Top three small-business technology predictions for 2020

Businesses are more diverse today than they’ve ever been. By serving new customer segments and offering unique services, they require the support of a growing range of technologies, both familiar and cutting-edge.

And in response, software providers are delivering advanced cloud systems with flexible payment options that are customized for each individual company.

This is great news for small-business leaders, who now have more control to adopt, customize, and integrate technology to fit their needs. Three predictions show how this will work in the next decade.

Most small businesses will use cloud software and curate their own toolset in 2020

Today, people have 1,000 TV shows at their fingertips and every restaurant can deliver – it’s no surprise that consumer expectations are more demanding than ever. Thanks to the cloud, tech providers can now offer flexible, affordable systems that can deliver on the benefits of traditional software without the cumbersome installation process or massive upfront payments.

It’s easy for business leaders to adopt a new customer relationship management (CRM) system with a hand-picked selection of features, then integrate it with a completely different marketing tool to run the most effective campaigns. In 2020, this will be the norm for more than 80 percent of small businesses.

Testing one cloud system then switching to another is similar to jumping from one show on Netflix to another on Hulu: tailoring the perfect tech setup to your business is low-cost, low-commitment, and can happen on demand.

Advanced, affordable analytics tools let small businesses leverage big data

On-demand software implementation helps level the technology playing field, allowing smaller companies with fewer IT resources to use tools similar to those of their biggest competitors.

The lowest-hanging fruit for many companies is to finally leverage the data they produce. In fact, according to our latest survey, small business adoption of analytics and BI tools has doubled in the past two years.

It’s an incredible benefit to be able to spot trends in your own data and take action. Say you manage a fleet of HVAC technicians; a quick analysis of job completion times can show exactly who takes longer and how to optimize truck routes for an immediate boost to productivity.

These kinds of rapid improvements are practically impossible without modern BI software, and today, modern BI software starts as low as $10/month

Companies will crowdsource an entire year off their software search

Finding software is easy, but finding the right software isn’t. When we surveyed software seekers, we found their search takes about two years on average, with anywhere from three months to a year spent on comparing a few vendors or products.

After consulting with internal experts, 35 per cent of buyers start evaluating software with third-party research and reviews. These buyers will be able to reduce the time it takes to find the right system by an entire year through 2020 and beyond.

The business world moves quickly, and leaders don’t have the time to sift through, for example, more than 650 CRM products without assistance. Software Advice exists for this reason—to streamline this process so buyers can identify and implement new technology before their competitors.

In 2020, software buyers have more power than ever to adopt affordable, tailored technology, and those who take advantage of expert research and reviews will thrive in the next decade.

Blake Clark, General Manager, Software Advice

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