SMB Tech Trends

If you run a small or medium-sized business, you want to stay up to speed on technology. You want to know about the latest tech trends, as well as best practices that enable your organization to stay productive.

This month we cover a range of bases, including security, the rise of chat apps, and real-time banking payments. We also discuss consumption-based IT, a pay-as-you-go model that promises SMBs greater flexibility in the way they access infrastructure, software, and services.

WannaCry not dead

If you thought the threat of WannaCry ransomware disappeared, think again. According to cybersecurity and antivirus provider Kaspersky Lab, WannaCry is still alive and kicking, and distributed by malicious parties. Their latest IT threat evolution report details that in Q3 2018, the ransomware accounted for nearly one-third of all Trojan attacks.

SMBs need to make sure their operating systems get updated with the latest security patches. It also remains essential to educate your staff about current cyber threats and how to avoid them.

Payment in real-time

Are you tired of waiting for your clients’ payments to come through? Say hello to improved cash flow by adopting an instant payments platform. These instant payments platforms settle money transfers in under 60 seconds. Setup is simple, and you’ll benefit from faster clearances. Check with your bank to see what they offer for making and receiving real-time payments.

Interact with clients on chat apps

People increasingly want to message a business instead of calling or emailing. Therefore, if your SMB sells goods or services, you need to be on these platforms. Apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp Business are two of the most prominent players in this space. These apps allow you to interact with people personally while providing lightning-fast customer service and driving sales. Facebook Messenger will enable you to customize welcome messages when a user begins a conversation. Meanwhile, with “Saved Replies,” you can program answers to common client questions.

Pay-as-you-go IT

How does your business pay for its IT services and infrastructure? Chances are you pay a fixed cost to a provider for your services and may well have invested in your on-premises IT infrastructure. Say goodbye to all that with consumption-based IT, a pay-as-you-go model where you only get billed for what you use. This flexibility can give you the agility to grow your business by deploying and scaling initiatives rapidly. It also reduces or eliminates the upfront costs of purchasing physical IT assets, something that can hamper growth for a smaller operation.

A creative tool for your branding

Last but not least, if you are branding or rebranding your SMB and you need an accessible design tool, check out Canva. The Australian-made, web-based design tool uses a simple, intuitive drag-and-drop interface that is super simple to use. Forget about confusing, expensive software and designers. Subscribe to their Canva for Work option. You also get additional tools over the freemium version, including team folders, a custom brand kit, and access to millions of stock photos.