Welcome to Small In Name Only: Tech Trends for Growing Businesses!
If you're running a business, there's nothing 'small' about it. The stakes and risks are actually higher for your operation than they are for enterprises, because you have to weigh every expenditure and do without in-house expertise for many IT functions.
At the same time, opportunities are more plentiful than they've been in a long time. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to some interesting developments for business.
For example, ZDNet columnist Vala Afshar reports that customers aren't as loyal to brands as they were in the past. A recent McKinsey study finds that three-quarters of US consumers have switched away from preferred vendors because of convenience, availability, or quality.
The same report suggests that digital engagement is the single best way for companies to reach customers. Even once vaccines are ubiquitous, eCommerce is still the first choice for most. "Many consumers plan to continue to shop online even when stores open safely," Afshar writes.
The 'stay-at-home' trend is going to impact consumers and businesses alike for the foreseeable future. In 2020, work-from-home became the norm for millions of Americans. Now that companies are starting to think about reopening their offices and polling employees about what they'd prefer, more than two-thirds of workers say they would like to work from home full-time or follow a hybrid schedule of some days in the office and some at home each week.
How does a growing business pivot to embrace these trends?
In an August 2020 Salesforce survey of 2,300 small (2-20 employees) and midsize (21-200) businesses, 72 percent said they are optimistic about the future, despite the volatility and uncertainty of the pandemic. The top challenges to growth identified by the survey were acquiring new customers, planning for the long term, and retaining existing customers.
Not surprisingly, growing businesses are turning to technology to address those challenges. Fifty-five percent said that technology drives their customer interactions, 51 percent said it helps build their customer base, and 48 percent said it influences their ability to stay open and in business.
As a smart business professional, you know that technology adoption will empower you to reach new markets, engage with customers more effectively, manage back-end systems more efficiently, and thrive in this shifting landscape. But, as we mentioned earlier, you're not an IT expert. The respondents to the Salesforce survey addressed that point very clearly. Three-quarters said 'ease of use' is their top priority when evaluating technology, and 73 percent called out 'trustworthiness of vendor.'
That brings us to Dell Technologies. Thousands of small businesses rely on Dell Technologies for hardware, software, services, and expert advice. And we're proud to partner with Dell and give you access to insightful technologists and analysts here at the SINO blog. Our century-plus of collective experience can help guide your technology choices.
Over the coming weeks and months, we'll address questions such as:
Am I ready for a server?
How can I ensure our data is backed up?
How do I keep remote workers – and remote data – secure?
How can cloud fit into my strategy?
Can we be getting more out of mobile tech?
We know that "small business" covers a wide range of industries, focus areas, and even organizational structures, from two-person startups to multinational firms. This content hub will serve as a practical, insightful resource for you, delivering authoritative guidance when you're considering the hardware, software, and services that will take your operations to the next level.
The diverse team of technology, business, and security experts we've assembled specializes in analyzing IT trends, explaining them for business audiences, and distilling them into actionable insights. And we hope you'll share your perspectives, as well, as we build out our community. In the meantime, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback.
Thanks for reading this far, and welcome aboard!