7 Dec 2012

Top 3 Tech Trends Affecting Small Business in 2013


Technology and small business go hand-in-hand with one another. Small businesses have to constantly innovate in order to compete, and technology allows them to do so.

As we approach 2013, here are a few of the tech trends that we can expect to see impact small business the most.

Tech Trends in 2013
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1. Cloud Computing

At this point, just about everyone has heard of cloud computing and the revolution that it's supposed to bring with it. For those not familiar with the cloud, the premise is simple: Documents, spreadsheets and other files can all be stored on a remote server and then accessed from virtually any device. There are a number of cloud services on the market right now, and their impact on small business will be especially evident in 2013.

As we move into 2013, more and more small businesses are expected to make use of cloud computing. The benefits to companies are numerous: Cloud computing leads to increased mobility and flexibility, as well as the opportunity to reduce costs across the board.

Businesses that rely on cloud computing have to spend less on their IT infrastructure, making it possible to reallocate those resources towards the business. As cloud computing becomes more accessible in 2013, small businesses will take advantage.

2. Mobile POS

The point-of-sale system is critical to how nearly any private company does business. Without a reliable and accessible POS in place, business can hit a bottleneck. That's why, over recent years, many small companies have launched as online-only providers.

With the introduction of mobile POS systems, that dilemma may be forever resolved. These are services such as the ones provided by Square and Intuit, which allow companies to process credit card transactions on a device such as an iPhone or tablet instead of at a fixed terminal. The flexible rates charged by these companies means that it's possible for a business to accept card transactions, rather than operate on a cash-only basis.

This is bound to be a huge difference maker for small businesses. One of the inconveniences of doing business with a small company is the potential hurdles associated with payment methods that they accept. With the introduction of mobile POS systems, small businesses will finally be on a level playing field with everyone else.

3. 4G LTE

The high-speed wireless networks being deployed by Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T are set to reshape the way that small companies do business. LTE networks bring a new dimension of speed to the mobile arena, offering data that's up to ten times faster than most 3G networks.

For a small business, having ready access to such high speeds is a new luxury. There's no need to pay a premium for high speed access, and the connection is everywhere. A number of different devices can operate over LTE, meaning that small businesses will be more connected than ever as we move into 2013.

These are just a few of the trends that small businesses will be affected by. The wonder of technology is that it is ever-changing, and a new trend can spring up within a matter of weeks. Still, these three are the ones that seem certain to make a clear impact on small business next year.

   Monica Foster

About the Guest Author:

Monica Foster is a business accountant and guest author at Best Accounting Schools, a site with information about top-ranked online accounting schools.