As an entrepreneur or small business owner, While you might not be the most innovative in technology development, tech plays an important role in your company’s growth and efficiency. Because of the rapid changes in technology over the last year, small business technology trends are expected to grow in importance through 2022 and beyond.
New infrastructure such as 5G will gain momentum, but established markets like employee monitoring software will have a growing impact on small businesses.
Two years ago, the first lockdowns were implemented. Companies around the world are still trying to establish a new standard. Tech can play an important role in the rebalancing, reconstruction, and reinvigorating of small and medium-sized businesses.
Top 10 Small Business Technology Trends
We also surveyed small-business owners and tech experts to find out the most current tech trends. Here are 10 tech trends for small businesses in 2022 and beyond.
1. Artificial intelligence
Machine learning and artificial intelligence have been hot tech topics for many years. AI, for example, is changing the landscape of the insurance industry. It improves insurer pain points and creates a better user experience.
Small business owners will continue to incorporate smart technologies into their existing and new processes as more solutions include smart technology in 2022. There could be many implementation options, including voice assistants and personalized customer experiences. Artificial Intelligence Business Trends include more AI in cybersecurity, CRM Systems, and market research.
Meredith Schmidt, Salesforce’s executive vice president, and general manager of small business and essentials stated that artificial intelligence will be more widely adopted by small businesses, even though it may sound like something only large companies use.
Schmidt stated that AI will allow small businesses to offer personalized services to customers by optimizing their time and automating manual tasks. According to our research, AI and automation are a great asset if you spend almost 25% of your time on manual tasks such as entering data.
Also read: Top 10 Latest Technologies in 2022
2. 5G rollout
Many business implications are a result of 5G. Although 5G technology was initially introduced in 2019, the pandemic caused delays and prevented it from being widely adopted internationally. The fifth generation of cellular technology offers faster data transfer speeds than 4G networks. Huawei claims that 5G promises no latency or delays in data transfer and offers it as a cell phone model.
The development of the Internet of Things will make it possible to eliminate latency. 5G networks are better able to support the growing number of interconnected smart devices than either 4G or WiFi. More IoT job opportunities will become available to IT professionals as IoT grows.
Although 5G is the subject of much hype, it’s still a matter for early adopters and forward-thinking IT departments.
3. Employee monitoring software
It’s not surprising that employees aren’t returning to open-plan workplaces after two years of forced homework and media saturation about infection rates. Hybrid working is becoming more popular, and remote work is here to stay.
Chief marketing officer at Hibob Rhiannon Staples stated that a lot of the attention on HR tech is due to the shift towards remote work. Staples stated that the shift to remote work has had a profound impact on businesses’ productivity, engagement, culture and two-way communication. This has made it imperative to have effective technology in place to assist with these challenges. “Centralized HR information systems are now mission-critical.”
Employee monitoring software is the most important tool. To gain detailed oversight over remote workers and their productivity, the best employee tracking software is a good choice. Look for features such as mobile device coverage and the ability to spot inefficient working practices when selecting employee monitoring software.
Monitoring software can be perceived as beneficial by employees if they are recognized for their hard work and praised for their achievements.
4. Remote onboarding
As more companies embrace hybrid working models (and the potential savings stemming from shedding office space, and freeing up time for employees commuting to work), they will be relying on technology to manage a successful offboarding process for remote employees.
As you help new employees get to know their responsibilities and the company’s culture, onboarding is essential. Companies are now turning to software to onboard employees, despite not being able to meet in person due to the pandemic or their geographical location.
Staples stated that technology that makes sure every step of the onboarding process is professionally planned and managed will help companies make their new employees feel welcomed. He cited a study showing that nearly half of workers leave for new jobs after a poor experience. Companies will invest more money in technology that helps employees understand the company’s hierarchy and make the connections they need outside their immediate group.
5. Shop tech-assisted
The worst effects of the pandemic have been felt by retailers. Major businesses have been responding to disruptions and lockdowns by accelerating the rollout of social media shopping in order to provide a contactless shopping experience.
According to Staples, this high-tech approach goes beyond curbside pick-up to protect people. It is a natural extension of existing tech such as mobile payments and terminals.
She stated that mobile payments used to be a luxury and allowed shoppers to skip long checkout lines at crowded stores. However, retailers are almost requiring them now that the pandemic is over
Mobile payments now include QR codes and mobile terminals.
Staples stated that many retailers are changing their in-store experience to reflect our current and future reality. Staples cited Walmart’s transformation of its stores into airport-like environments that emphasize convenience and contactless transactions.
6. Software unification
The growing unification and integration of previously distinct software interfaces is another sign of the pandemic’s impact. Consider the integration of Microsoft Teams in Windows 11. For more information about this collaboration tool.
We are also seeing an increase in third-party integrations. A company could use Slack to connect employees, Outlook to send important documents, and Salesforce to manage customers. Basecamp can plan projects, Google Drive to store company data, and Salesforce to manage customers. Unification can help to reduce and eliminate data silos.
Roy Mann, CEO and co-founder of Monday.com, stated that “Connecting Software to Other Software is hard.” “Integration platforms make it possible for any program to communicate with another software.” This is a breakthrough.”
He believes that these connections will allow for seamless communication between multiple platforms. He said that customer information can be updated across multiple platforms if it is adjusted on one platform. Businesses save time by combining data.
7. Increased focus on cybersecurity
New forms of fraud have emerged as a result of the shift to more efficient working methods. Malware has evolved in response to increased virtual communication and domestic use of workstation hardware.
Businesses are not feeling the same fear. BullGuard found that nearly 60% of small businesses believe it unlikely they’ll be the victim of a cyberattack. However, IT Governance, industry experts, reported an 11% increase in cybersecurity incidents in 2021, compared to 2020. This totaled 5.1 billion records.
Jim Lippie, the former general manager for cloud computing at Kaseya software company, stated that SMBs should view security as an enterprise business.“SMBs, like their larger enterprise counterparts, will roll out a comprehensive backup-and-disaster-recovery solution to keep them protected, and also create new standardized blockchains and game plans to keep business even more secure.”
8. Greater emphasis on automation
Although automation has been a popular term in small business circles for a long time, Omri Traub (founder of Pop chart) believes that business owners now consider workplace automation to help them save money and address their problems.
Traub said automation investments will continue to grow due to continued shortages in some areas. Online pricing automation is one way to balance profitability with revenue growth. Inventory management systems are another option to make sure that the right amount of inventory is available.
Traub stated that he expects there to be a new wave of companies looking to develop these automated solutions in the future. He said that many companies will use the cloud to provide this service and help accelerate the push toward automation.
9. Influencer marketing
Personalized marketing and social media influencers are viable options for connecting with customers and showcasing your products. Traditional print advertising is no longer the best way to drive sales. A business must have a dynamic and strategic marketing strategy. This increasingly involves working with influencers.
FundKite CEO Alex Shvarts stated that consumers want authenticity in advertisements. This can often be in the form of a recommendation from someone they trust like an influencer.
Social media marketing is a way to connect with customers and create a niche in your industry. It is important to understand your business’s needs and do your research about the industry’s influencers.
Because audiences are fickle, influencers can quickly lose their popularity. You should look for people who aren’t interested in controversy – preferably those with a track record of working together with other SMEs.
10. Social media advertising
In 2022, small businesses will continue to use social media advertising. Social media influencers are often referred to as social media marketers. However, social media advertising can also include areas such as pay-per-click marketing.
Matt Rosenberg, Helbiz’s head of communications, stated that social advertising will continue growing as a cost-effective, efficient and effective way to target specific audiences. In today’s digital landscape, it is crucial to be able to create distinctive and differentiated content that engages customers via social media channels.
This trend is paying off. Rosenberg estimates that three-quarters of Americans have bought a product from a brand’s post on social media. It’s time for you to get on social media if you haven’t already.