Posts

Small Business Technology Trends for 2018

,
Small Business Technology Trends for 2018

Out with the old, in with the new! We have seen a ton of new trends in business tech in recent years, and 2018 will only be a year of more and more changes. Seemingly distant technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are finally making their way down to the small business sector, as well as more powerful tools for workplace convenience and mobility. Keep an eye on these small business technology trends for 2018.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is no longer characterized by science fiction robots and vindictive computers come to life. Today, artificial intelligence is increasingly used in business for both its computing abilities and convenience in freeing up time for its human counterparts. In 2018, artificial intelligence will finally be affordable enough for the little guys to take advantage of. From chat bots to computer learning software, AI for business is a technology you will want to keep your eyes on.

Cloud Computing

If you are not already utilizing cloud computing in one form or another, your business isn’t just stuck in 2017, it’s stuck in 1995. Most of the leading project management software, CRMs, and even file storing services are cloud based. The reason the cloud is so huge in business is its convenience and reliability. You can access a cloud based program from any device and automatically save and backup your information on an ongoing basis.

Cloud based desktops are a huge trend for 2018, as they take cloud computing to a whole new level of convenience. With a cloud based desktop, you can log into your desktop with all of your files from any device. With mobility and working from home at an all-time high, the prevalence of cloud computing will only continue to rise.

More Automation

Automation, automation, automation – this trend isn’t going anywhere any time soon. From marketing to the machine shop, small businesses need now more than ever to hop on the automation train or get left in the dust. You don’t need to worry about automation coming for anyone’s jobs just yet, but it will certainly make menial tasks more bearable and wide scale operations more possible.

More Powerful CRMs

Client relationship managers (CRMs) will be more than a notetaking and follow-up reminder system in 2018. CRMs are growing to include both automation and artificial intelligence. The new wave of CRMs can send your follow-up emails for you automatically and even analyze your leads to recommend which are the most likely to convert. Combine this with being based in the cloud and you’ve got the sales person’s new best friend.

Service Providers Over In-House

With all of these new small business technology trends for 2018, the use of service providers over in-house teams is increasing in popularity. Hiring a service provider for your technology needs allows you to keep up with the fast changing landscape, and means that you don’t have to do constant re-training and new hiring to be able to use the next big tech trend. Service providers are specialists in what they do, and only charge you to use the service you need. Using a service provider over an in-house team allows you to more nimbly shift with trends in technology.

Small Business Technology Trends for 2018

What technology do you think will finally reach the small business sector in 2018? Are we in for a year of AI’s and automation, or just another year of the same old tech everyone is already using? Let us know what you think in the comments.

What Does Cloud Based Solutions Mean?

cloud based solutions

One of the new, hot terms in business technology is “cloud based solutions.” It is a service that has grown out of cloud technology and can be used to describe almost any type of web based application. Many businesses choose to use cloud based solutions over traditional programs because of their convenience and lower costs to run and maintain.

First Off, What is the Cloud?

Before you can understand what “cloud based solutions” means, you must first know what the cloud is. The cloud is, basically, a term used for something that is accessed through the internet. To end users, it seems like “the cloud” lives in the internet, but the data and programs are in fact stored on off-site servers and are simply accessed through the internet. This means that your computer and smart phone, for example, don’t need to use their own memory and storage capacity for anything saved in cloud applications. The data is stored off-site, and all you need is an internet connection to access it.

What Does Cloud Based Solutions Mean?

Now that we know the cloud refers to accessing data and programs that is stored off-site through the internet, we can move onto understanding cloud based solutions. Cloud based solutions are services and software that users do not need to download or store, but can access through the internet. There is no hardware or on-site infrastructure needed. The programs and all data is stored on off-site servers by the service provider. You do not ever need to store or update the programs on your own device.

There are a lot of common services you likely already use that you may not realize are cloud based solutions. A few examples of common cloud based programs are: Google Maps, Dropbox, and Salesforce. These applications are incredibly popular and easy to use for both businesses and individual users. For these three cloud based applications, all data is stored on servers at the cloud provider’s location. Not on-site storage space is needed to run them and save data in them.

What are the Benefits of Cloud Based Solutions?

The two main benefits to cloud based solutions are convenience and a low operating cost. With no on-site or on-device storage space needed, your business no longer needs an extensive network of computers and servers along with an IT staff to manage it. The more cloud based solutions your business uses, the less computing power you need on your devices. Theoretically, you could issue each employee a simple, cheap netbook alone if all of your applications were cloud based- all computing power would come from the service provider. Many businesses turn to cloud based solutions for the incredible up front and long term cost savings.

The other main reason cloud based solutions are so commonplace now is how convenient and easy they are to use and maintain. Most applications are accessed simply through a web page, so your profile and saved data is accessible from any machine. Another big convenience is that you are no longer personally responsible for the updates and IT needs that traditional networks have. If the software has an issue, you are not the one who needs to figure out how to fix it. The application provider has round-the-clock teams to address and fix any issues with their cloud based programs.

The Ultimate Cloud Based Solution

Desktop as a Service provides everything on the cloud, including the users’ desktops! This allows the user to have access to everything on their computer from anywhere in the world, anytime and from any device. This actually eliminates all hardware costs and IT support.

Have you considered switching over to cloud based solutions for your business? Most companies find it cheaper, more convenient to train new staff on, and easier to scale as they grow. Stop throwing money at your technical problems and invest in long term solutions with cloud based applications.

Benefits of Letting Employees Work from Home

,
Benefits of Letting Employees Work from Home

Have you considered letting your employees work from home, but aren’t sure what’s in it for you? The reason working from home has become such a huge trend is because it is great for both employee and employer. Some of the benefits of letting employees work from home are that they will be more productive, happier, and take less leave, all while you will enjoy lower overhead costs.

Increase Productivity

According to Entrepreneur.com, 54% of employees prefer working on important projects from home, not in the office.* Most people report that they can focus better and be more productive in a home setting, free from the social and environmental distractions of the office. Who could say no to increased worker productivity?

Work-life Balance

Another benefit of letting employees work from home is the increased work-life balance. Not only will boasting a work-life balance attract better potential candidates, but it will truly make your employees happier and more likely to stay long term. By working from home, workers spend less time in the car and less time preparing for work. This means more free time and less chance that they will burn out.

Lower Overhead Costs

Even if your employees don’t work from home exclusively you will still save on overhead costs by letting employees work from home. You will need less (if any) office space, less office supplies, and less money spent on amenities like coffee and snacks. You will see a drastic effect on your bottom line if you switch to more work from home time for your workers.

Get a Much Wider Pool of Candidates

By touting the ability to work from home, your pool of candidates just got much wider. You now have the ability to hire anyone in any location. In addition, you can consider employees who are limited to working from home due to health reasons or being the caretaker of a family member.

Employees Will Take Fewer Sick Days and Vacation

When you work from home, the need to take a sick day or just get out of the office and take a vacation dwindles. Most minor symptoms that might keep you away from the office are much more manageable at home. With a better work life balance, your employees will also feel less of a desperate need to take a break. Working from home means less paid leave.

Technology Today Makes Working from Home Easy

Technology has finally caught up to make working from home easy. Today, you do not even need to bring a computer back and forth with cloud computing and remote desktop technology. You can access your desktop along with all of your files and programs on any device, anywhere.

With cloud computing, you do not have to worry about cyber security by letting employees work from home either. Cloud computing and remote desktops are actually more secure than traditional networks.

Benefits of Letting Employees Work from Home

The ability to work from home is both sought after by job candidates and beneficial for employers. Enjoy having a wider pool of candidates and employees that will stick around. Offering work from home is great for both productivity and the bottom line.

What is Cloud Computing?

what is cloud computing

Most working professionals have heard of cloud computing, either as the rising workplace trend or as a hot term in tech. Many people who hear the phrase though find themselves asking, what is cloud computing?

In basic terms, cloud computing is storing and accessing information over the internet rather than from your device’s hard drive. The traditional way to store information is to have a computer with a hard drive and all information stored in your files there. In many offices, there is also an internal server where shared information can be stored and accessed by others in your organization. In contrast to this, cloud computing is having everything stored offsite and accessed by users through the internet.

Once you know what cloud computing is, you can start to imagine the number of benefits and conveniences it offers businesses of any size.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

 

Minimal Hardware Onsite

With cloud computing, you and your organization will need only minimal hardware onsite. No servers, no back-ups, not even sophisticated computers are needed for cloud computing. Devices hardly need any internal storage when you are computing 100% in the cloud.

Access Files and Programs Anywhere

Being able to access your saved data and programs from anywhere is invaluable. The convenience of not needing to bring a laptop to and from the office or adding files to a flash drive for every meeting seems difficult to imagine. With cloud computing, by simply logging on to any device you can pick up right where you left off. This means easier working at home, easier travel, and quicker set up for presentations when you can simply log in to the cloud on location to grab the files you need.

Lower Your Costs

For those money conscious business owners out there, all of this information is probably starting to look like some serious savings. With hardly any hardware and memory needed, your costs in equipment and servers just got cut down to a fraction. Not only that, but with only minimal hardware onsite, your IT staffing needs just went to down too. Cloud computing allows you to both save money and gain convenience.

Speed & Security

Cloud computing will give you both speed and security in your network. There is no lost time due to sitting around waiting to load a large file on an old computer, and no long phone calls with IT when your system goes down. With cloud computing you also have an automatic back-up to call on if you lose data due to a hack, natural disaster, or (the most common cause) human error.

Your productivity will skyrocket when time spent twiddling your thumbs in front of a slow computer is eliminated. With all data stored remotely, there is little to no computing power needed on your end. Say hello to both speed and security with cloud computing.

What is Cloud Computing?

To both small and large businesses, cloud computing is cost saving and convenient. Access your files from anywhere while still benefitting from heightened security and speed.
 

Are you looking for a better computing experience?


 

Why All Small Businesses Need a Professional Backup Solution

Why All Small Businesses Need a Professional Backup Solution

Small businesses are often run lean – no room for unnecessary costs, no luxury of extended vacations, and definitely no space in the budget for lost time and revenue due to data loss. No matter the size of your business, a professional backup solution will save you from disaster when a data loss happens. Whether it be a cyber attack, natural disaster, system failure, or even human error, having a backup to call upon when you need it most will allow to pick your business right back up and continue where you left off.

Minimize Losses When the Unexpected Happens

 
Did you know that over 40% of businesses without a backup solution go out of business when a major data loss happens? Losing years of digital infrastructure and client information is too much for many businesses to recover from.

There may have been a time when huge losses due to cyber attack or natural disaster seemed unlikely to ever happen to you. In recent years though, both events have become more common and the horrendous after-effects have been highly publicized. Using a professional backup solution can save you the hit to your image and wallet that these data losses cause.

Keep Client Data Safe

 

Having a breach of client information is often reputation ruining. Using a professional backup solution will prevent personal and financial information from getting into the wrong hands. A backup company will not only store a backup of your data but will work around the clock to keep the backup system updated and protected from security breaches. The threat of a hack or cyber attack is probably what comes to mind when you think about having client data stolen, but unfortunately, internal breaches happen often and are more difficult to prepare against. With a professional backup solution, you can limit access to sensitive files to a need-to-know basis.

Prevents Loss Due to Human or System Error

 
Everyone makes mistakes – humans and computers alike. Don’t allow an accidental deletion or system crash to put you in a panic-inducing situation. If your data is backed up, all it takes to get that lost information back is the click of a button and is accessible from any device.

Data losses due to error are not only stressful but cost businesses in lost revenue as well. When an employee, or entire department, loses access to their files it can take days to months to either fix the problem or attempt to replace the lost information. Most businesses can’t afford even a week of lost revenue. Prevent spiraling losses by always having your systems backed up.

Round the Clock System Management

 
Having a professional backup solution versus DIY means that there are people and resources devoted to keeping your data safe and maintained around the clock. You never need to remind yourself to run a backup and don’t have to worry about the safety and security of your backed-up data. A professional backup solutions business has staff and cutting-edge technology devoted to keeping your data safe and updating your backups consistently. Not to mention, it will cut down on your personnel and equipment needs too.

Professional Backup Solution

 
Still on the fence about if you need a professional backup solution for your small business? Try a free trial for 30 days – see how simple it can be to free yourself from the nagging feeling that your data could be at risk at any moment.