July 2019

Are You Ready to Invest in Technology for Your Small Business?

2 minute read

It's time small businesses invest in technologies like include virtual payments, cloud technology and data analytics.

Smart investments in technology innovation can exponentially help create efficiencies, save money, build brand awareness, and increase growth and market share. Create a customized plan with solutions that specifically address and solve your unique needs, and you can enjoy increased productivity and a number of potential savings.

Here are some tech investments to consider.

Cloud technologies

Not that long ago, companies had to store their data in a room on the premises or off-site, often incurring significant costs to upgrade hardware or obtain more space to store the millions of terabytes of data. Now companies can upload their data to the cloud. In fact, according to IT World Canada, cloud computing is expected to be in the 85 % range for core back office functions by 2020.1 This adoption has happened for several reasons:

  • Lower costs to starting a business. Instead of buying hardware and software, companies can have cost-efficient access to the cloud and the ability to scale at a reasonable cost.
  • Decreased development costs. Cloud-based products offer ready-to-use, turnkey solutions.
  • Minimized hiring costs. Virtual tasks require fewer employees to complete as several functions, such as orders and payments, have been automated in many ways.
  • Remote access anywhere, anytime. Ability to access information anywhere, which allows you and your workers to conduct business regardless of location.
  • 24/7 support. Automatic backups, access and upgrades as needed.

Virtual collaboration and support

Tools that help facilitate communications for remote and in-office workers provide platforms for project collaboration and, since they are all cloud-based, can operate as a searchable archive. Many services offer free and paid options depending on your company's remote work needs and collaboration requirements, so your business can start with the free version and scale up as needed depending on requirements and budgets.

Collaboration tools are also being enhanced with other productivity technologies, such as virtual assistants. Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered virtual assistants can help automate and manage administrative tasks, including booking appointments, sending emails, and setting up meetings while freeing up time for your employees to focus on more value-added activities.

Virtual payments

Virtual payments like American Express vPaymentTM can ease the stress of managing payments and reconciliations. Users can assign a single-use account number to each transaction, which makes it easier to track and reconcile at the end of the fiscal year. They can also set certain pre-authorizations, such as payment amounts, the date range for said payments and transaction details. That way, small business owners know how much they're spending or paying out on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.

AI-powered marketing tools

Successful businesses know what their customers are talking about, where they are located and what they need to make their lives easier. AI-powered marketing tools can harness an abundance of actionable solutions from data analytics, giving users the opportunity to classify, segment, and then deliver the right messages at the right times to the right customers. Having the ability to proactively assess business insights about your customers' buying journey can help you propel your marketing efforts and your profits.

You may be concerned about how to best choose from the applications that can help your business, but with an abundance of available options at reasonable costs, you can create a tailored solution to your needs and upgrade as needed.

1 https://www.itworldcanada.com/blog/the-new-realities-of-cloud-computing-in-2018/406332