The year we left behind was a challenging one. 2020 brought unpleasant surprises that pushed people towards various changes regarding how they live their lives. These changes were not anticipated by anyone, seeing that the world was not prepared for such a viral outbreak.
This also affected the world of business, as companies had to find a way to keep operating but still respect and follow the newly introduced government measures. They paved the way for many companies to promote their collaboration tools such as video call software (Zoom), chat apps (Slack), screen-sharing software (TeamViewer), and so on.
To keep yourself always prepared as a small business owner, take a look below. This article lists the technology trends to keep an eye out for in 2021.
New and better collaboration tools
No one could predict the scenario the world lived through in 2020. Various events have pushed businesses towards virtual offices, online video conferences, and many other software solutions that transform a traditional office into an online one.
In short, communication had to be effective even though teams switched to working remotely.
That is why it’s expected that 2021 will bring even more and even better collaboration tools. No one can say when the pandemic will end, so it’s safe to assume that businesses will need effective collaboration software solutions.
We can expect companies to release new types of collaborative tools even though there are already many categories available.
For instance, there is HiveDesk, or a project management tool like Asana and a document-sharing online tool like Google Documents. Companies that have to hold meetings regularly have made great use of Cisco Telepresence for high-quality video conferencing.
On top of that, more and more businesses will turn to entire collaboration systems. These systems are made of workflow applications, databases, and other software solutions that allow companies to run everything remotely.
For example, Microsoft SharePoint is a great collaboration system, since it allows employees to access important data from all kinds of devices (PCs, laptops, smartphones, etc.).
It is a website-based collaboration platform that is easy to maintain and master. Thanks to its great features and intuitive interface, many businesses have sought SharePoint migration services in recent months. If you’re interested in switching to SharePoint from another tool, this service will make the transition seamless and secure, keeping your business efficient.
Further developments of AI
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have been a top trend among IT enthusiasts for years now. These technologies have found their use in many aspects of life, and more and more people are finding their purpose as the days go by.
Of course, this also means that AI and machine learning are implemented more among business owners. Entrepreneurs will, no doubt, keep incorporating them into new and existing processes in 2021.
This year will bring a wide range of implementation scenarios regarding AI. It all started with voice assistants, but who knows where it could end. Keep in mind that the main goal is to use AI to provide better and more personalized customer experiences.
On top of that, more and more people believe that AI will find its use among small business owners. It is expected that small businesses will start adopting AI quickly.
By maximizing their time and automating manual tasks AI can help small businesses offer more personalized experiences to their customers. For example, if you are spending one-quarter of a workday on manual tasks, AI and automation could prove to be huge assets. That amount of time can be used for more important and meaningful tasks.
Companies like Huawei have already installed their new equipment across the world that supports 5G cell signals. The adoption of the fifth generation of cellular capability is just around the corner, as 5G boasts considerably faster data transmission speeds than the more widely supported 4G.
According to various phone manufacturers, 5G can outrun 4G LTE easily. It takes special pride in the fact that there is little to no latency (the delay experienced in data transfer).
This kind of advancement is an important step in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) since 5G networks are more capable of supporting the influx of interconnected smart devices.
However, It is fair to say that there is a lot of hype surrounding 5G, but there is no guarantee that it will meet everyone’s expectations. 2021, nonetheless, will be the year the world will get to see the true colors and power of 5G.
Dull and repetitive tasks are a common thing for most workers nowadays. These tasks take up a lot of time and kill the overall productivity. And at the end of the day, they don’t impact the bottom line to a significant degree, but they have to be done.
Every business that wants to boost its employees’ productivity and performance should think about automating all mundane tasks. When it comes to small businesses, these tasks include appointment scheduling, data entry, customer support, payroll, and so on.
In 2021, automating these tasks will become easier. Once a business has all of these tasks automated, the employees and the owner will have more time to focus on more important matters.
With more time to focus on more complex and value-adding tasks, the whole team will be more productive and contribute to growth.
On top of that, the world should expect an even better thing called hyper-automation. The concept behind this term is simple to understand and refers to the use of different advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning to automate a wide variety of tasks.
Many small businesses (especially in the manufacturing industry) have to deal with huge amounts of data on a regular basis. To make the matter even more difficult, hiring a data scientist or analyst can come at a high price. This is the main reason why in 2021, deep analytics tools will become indispensable.
Of course, we’re not only talking about straightforward and simple reports such as conversion rates, web traffic, or the items inventory. A business that leverages this technology will be able to acquire a number of valuable and actionable insights into different business aspects that will allow the owner to optimize various important processes.
Deep analytics can help an entrepreneur identify pricing trends and gain a competitive edge or interpret the manufacturing data so that they can improve the production quality control, for example.
What’s even better, modern software doesn’t require users to have technical knowledge in order to harness the power of data-driven insights.
This was your chance to see the trends that should make a massive impact in 2021.
Take another good look and evaluate the state of things for your own business. Are there any tools or apps that you can implement to make processes and operations better?
Think about it and be prepared for the time that is yet to come. You know what they say: Being prepared is half the battle.