Technology moves at a fast pace. What was once state of the art can quickly become obsolete. What was the best practice last year might not be good advice this year.
If 2020 taught us one thing, it was the need to adapt. It's important in business and it's vital when it comes to your business technology.
We have highlighted some technology trends that can be a benefit for your business in 2021.
Video calling and conferencing
Yes, video calling was a staple of 2020 as most of us were forced to work from home. While there is better news expected in 2021 it will take time. So video calls and meeting are here to stay for at least a little bit longer.
Although digital connectivity will likely stay around even when we get back to 'normal'. Video connection has brought virtual teams closer and they have also allowed us to host sales meetings no matter where the client is.
There is a good chance that businesses will want to continue some sort of remote working. There is also a good chance that in an attempt to save time and unnecessary travel sales meetings could stay over video.
Consider this scenario. You have a sales meeting booked in one town and one booked in another town. For many that might wipe out your whole day. However, if those meetings are done online, via video, not only can you easily fit them in but you have scope to host a lot more.
So in 2021, you might want to consider spending more money on your video calling capabilities.
There is no way around it, cybersecurity is vital to your business. In fact, it gets more important with each year.
While your business will be looking at new technology solutions to help with productivity and improve your processes that must go hand in hand with cybersecurity.
BullGuard offer anti-virus and VPN solutions. Their research has shown that nearly 60 per cent of small business owners believe it's unlikely they will be victim to a cyberattack.
That is simply not the case. Every 14 seconds a business will be victim to a ransomware attack. In 2021 it is predicted to be 11 seconds. Kaspersky Labs estimate the cost of a small hack at $85,500 (£63,358).
You can take these steps to protect your business from cyberattacks:
Regularly update your software
The majority of updates are to fix newly found security issues. If you aren't regularly installing your updates you are not fixing those security issues and leaving yourself vulnerable.
Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication
Most employees will not be using strong passwords for their devices and accounts. By using stronger passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA) you can greatly increase your overall security. You can find out more about strong passwords and multi-factor authentication here.
Educate your staff
88 per cent of UK data breaches are caused by human error. Educating your staff about the threats your business will face will help greatly. Even just letting them know what to do when they receive a phishing email will be a massive win for your business.
Hire an IT security expert
The level of threat to any size business means you should strongly consider outsourcing your cybersecurity to an IT security expert. Most businesses don't have the time or knowledge to adequately protect your business.
As you would use an accountant to manage your money it's equally important to fully protect your business and the best option will be to outsource your cybersecurity.
However, once you do outsource stay aware of what your security looks like. Using the accountant example again you don't hire an accountant and then never check your bank balance. The same goes for your cybersecurity.
Another top business trend in 2021 will be automation. As more businesses are evaluating their process they are finding the value of automation.
Automation processes and tasks is a good way businesses can save money and avoid waste.
There have already been quite a few shifts in this direction from warehouses and supply chains. Chatbots that automatically take over customer service inquiries are already in use and that popularity is growing.
With the enforced move to remote working in 2020 businesses leaned on the cloud more heavily than ever.
With the rise in e-commerce, there is also a rise in the use of cloud-based platforms. Cloud-native technology will continue to power digital transformation: by the end of 2021 60 per cent of companies will leverage containers on public cloud platforms.
We relied on technology in new ways in 2020. Must of it was forced upon us initially but businesses might have stumbled upon new ways of working.