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The covid-19 pandemic is both a blessing and a curse in the business world. Although the pandemic led to financial losses due to business interruption, it accelerated the pace of digitalization across all industries as businesses updated their telecommuting capabilities to ensure business continuity. As a small business owner, you might not be capable of developing disruptive technologies, but technology still plays a significant role in your enterprise’s growth and efficiency. That’s said, there are technologies entrepreneurs should prioritize in 2021.
While disruptive technologies such as 5G will continue to transform businesses, other trends such as software unification, personalized marketing, and cybersecurity will impact small businesses in 2021. Here are technologies that can be useful to businesses in 2021.
Tech Assisted Shopping
In response to the current crisis, businesses have optimized mobile tech to create a contactless shopping experience. Nowadays, shoppers search for products and services online and pay for them through digital payments. In the recent past, e-commerce was perceived to be for established brands. Due to the current pandemic, e-commerce is almost necessary for small retailers to remain in business. Shopping and checking out with QR codes are now a daily norm in numerous retail locations.
With the vaccine expected to reach everyone in the spring, these disruptive technologies will continue ruling 2021. Besides, people are inclined to this shopping style, and it might be embraced even during post-pandemic times.
As populations continue to reduce in urban areas, more people will prefer remote work. On the other hand, more businesses will embrace this new model to tap the potential benefits associated with it.
Onboarding is the process of matching newly hired employees with their responsibilities and corporate culture. Now that people can’t connect in person, due to the pandemic or geographical location, companies will utilize software to onboard new employees. Companies will invest in technology for an exceptional onboarding experience to ensure new workers feel welcome and appreciated.
The benefits of cybersecurity can’t be overstated. A recent study found that more than 60% of small enterprises think they are unlikely to be targeted in a cyberattack. There is compelling evidence to show that numerous small businesses have been affected by data breaches and cyberattacks. In 2021, a large number of businesses will take security measures at heart. As your business seeks to improve their cybersecurity, try to keep up with the best cybersecurity practices.
It is important to be up to date with the newest technology in your specific industry. For example, if you are a development engineer, you should buy lithium tri-borate (LBO) crystals to stay competitive in your industry. Do your research to find out what the latest technology trends are that could be beneficial to your business. This can greatly benefit you short-term and long-term.
Human Resource Tech
The current crisis transformed how companies manage their human resources. One sector that has experienced transformative change during the pandemic is human resources. As of now, numerous Americans are working from home.
Human resource departments are starting to view technology not only as a system of record but also as a system to engage and connect with teams. Designing centralized HR platforms will not only help in keeping remote teams connected but also in remote onboarding. Since some businesses are still hiring amid the pandemic, they are still relying on technology to introduce new hires into their roles.
Once the pandemic is over, people will eventually come back to the office. This means it is important that your office space is a safe environment for everyone, especially the breakroom. It is important that where you eat is sanitary and that you have good equipment. This can include anything from an ergonomic microwave to an electric cooktop, which are easier to keep clean for everyone in the office. You can even update your break room into a smart kitchen in order to have the latest technology and equipment in your office.
2020 will be remembered as the year of video conferencing. Last year, nearly all businesses used Zoom to connect with their employees. The fact that coronavirus vaccines will take considerable time before they reach the critical mass, businesses will continue utilizing video conferencing to stay connected.
The essential thing that the pandemic has taught businesses is that employees can be productive remotely. Businesses are leveraging video conferencing to bring their virtual teams closer together. Although a significant number of people have gone back to the office, businesses will continue depending on video conferencing to connect with virtual colleagues.
For a long time, automation has been a buzzword in small enterprises’ circle, but in 2021, it could be an essential component of small businesses. Small business owners will prioritize automation to solve unique challenges and save money. For instance, numerous small enterprises are already using inventory management systems to ensure they have the right amount of inventory at hand and pricing automation to balance revenue growth and profitability.
You can set your enterprise apart by understanding the technology to prioritize in 2021. Automation, cybersecurity, HR tech and tech assisted shopping will give your business a competitive edge.