Contrary to popular opinion, there will be news other than the presidential election this year. Here are 3 top tech trends that will impact businesses in 2020 and beyond:
The question, for midsize and small business is do we need more — can we get more — Bandwidth? For most, the answer is yes.
Recall Moore’s Law. Computer processing power will basically double every couple of years. That forecast, offered by Intel’s co-founder Gordon Moore a half century ago, and that law seems outdated or even dead by today’s standards, because it was based on hardware and physical engineering.
Today’s trend is to move small business computing into the cloud. Our software solutions aren’t being performed by our computers so much as displayed by our computers. With the rise of cloud-based platforms, business computing requires higher bandwidth internet connections.
As recently as 2014 the FCC defined broadband as 4 megabits per second (Mbps) or greater download speeds. Today, the threshold is 25 Mbps down. Cloud computing, Software as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud storage, along with artificial intelligence and virtual reality, are driving new bandwidth requirements.
For Moore, it was the size of computer processing chips that determined capability — a physical piece of hardware. Future business trends in 2020 and beyond will arrive by way of remote servers and cloud computing. Small businesses have an opportunity for high-tech solutions, if they invest in high bandwidth.
Gigabit Internet isn’t table stakes yet, but it will be. And 5G capabilities are just beginning to unfold. Businesses need to get an early advantage with these technologies.
Video Me Your Sales Pitch
When it comes to getting your message out, from marketing to internal collaboration to customer meetings, video is the growing trend in 2020 for small business.
“Small businesses that master YouTube marketing see a big impact on their customer engagement,” says the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Video content is one of the most powerful ways to reach customers. According to industry analysts, YouTube is the second largest search engine, processing more than 3 billion searches per month.”
In terms of a small business opportunity, the rise of built-in cameras capable of HD video is powering simplified and high quality face-to-face communication.
Unified communications solutions such as our own Jive, YipTel or other solutions seamlessly integrate video capabilities into phone calls and conferencing.
For B2B enterprises, “virtual meetings” offer your experts flexibility to engage with customers more often. Internally, video conferencing brings together remote workers, or fleets of traveling sales people. The same holds true for screen sharing. Screen sharing today isn’t just the easiest way to onboard new team members but, often, make presentations for clients and gatekeepers.
Great small business communication involves telling and showing.
Mobile First Mindset
Tech trends in 2020 will increasingly be mobile, or deployed with a mobile-first mindset. Websites and payment methods, collaboration, employee access and business applications must work seamlessly across devices and enable access from any internet connection.
Communications and collaboration are also going mobile. No more missed opportunities or stalled projects just because business, or life, takes employees away from their desk. VoIP features allow employees to work from anywhere.
- Mobile “twinning” — an incoming call option that rings a desktop or laptop as well as a mobile number.
- Instant messaging for quick queries and directions. (Emails can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. Instant messages have a much higher response rate.)
- Conferencing you can record. Webinars and slide decks are not just for large corporations anymore, increasingly they are the stuff of small business YouTube channels.
- Finally, presence or availability so members of work teams know who’s around without anyone having to ask, “Are you available?” Whether the goal is to share a screen or transfer a phone call, just knowing someone is free without having to ask is a problem solved!
The continued rise, and now supremacy, of mobile has given way to another parallel trend — the convenience culture. Competitive small businesses need to be “always on” because customers expect to interact at their convenience. Businesses that successfully and seamlessly provide customer service via multiple channels will prevail. Business leaders and IT specialists must enable employees to provide high-level customer service from multiple devices, locations and channels — text message, chat, phone, social media, email, etc.
Learn more about VoIP features such as Presence Management by clicking the button below.