from home and send things to be printed to a printer located kilometers away. With this move to cloud hosting, robust security is needed to protect your network from viruses and hackers. Being connected wirelessly will allow for office automations like these to save money and time. By streamlining these processes, you’ll also avoid the hassle of HR problems, as you need fewer people to run just as many operations – avoiding the problem of human error, too.
Stocking your office with the tools to ensure it runs seamlessly and from anywhere will help you implement the small business ideas above. Seartec can assist you in running a smoother business by answering any of your questions.
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