4 Small Business Tech Trends for 2021
IT is a constantly evolving industry where innovation is the name of the game and every major player is constantly looking for new ways to push the boundaries of what’s possible. It makes it a very exciting field to be in, especially as the different innovations become functional solutions for businesses of every size, in every industry. IT has changed the way we all work, whether we’re teachers, accountants, marketing specialists, medical professionals or anything else – and this change shows no sign of slowing down. Here are some of the biggest tech trends that SMEs should keep an eye on in the coming year.
#1 – IoT Solutions
The world is slowly getting to grips with the idea of the Internet of Things, or IoT. With smart devices and appliances becoming more common in our homes and stores, we’re all becoming more comfortable with the idea of an interconnected, integrated and online lifestyle. With the worldwide rollout of 5G technology picking up its pace in 2021, we’re going to see a flood of IoT solutions for the home and workplace come on to the market, with workplace adoption being driven by an emphasis on remote/flexible working.
#2 – Ecommerce Products and Services
Ecommerce has been growing slowly and steadily in the last decade, with 2020 seeing a significant surge in the adoption, efficiency and accessibility of online shopping. Along with the development of secure online payment options and banking services as well as UHF frequency-based rural wireless broadband solutions and VSAT terminals, the scene is set for ecommerce to really take off in 2021. Not only are we more comfortable with this option as consumers, we’re also more connected – and with the 5G rollout, we’re going to see more and more rural and outlying areas being able to log on, shop till they drop, and get timeous deliveries than ever before, further driving the need for businesses to offer ecommerce options for products and services.
#3 – Virtual Events
In the past, conferences, seminars and product launches took place in person, with a few tech-savvy giants also selling e-tickets on the side as more of a gimmick than a serious offering. However, the events of 2020 has changed this significantly in a way we can expect to influence big public events in the future. While we all hope for a return of in-person mass events and conferences, the value of also offering online experiences of these events has been realised. This allows a significant number people to participate and attend remotely, from watching live streams and participating in Q&A sessions to performing remote talks and demonstrations. Sure, being there in person is best – but there’s significant value in an online offering too, broadening your exposure, audience and the value of your event.
#4 – Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
We live in an exceptionally data-driven world where we not only collect and access massive volumes of data, but also analyse it and utilise it to streamline and refine business offerings. Data crunching is an impossible task for any human – but that’s where this tech trend becomes critical. As machine learning and AI advances, so the tools we need to turn data into actions becomes possible. From smart cities that learn how to direct traffic according to road users’ needs and smart factories that optimise processes for production speed and quality as various input factors change to the programs that show us how to best reach audiences who are most likely to be interested in buying a particular product or service, this technology is set to become one of the most powerful and widely-utilised solutions in the world.
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