Technology today is advancing faster than at any point in the past. Rapid development is making new hardware and software available almost every year. Most of this new technology is actually helping businesses by lowering costs or bringing traditionally unreachable resources closer especially for small companies. Several technologies have grown in the past year and are currently benefiting businesses.
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Cloud-based services have changed businesses for the better in the last year. The proliferation of providers as well as the new functionality being added constantly has put advanced software and infrastructure within the reach of even the smallest businesses. Software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provide metered access to customizable systems and application that have made running a business much easier. Cloud services have also increased security and decentralized traditional office systems.
Advanced Real-Time Analytics
Advanced real-time analytics without expensive custom systems has finally become available. The development of a business intelligence dashboard is allowing executives and leaders to see metrics in a simple and dynamic way. These real-time analytics are pulled from many different sources by the dashboard as needed. This is providing a powerful tool when making decisions or forming plans. Real-time business intelligence also helps to reveal areas in the company that require attention.
Social Media Marketing and Sales
Social media has become an effective sales and marketing platform in the last year. This is making it easier for businesses to reach out directly to consumers. It is even driving the mobile marketplace through new apps. Social media marketing and sales have created an environment where small and medium businesses can implement effective strategies that bypass traditionally costly channels. It has also provided the tools necessary to build a unique and personal brand that incorporates customer interaction.
Collaboration tools have grown in the last year from clunky collections of applications to streamlined suites. Groupware now gives businesses the ability to create personalized collections of assets for specific teams. It also makes it possible to collaborate directly through shared whiteboards, collective file editing and even interactive visualization tools. Businesses can collaborate with multiple experts, clients or other offices from any location in the world without needing to travel.
It is important for business owners to remain aware of how the technology in the marketplace is changing. Dynamic dashboards and managed cloud-based infrastructures are important tools that are being constantly refined. Taking the time to learn about what technology is available will help to keep a business ahead of the curve.
By Casey Haslem