Now that 2017 is behind our backs, it may be worthwhile to reflect on the trends that shaped the way small enterprises do business. Here is a quick overview:
Now that 2017 is behind our backs, it may be worthwhile to reflect on the major trends that shaped the way small enterprises do business.
Cloud technology has become widespread, whereas mobile payments have started to gain traction. In the meantime, small enterprises remain wary of investing in the Internet of Things (IoT) and other innovative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality. So, which are the main technology trends that affected small businesses in 2017?
Migrating to the Cloud
Cloud technology is no longer just a buzzword. It has been widely adopted by small businesses. In fact, more than half of all US-based small businesses now use at least one cloud app, including companies with less than 10 employees, according to statistics cited by BizTech.
“The cloud is coming of age.”, as Raymond Boggs, vice president of small and medium business (SMB) research at IDC told BizTech. “And users continue to add new cloud apps.“
As IDC stated, more than 70 percent of companies between 10 and 99 employees use cloud technology and more than 90 percent of companies between 100 and 499 employees do. Additionally, the cloud is helping small businesses adopt mobile technology as there is a synergy between the two, says Steve King, a partner at Emergent Research who spoke to the online media.
Mobile Payment Usage is Raising
Mobile wallet adoption is raising slightly, but still, the service is far from becoming mainstream, according to research conducted by PYMNTS.com.
Walmart Pay has the highest usage at 5.95%, while Apple Pay has second highest at 5.7%, slightly higher than last quarter. The lowest usage at 1.8% is measured for Android Pay. The latter has shown a bit higher results the previous quarter. Overall, the authors of the study concluded: “Mobile wallets, as they currently stand, aren’t knocking consumer’s socks off.”
However, King commented that in his view mobile payments at small businesses did mature last year. He reportedly foresees that they will increasingly become mainstream over the next year or two as younger and more tech-savvy groups will emerge.
Newer technologies are slowly entering the scene
While more companies expect to increase their technology budgets, small businesses are less likely to invest in IT staff and newer technologies than larger enterprises.
“Currently, 29% of organizations have adopted IoT, 18% have adopted VR, and 13% have adopted AI.”, as Spicework`s report named “the 2018 State of IT ” explains.
Still, bigger enterprises are more likely to invest in emerging technologies than smaller enterprises. As the authors of the report write: “In fact, about 30% of organizations with 1,000+ employees say they’ve adopted AI, and an additional 25% plan to adopt it next year.”
It is to be seen whether innovative technologies like AI, VR, and IoT will be adopted by mainstream small organizations that are not particularly focused on technology. The experts say it is unlikely. But the new year may bring new trends. Let us wait and see.