As it has for many years, the use of technology by small to medium businesses is on the rise. A CompTIA (an IT industry association) study has reported findings showing that even micro businesses are looking for ways to utilize the current trends in technology to improve productivity in the workplace. For instance, seven out of ten small to medium-sized business owners surveyed reported that they expect to increase technology spending over the next year. One third of these are considering an increase of ten percent or more.
The reason for the increase in spending is simple. Technology is more accessible, more affordable and more available than in the past. Nearly every business is able to benefit from certain technological advancements and the prices continue to drop—making these advances affordable even for smaller businesses.
One major change that has occurred in recent years is the desire for mobility. This includes devices such as laptop computers, tablets and smart phones. These devices allow employees to work outside the traditional office environment. This is especially important for companies that have employees that regularly travel for work. Currently over 25 percent of small businesses use mobile solutions and 43 percent expect to start using them within the next year. Businesses have expressed some concerns with security, as well as the use of company time on non-company business. However, by providing the equipment for employees, some businesses have found that they are able to better monitor and control what occurs on these mobile devices.
Finally, cloud computing is another trend on the rise. Cloud computing allows data storage “in the clouds”, or on a server where employees can reach it on any computer. The main use of cloud technology by small businesses has been for storage and backup. Cloud computing is also very useful for collaboration and document management as well. Around one-third of surveyed small business owners have adopted cloud computing and of those 92 percent feel satisfied with the results.
Only time will tell what further impact mobile and cloud technology will have on small businesses. There is certainly room for growth as the business world relies more and more on technology to provide solutions to everyday problems.
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