How does ever-changing technology affect businesses?

All businesses rely on technology to run efficiently. Technology has helped small businesses find ways to compete with large corporations, improve relationships with customers, and help improve internal processes.

Small businesses use various technologies, including laptops and desktops, mobile devices, equipment, and more, to help them succeed. 

Small businesses must continuously look for ways to implement new and emerging technology in their business operations. Unfortunately, technology is always changing and evolving, making it difficult for businesses to catch up.

Here’s how technology’s ever-changing nature affects businesses.

Communication and information sharing

communication-information-sharing
Today’s digital landscape and technology allow for easier, more efficient ways to communicate.

Every business needs to communicate internally with employees and externally with customers.

Today’s digital landscape and technology allow for easier, more efficient ways to communicate.

Applications like Slack, Zoom, and chatbots simplify information sharing, and businesses can’t track conversations and get analytics based on consumer behavior. With better communication comes deeper intelligence to obtain customer data and use it to improve experiences and new marketing strategies

Communication through effective technology use helps businesses create personalized messages and automated communications to improve marketing and allow professionals to reach new customers.

But, of course, there is a point when communication becomes ineffective. Businesses mustn’t lose the personal connection they have with their customers.

Need help with your conversational marketing? Check out our eight tips, and see how conversational marketing can boost your business.

Mobile devices

Mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, can help businesses manage their employees and daily operations remotely.

Everything from sales and marketing to customer relations can be done with the use of high-speed internet and the right software. 

Of course, mobile isn’t just for business’s internal processes; it can help improve your relationships with your customers and the public.

Consumers are using mobile devices to shop around, make purchases, and find local businesses while sharing their experiences with the public. So, technology doesn’t just enable businesses to communicate internally, but it’s the main driving force behind many consumer decisions. 

Through the use of mobile devices, businesses can communicate internally with employees via instant messaging apps and video chat, or they can use it to send personalized, targeted messages to qualified customers.

However, mobile is sure to stick around, so businesses must continue to find ways to leverage it.

Check out our six reasons why mobile optimization matters to your business, as well as 16 tips to make your website mobile-friendly.

Remote working

Technology enables a remote workforce. Although remote work had already been growing for years before the pandemic, many companies were forced into a remote work environment in recent years to keep their employees safe. As a result, many companies chose to give up the office environment altogether. 

Companies have had to use technology to support remote work, including remote logins, video conferencing, and project management tools to allow for easy collaboration.

Instead of managing employees depending on the hours they worked, many employers shifted their employees to salaried positions that focused more on output instead of hours spent. 

See our nine tips to better manage your remote team.

Remote work makes it easier to attract and retain talent, but it can also increase productivity as long as employees have the right technology and tools.

However, as technology continues to support a remote workforce, many business leaders still disagree with the effectiveness of working from home, so the jury is still out on whether the future of work is remote or a more hybrid experience.

Check out our 11 tips to be more productive when working from home.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence impacts businesses of all types, making it a great way for small companies to get a competitive edge against corporations.

AI can do many things, including machine learning and customer support, and even improve daily processes by automating tasks while tracking buyers and predicting their behavior. 

There are competing views on the use of AI in businesses. Some experts believe that it will result in fewer jobs available, while others believe AI could possibly create jobs and new roles.

Collaboration

Technology has the ability to improve collaboration in many different work environments.

With the use of remote work tools, such as Google Docs and Zoom, many employees can collaborate on the same project without the need to schedule time together. Most work environments depend on some type of collaboration, including gathering information and responding to emails. 

Many collaboration tools are available to simplify team discussions, improve file sharing, and manage projects.

With more technology, you can expect better collaboration, increasing productivity and efficiency whether employees work remotely or in the office.

Check out at least 15 of the best free productivity tools you should know about.

Saved money

By improving productivity and efficiency, technology can help businesses save money. For example, allowing your employees to get more done in a day means spending the same amount of money for more output.

Additionally, technology can be used to find savings opportunities. For example, you can use technology to manage your expenses and find areas of the business that cost your money the most.

Technology also allows you to reduce your costs. For example, accepting cryptocurrency can result in lower transaction fees, allowing you to earn more on every purchase. Even if your business doesn’t accept cryptocurrency, you can reduce your spending and earn more on every sale by using technology to source materials and automate inventory.

Improved customer experiences

Technology can be used to enhance the relationship customers have with your business.

You can solve customer problems faster than ever by using chatbots and customer service tools. Not having this technology can result in lower sales and unhappy customers, which can impact word of mouth or result in fewer sales and repeat customers.

Check out our eight tips to get started with conversational marketing.

Burnout

Most of this article has been about the benefits of technology. However, technology does have its downsides.

When used ineffectively, technology in business can lead to employee burnout and higher turnover rates. In addition, whether your employees work remotely or in person, businesses that use technology to over-communicate with employees can leave them feeling drained and unable to accomplish tasks. 

While tools like Slack and Zoom can improve communication, they can also be used to micromanage or distract employees, forcing employees to have to spend more hours working to accomplish the same amount of work. 

Because many business leaders view technology as a good thing, they don’t understand how it can also inhibit productivity and affect employee mental health. Before businesses implement new technology in the workplace, make sure to understand the potential negative implications it can have on employee wellbeing and productivity.

Final thoughts

Technology will continue to evolve, and businesses are eager to understand how new technology can improve their business operations and increase employee productivity while saving them money.

First, business leaders should understand all the possible implications new technology can have on their business. Technology can have many benefits when used effectively, but it can also drain employees and productivity when overused.

About the author

Ellie-Williams

Ellie Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality with a minor in Marketing from Chico State University. She enjoys doing freelance writing on general business, wellness, and lifestyle tips. During her free time, she enjoys catching up with friends and family or attending local events.

10 of the latest technology trends that impact businesses

All businesses use technology in their day-to-day operations. Whether you run a small store or an online business, you use everything from the most basic technology like computers to more advanced technology like automation software

Unfortunately, far too many small business owners purchase office equipment and don’t put any more time or resources into finding better solutions that can help them scale.

Yet, technology plays a vital role in business growth and efficiency, and learning small business trends can help you improve your business operations and increase sales.

Here are the latest technology trends in 2022 that will impact businesses. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI and machine learning have been trending topics in the last few years, but many small businesses don’t yet understand how they can help them.

As artificial intelligence becomes more understandable and mainstream, small businesses must find new ways to incorporate it into their business processes. From voice assistants to personalized customer experiences, AI can be used to improve all aspects of business operations and streamline everything from marketing to customer support. 

AI can help small businesses automate manual tasks, helping to save time and money while ensuring employees can get more done in a single day.

In addition, using AI can save businesses time on tasks that aren’t enjoyable for employees while allowing those employees to free up their time to focus on tasks that can help the business grow.

HR software

If your HR professionals spend most of their days staring at computer monitors and inputting data, they’re wasting valuable time they could be using to find better ways to recruit top talent.

However, comprehensive human resources software can help small business owners better track employees and their needs, even allowing for employees to take care of internal HR processes on their own.

In addition, HR tech can better support remote teams to help small businesses that have teams throughout the country. 

HR software is more than a way to store employee data. It can help improve employee engagement and remove time-consuming antiquated systems. 

Shopping with technology

Shopping gets easier with the use of technology, helping to support the shift from shopping in person to shopping online and having contactless experiences and delivery.

For example, with mobile payments helping people avoid long shopping lines, businesses can increase sales while improving customer experiences. 

Check out our 14 expert tips to boost your mobile marketing.

Remote employee onboarding

HR teams have used the internet and other technologies to recruit employees for years, but they can now onboard team members remotely.

In addition, as more people make the shift to working from home and businesses continue to support working from home, technology allows businesses to onboard employees simply from wherever they are. 

Unfortunately, remote employers often struggle to onboard new employees because training people without the right tools and technology is difficult. For example, without the ability to let people connect in person, it can be difficult for them to learn the ins and outs of the business and operations. Technology improves the onboarding experience to help plan it and ensure new employees can learn everything they need to do their new jobs well. 

As remote work continues, companies must invest technology into helping new employees learn about the company and their new job. 

When it comes to remote work, check out our nine tips for better managing your team and our 11 tips to be more productive when working from home.

Cybersecurity

While cyberattacks typically target large corporations with more customers, small businesses are at an increased risk of hacks because they typically don’t have cybersecurity solutions in place.

Many small businesses are at risk for data breaches, and with more information stored online, all businesses must improve their security. 

Check out our 12-step website security checklist for beginners.

Automation

Automation is an important business buzzword, but it’s something that, when implemented effectively, can improve business processes to help employees save time and improve the customer experience.

Small businesses can use automation throughout their companies, from marketing to human resources and even payroll.

Customer service automation can help streamline customer support and improve customer experiences to support major business initiatives. 

In regard to automation, check out our guide on email automation, as well as our seven opportunities for social media automation that you might not have thought of.

Influencer marketing

Social media has been a popular technology for years. However, as social media marketing and advertising become more difficult for small businesses due to privacy policies and user concerns, influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular. Influencer marketing uses social media to reach new customers through popular thought leaders they follow online. 

Consumers no longer fall for the same tricks; advertisements and intrusive selling no longer work on the savvy consumer. Instead, your customers are more likely to shop based on recommendations from an influencer they trust. Influencer marketing is a personalized way to engage with your target audience.

Influencer marketing requires tools, including social media and other software, to help you find and vet influencers in your industry.

Augmented reality and virtual reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are most talked about in the gaming industry. VR puts the user into a digital environment, while AR can be used to enhance the experience.

Many eCommerce businesses can use these technologies to help potential customers see how they’d look in clothing or accessories before they make a purchase. 

However, VR and AR can be used in other business areas, including HR, to help in training, education, and marketing. 

Chatbots

Chatbots are becoming more popular for many businesses, especially eCommerce shops. Using chatbots can help your customers complete purchases without speaking to a customer service representative.

Chatbots operate using AI to answer customer questions based on what they ask. However, chatbots aren’t always completely accurate, so businesses should still have someone available to answer customer questions when a chatbot can’t. 

Chatbots are available any time of day to streamline customer support, which can improve customer experiences because they can get basic questions answered at their convenience.

AI chatbots can be used outside of the customer service department, too. For example, you can use chatbots in the onboarding process to help answer new employees’ questions without needing human intervention. 

Check out 14 of the best chatbot builders for small businesses.

Chatbots are a big part of conversational marketing. See our eight tips to improve your conversational marketing.

Analytics

analytics
Businesses now have access to tons of data about their business, including productivity levels, internal data, and data on their customers.

In the past, many business owners had to rely on their experience to make important decisions.

Thanks to many tools and software available, businesses now have access to tons of data about their business, including productivity levels, internal data, and data on their customers. Data and analytics can help you understand your business and measure important performance metrics you can improve upon. 

For example, in marketing, you can use data to determine how much it costs to earn a new customer, also known as a cost per acquisition (CPA). With this data, you can begin to find ways to reduce costs and increase your return on investment.

Not only that, but data analytics can help you learn about areas of the business that are bottlenecks to help you determine how to solve complex challenges and improve business efficiency. 

Check out our nine tips to get the most out of Google Analytics.

Final thoughts

Businesses can use technology to improve internal processes, earn more customers, and improve their relationships with consumers. However, many small businesses can’t afford to invest in every new and emerging technology trend.

So, instead, find areas of your business that can be improved upon through technology and start to research the different types of tools to streamline essential business functions.

About the author

Julia-Olivas

Julia Olivas graduated from San Francisco State University with her B.A. in Communication Studies. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing and content creation. Outside of writing, she loves cooking, reading, making art, and her pup Ruby.