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With a new year less than a week away, we thought we’d highlight some of the top technology trends set to help business owners in 2013.
1. Mobility. Recent numbers are showing that the number of smart phones sold in 2011 exceeded the number of PCs sold. This is a sure sign that an increasingly mobile workforce is emerging, and that companies will no doubt learn to use mobile devices more effectively. Smart phones and tablets will be leveraged more heavily as businesses move beyond using them just for simple communications. Sales teams will use mobile devices to input and access sales information on-the-go, and collaboration tools such as conference calling and web conferencing via mobile will enable faster and more strategic responses to real-time business needs. Beyond email and web browsing, mobile business apps can let off-site workers maximize productivity on the go and better manage the dual demands of business and personal life.
2. Cloud: Typically small and medium-sized businesses have been slow to adopt the cloud, but that could change in 2013 as they leverage the lower cost of delivery and mobility afforded by cloud based technology. The cloud can offer more efficient approaches to anything from accounting to payroll to legal counsel. For small and micro businesses especially, the cloud offers lower barriers to entry for phone, fax, web, mail server, and data backup purchases.
3. Integrated Systems: Tools and systems that work collaboratively will replace disconnected systems. Integrating email marketing with customer relationship management services and social media tools, for instance, will allow sales and marketing organizations to easily execute campaigns and track the results, all within a single application, as well as drive faster sales cycles and more cost-effective customer acquisition.