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These Technologies That Could Save Your Business Right Now

Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Digital Transformation Strategy (145-slide PowerPoint presentation). Digital Transformation is being embraced by organizations across most industries, as the role of technology shifts from being a business enabler to a business driver. This has only been accelerated by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Thus, to remain competitive and outcompete in today's fast paced, [read more]

Also, if you are interested in becoming an expert on Digital Transformation, take a look at Flevy's Digital Transformation Frameworks offering here. This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve. Full details here.

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The faster, more technologically advanced digital business landscape is opening up doors for small businesses that might otherwise struggle to come up with the content, customer responses and social media marketing larger companies strive for.

In a highly competitive digital landscape, small businesses have to scramble to stay ahead of competitors and find new customers. You have to figure out ways to be heard above all the noise people hear constantly with ads, social media, emails and other businesses trying to grab their attention.

Source: https://www.gartner.com/en/articles/gartner-top-10-strategic-technology-trends-for-2023

Gartner made some predictions about emerging technology trends for 2023. However, keep in mind that not all new tech is going to apply to every small business. The things an e-commerce story utilizes will vary from what a manufacturing facility does.

As new technological advances arrive, they’ve played a role in how well smaller companies are able to keep up and survive. Using them to your advantage can empower your brand in an ever-changing marketplace. Here are some trends every business can benefit from.

1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are rapidly growing and finding use in multiple industries. Rather than relying on human researchers or even running analytical reports, businesses can now type a command into AI and get a complete breakdown of a topic. By automating more complex tasks, business owners have the tools at their disposal to make the best decisions for growth.

Source: https://www.marketingcharts.com/industries/technology-228684

Programs like ChatGPT are generating buzz because they hit 100 million users faster than any other platform in the history of the internet. In a YouGov survey, researchers found around 36% of people believed AI text generation was bad for society. While it could be bad in some ways, it has benefits for small businesses when you know how to utilize it.

You can better understand your customer base and create personalized experiences for them based on what the data shows. Tap into the power of utilizing a chatbot to answer common questions and adding computerized virtual assistants to your workflow.

Small businesses can also gain access to the in-depth reports bigger corporations have without spending a fortune on analysts. You can quickly identify trends, spot problems in your supply chain or make decisions based on what’s worked best for your company in the past.

Small businesses are quickly seeing how AI and ML are tools to help them ramp up productivity and reduce costs while still keeping up with the bigger players in their fields.

2. Brighter Illumination

One area businesses might not always consider is how well you see the tasks at hand. Even in the lighting sector, new technologies improve illumination so you can see the parts moving through a machine or the fine details in custom work.

For example, high intensity back-lit backlights have seen recent improvements in thermal efficiency and structural integrity, making them perform better and last longer. Imagine being a jeweler working long hours and straining your eyes to see small parts. A technologically advanced light would help illuminate your setup. By the same token, smaller manufacturers can keep up with larger operations by upgrading equipment such as lighting.

3. Cloud Computing

If you aren’t already in the cloud, your business should be. You’ll gain access to scalable and flexible solutions for storing data and utilizing software across your team, including with remote employees.

You also can save money by losing physical servers and going to the cloud. You’ll no longer need a dedicated IT staff, which many smaller companies can’t afford anyway. Instead, you’ll pay one fee and pool your resources with other businesses to take advantage of third-party software and a full-time 24/7 IT team there to secure your data and meet your needs.

The cloud can also be more secure because software is state of the art and kept up to date. They usually offer regular backs in case of a disaster or hacking event.

4. Blockchain Technology

If you run any type of business, understanding the changing environment of blockchain technology is vital to getting a handle on everything from new payment systems to cybersecurity.

For example, utilizing blockchain technology lets you accept various forms of payment, including Bitcoin and gives you a chance to process transactions securely and quickly. You’ll reduce costs by using various platforms and third-party systems.

You can also use blockchain systems to track where products are at any given time and make sure they are authentic and not counterfeits. Utilizing blockchain gives your stakeholders a feeling of transparency and builds trust between you and your customers. They’ll know their data is more secure, too.

5. Customer Relationship Management Tools

Customers pay closer attention to how they spend their money. Businesses that develop relationships are much more likely to retain their current client base. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools ensure none of your customers fall through the cracks.

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/605933/worldwide-customer-relationship-management-market-forecast/

The global CRM market is around $48 billion, with projected growth to $49.6 billion by 2025. Use CRM software to send out automated reminders to customers when it’s close to time for them to reorder. You can also track complaints and feedback to help you create better experiences for customers.

6. Personalized Video Messaging

In the past, companies created one video to serve to any potential customer. However, consumers today demand personalization. The most efficient way for smaller companies to serve a personalized video is to use landing pages targeting specific audience demographics.

Each landing page would feature a different video based on the pain points and needs of the buyer persona being targeted. While the video might not be personalized to the point of having the person’s name in it, it will still resonate.

Some of the technology you can utilize includes online video streaming services such as YouTube and Vimeo where you can upload your clips. You could also tap into the power of market research and use cloud-based technologies to analyze your typical customer base.

7. Remote Communication Platforms

Most businesses have at least a few remote employees. Communication platforms add features constantly and are one of trendiest technologies on the market. You can utilize them to collaborate with other team members and clients.

Imagine uploading a concept and getting instant and trackable feedback from the client, your project manager and other people on the team. When all the stakeholders can chime in at one time, you’ll find you’re much more productive and projects get completed more efficiently.

Emerging Technologies to Help Your Business Thrive

The business landscape continues to change and evolve. If you want to remain competitive, you must embrace new technologies and transform your business along the way. Some of the powerful things to tap into include AI, ML, blockchain tracking, cloud computing, CRM and video streaming.

No matter which ideas you embrace, or even if you use them all, you’ll see an increase in productivity and customer satisfaction. You can easily future-proof your business by staying up on emerging trends and trying different products to see what best helps you be a more agile and productive company.

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The constantly evolving digital landscape necessitates executives to dynamically design and govern their portfolio of Digital Initiatives. Based on a study of more than 100 companies on their digital challenges and interviews with 55 digital executives, we have distilled out 7 key governing [read more]

Want to Achieve Excellence in Digital Transformation?

Gain the knowledge and develop the expertise to become an expert in Digital Transformation. Our frameworks are based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. Click here for full details.

Digital Transformation is being embraced by organizations of all sizes across most industries. In the Digital Age today, technology creates new opportunities and fundamentally transforms businesses in all aspects—operations, business models, strategies. It not only enables the business, but also drives its growth and can be a source of Competitive Advantage.

For many industries, COVID-19 has accelerated the timeline for Digital Transformation Programs by multiple years. Digital Transformation has become a necessity. Now, to survive in the Low Touch Economy—characterized by social distancing and a minimization of in-person activities—organizations must go digital. This includes offering digital solutions for both employees (e.g. Remote Work, Virtual Teams, Enterprise Cloud, etc.) and customers (e.g. E-commerce, Social Media, Mobile Apps, etc.).

Learn about our Digital Transformation Best Practice Frameworks here.

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About Eleanor Hecks

Eleanor Hecks is the editor-in-chief of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and UI. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and pups, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn.

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