Whether you want to start or grow, embracing technology is likely to be an essential ingredient when it comes to the future success of your business. Amazingly one in five UK SMEs still prefer to put pen to paper (literally), however a recent global study by SAP found that small and medium sized enterprises that have embraced digital technology show faster growth than companies that have not.
So what are you waiting for? Here’s our list of the latest technology tools to help supercharge your business…
With smartphone uptake now at 71 per cent in the UK, it’s highly likely that we’re going to see a shift towards businesses considering their mobile strategy first, and their web presence second. Introducing apps and mobile payment technology for your small business may well keep you ahead of the game.
Cloud based tools
Cloud collaboration and mobile tools have allowed companies to hit growth and export milestones much faster. Not only that, but they have dramatically decreased the cost of starting-up a business. A report by the investment database CB Insights found that it used to cost £3.3 million to launch a small business in 2000. By 2011, that figure was £3,200. The amount of time it takes businesses to go international has been halved from 42 months for businesses founded in 2003 to 2008 to just 22 months for those started in 2009 or later. Tools such as PayPal, Google Drive and Slack have played their part in this.
These are being increasingly used by companies, not only for customer service but also to interact with customers on Facebook Messenger, websites, text/SMS, Skype and other services. In 2014 British teenage entrepreneur Joshua Browder launched what was dubbed as “the world’s first robot lawyer” with DoNotPay. An artificial-intelligence lawyer chatbot that helps people contest parking ticks across London and New York. Since launching his website, the bot has taken on over 250,000 cases with a success rate of over 60%. This translates into over £3m worth of parking tickets successfully appealed.
Content management systems
Studies have shown that most businesses are investing already more in content marketing. Engaging customers through creation of emails, blogs, articles and product information is much higher on the agenda than it has ever been before. Installing a content management system (CMS) may be a good option for businesses that want to create and modify digital content.
Security technology is likely to be a key investment for small businesses this year. UK firms were, on average, subjected to almost 230,000 cyber attacks each during 2016, according to analysis by Beaming. Machine learning, deception technologies and micro segmentation are all among the latest key technologies.