The Australian business landscape is changing faster than most businesses can keep up with. It feels like everything is changing all the time. So, we understand how hard maintaining a rapid pace of change is.
That’s why we’re about to make your life easier by listing the top 5 technology trends that’ll boost your business in 2024.
Workplace AI: Your Friendly Robot Helper
Workplace AI will seamlessly integrate itself into the business landscape in 2024. You’ll use it as a collaborative digital assistant for your daily operations. The AI revolution is upon us. And it’s small to medium businesses (SMBs) that are leading the charge to workplace AI.
You’ll gain the following benefits from workplace AI:
- Freed time
You can use chatbots to handle everything from customer support to appointment scheduling and report generation. That’ll save you precious time to redirect to other high-value activities.
Studies show that 61% of employees become more productive after using AI to supplement their work. This increased efficiency makes your workforce more productive.
- Boosting Productivity
Use AI-powered tools, including AI-powered analytics, to identify inefficiencies in your workflow. You can then optimise your work processes. This way, you’ll improve your operations and reduce expenses.
As an SMB, you should use AI to enhance your organisation’s overall productivity. You want to use AI to optimise the use of every resource.
- Personalising Customer Experiences
You can use AI to tailor offers and recommendations for your customers. The personalised approach you provide will increase customer engagement and loyalty.
You can use your understanding of customer preferences to create meaningful interactions with your customers. This way, you can stay competitive in today’s market.
- Enhancing Creativity
You can use AI to analyse data and give you inspiration. There’s a collaborative dynamic between AI insights and human creativity. You can use it for solving new problems.
That said, you shouldn’t use AI as a replacement for human skills. It’s instead an augmentation of human skills. You can use workplace AI to empower your team’s creativity and potential.
You can use AI for automation and innovation to lead your company to a tech-driven future.
Cloud is one of 2024’s more transformative technologies for small and medium businesses (SMBs). Cloud is flexible, scalable, and cost-effective. So you can use it as an alternative to a traditional office setup.
- Remote Work Flexibility:
SMBs benefit massively from remote work. Using cloud computing lets your teams remotely access files and applications from anywhere and at any time.
That way, your team can access their work files from anywhere, whether at their homework desk or the office. You want to take advantage of this trend to build a truly flexible workforce.
- Reduced IT Costs:
You don’t need to maintain expensive on-site infrastructure anymore. You can use cloud computing solutions to have your IT concerns handled externally.
In fact, 41% of employees claim that cloud computing reduced costs between 10 to 25%. Another 19% reported between 25 to 50% savings. And 27% reported a cost reduction of only 10%.
Use this financial efficiency to better allocate resources for strategic benefits.
The pay-as-you-go model of cloud computing lets you effortlessly scale up your infrastructure when you need it. This scalability provides your business with the agility to adapt to changing requirements.
You also optimise resource allocation and cost minimisation.
- Enhanced Security
Your digital security is extremely important in today’s world. You need to protect your digital security with secure cloud providers. Employing a high-security cloud solution provides you with the most peace of mind.
You’ll also maximise your data integrity.
You can start migrating to the cloud with small specific functions, like your email. Following an incremental approach lets you smoothly transition your business to the cloud.
Cyber attacks are increasingly dangerous in today’s age. This is especially so since SMBs like yours are their most frequent target. You must protect yourself with a proactive approach involving building your cyber defences.
Here’s how you’ll do it
- Invest in cybersecurity tools
Acquire relevant cybersecurity tools, including firewalls and anti-viruses. You’ll use these tools to create a shield to protect your business from cyber threats.
- Train your team
You need to also train your team because they’re your best defence against attackers. So, teach your team not to share confidential information like passwords. Teach them to recognise phishing threats and how to react to cyber-attacks.
- Regularly back up your data
Even with the best defence, your company will still experience cyber attacks. The best way to recover from such attacks is to prepare. The best way to defend your company is to back up your data.
Right now, 54% of people report data loss, but only 10% actually back up their data. You should regularly back up your data to minimise downtime and potential data loss.
- Work with cybersecurity firms
Sometimes, you may need outside help for your cybersecurity. Consider partnering with a cybersecurity firm to gain a tailored solution to your concerns. They will provide you with professional support.
Another advantage of working with cybersecurity firms is that they’re typically more cost-effective than building your own cybersecurity team.
- Cybersecurity is ongoing
Cybersecurity isn’t a one-time solution. It’s an ongoing process. The digital landscape constantly evolves over time. That means cyber threats evolve over time, too. So, you have to proactively improve your cybersecurity over time.
You have to constantly improve your digital defences to stay effective. So, maintain the mindset that cybersecurity is an ongoing process. It never stops.
Digitisation is more important in 2024 than ever before. It’s one of the best ways to compete in today’s market. You can do this with the following:
- Automate repetitive tasks
According to one survey, your employees waste as much as four and a half hours weekly on tasks that can be automated. Freeing your teams from these responsibilities will give your team more time and resources to focus on strategic work.
Automating repetitive tasks also conserves your team’s energy for more important activities. So you’ll also experience improvements in team morale.
- Embrace online marketing
You need to use digital marketing in today’s age. Employ social media platforms and marketing strategies to engage with customers online. You’ll also improve your brand awareness and increase sales.
Online marketing is extremely effective when done right because it lets you reach massive audiences.
- Use data analytics
Use data analytics to identify trends and make data-driven decisions. Data analytics objectively proves which business decisions you should make.
Use data analytics to better understand your customer’s behaviour and tweak your strategies to their needs.
For example, use data analytics on your online marketing to evaluate your marketing performance.
- Investing in Collaboration Tools:
Hybrid and remote work are extremely common today. You likely have a hybrid setup, too. You can improve your remote work by investing in collaboration tools to improve remote work.
Collaboration tools break down geographical borders and increase inefficiency. So heavily use them to improve collaboration in your business.
The hybrid model is a permanent feature of today’s business landscape. You need to adapt to it by making the right investments.
- Get your team the right tools.
Your team needs the right tools to successfully build an effective hybrid work culture. These tools include reliable internet connections and good video conferencing software.
Once you provide your team with these tools, they’ll maximise their remote work goals.
- Prioritise cybersecurity
You need to secure your network and employee devices to maximise the benefits of remote work for your company. 43% of cyber attacks today exclusively attack small businesses.
You need a proactive approach because it’s the best defence against cyber attacks. Without it, you’ll leave your company vulnerable to potential attacks from malicious actors.
- Prioritise communication
You need clear communication to maintain a disciplined and efficient work environment. Achieve this by establishing clear expectations and communication channels. Your team should know exactly what they’re expected to achieve, how, and when.
They should also know how and who to communicate with if they have questions or problems. This way, you’ll maximise unity among your team and ensure progress isn’t hindered by geographic constraints.
- Adopt flexibility
Today’s businesses need to be flexible because today’s workforce is hybrid. You have to promote a healthy work-life balance and ensure your workforce performs their best.
You’ll do that by providing your employees with the right tools to work on-site and from home. You’ll also provide flexible schedules that reflect your employee’s unique needs and positions.
By embracing flexibility, you’ll create an environment where your employees perform at their best.
To sum it all up, 2024 is a transformative year for Australian SMBs. Specifically, it’s the year for digital transformation and hybrid work culture. These transformations lead to improved efficiency, better customer experiences, and your business becoming more competitive.
That said, they’re not easy to adopt. You might struggle with them. If so, consider contacting PowerbITs for a free consultation. We’ll help you take your SMB into 2024 with a tailored approach.