By Margie Zable Fisher
If you’re reading this, you’re already using several types of technology. Yes, it’s clear — technology is an ever-growing part of our personal and business lives. And it seems like we hear about a new tech innovations every day.
But unless you’re a tech guru, it’s hard to find the time to learn how each innovation benefits your small business.
We’ve identified top tech innovations of 2023 that are useful to all small businesses, including industries we support.
Impacts: All Industries
We hear often about cybersecurity attacks on big companies including Facebook, First American Financial and Capital One. But small businesses are increasingly affected by this, too.
According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, in 2021, it received 847,376 complaints regarding cyberattacks and malicious cyber activity. The majority were targeted at small businesses, which led to almost $7 billion in losses.
The bottom line: Cybersecurity is an important tech innovation for every size of business, and all businesses are looking to limit their security breaches and potential financial losses.
A top strategic technology trend in this area is “cybersecurity mesh,” or cybersecurity mesh architecture (CSMA). It is a system of tools that work together to secure networks through multiple security checkpoints.
Gartner predicts by 2024 organizations that implement this technology will lessen the financial impact of security attacks by an average of 90 percent.
Impacts: All Industries
While the pandemic has increased the usage of cloud-based computing options, the majority (51%) of non-tech small businesses start with location-based infrastructure.
What’s preventing traditional small companies from adopting this technology? A combination of limited or no technical staff, cost and concerns about training and the complexity of services.
One area of cloud computing that small businesses seem to be embracing is industry cloud platforms, such as Thryv. They provide a combination of software as a service or SaaS, platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to assist specific industries.
Benefits of cloud computing include:
- Making it easy to test ideas without hardware limitations.
- Providing businesses more flexibility to quickly scale resources without having to invest in physical infrastructure.
- Ability to pay for the resources you actually use.
- The data needed being accessible anywhere at any time instead of being accessible at a location or on specific devices.
- Advanced security features, centralized management and automatic maintenance provide protection.
- Available backup and disaster recovery features to prevent data loss in the event of an emergency.
Comprehensive platforms alleviate small business concerns by offering onboarding and training, an easy-to-use interface and ongoing technical support.
Impacts: Home Services
The combination of the pandemic’s need for fewer in-person visits and the labor shortage has likely fueled the increase in the use of drones for home service providers.
But the biggest factor in this jump might be the favorable financials. When it comes down to it, drones can save construction companies up to 20 times the cost of traditional means of surveying — assisting companies in easily and inexpensively creating topographic maps using software programs.
Drones benefit the roofing industry by:
- Offering a safer alternative than sending a person on the roof. This is especially true in areas that are difficult for a roofer to access.
- Eliminating human error, leading to much more accurate assessments.
- Saving time. While traditional roof assessments may take several days, an aerial drone can fly over any type of roof and take photos within hours or minutes.
- Providing a less expensive offer when compared to the cost of equipment and manpower to get a team successfully on top of a roof.
Impacts: Law industry and businesses in need of writing help
You may be wondering if ChatGPT, the new Artificial Intelligence tool, is something that can help your business. Derek Jacques says yes.
“One of the best innovations small businesses can leverage in 2023 is ChatGPT,” says Jacques, Attorney and Owner of The Mitten Law Firm.
One of the most valuable ways ChatGPT can serve your small business is through content creation and brainstorming ideas.
“While AI still has a long way to go in making content relevant, and issues of plagiarism do exist, it is still a fantastic tool for helping small businesses research topics that they can then create content around,” Jacques says.
“Especially in the legal field, where much of the information law firms need to create blog posts or website content is boilerplate and isn’t changing at a dynamic pace.”
A word from the wise, you’ll want a human handy to edit the details and add personalization. This will help the content avoid plagiarism issues, index better with Google and help with SEO.
When it comes to this tech innovation, outside of creating blog content, ChatGPT is great for:
- Video scripts
- Social media posts
- SEO keywords
- Planning a marketing campaign
- Slogan ideas
- Business proposals
If businesses can use AI technology like ChatGPT to benefit their small business in any way, it’s worth giving it a try.
Remote Connected Patient Care
Impacts: Medical Services
The pandemic increased interest in remote patient care, but it’s predicted that in 2023 we will see wider adoption of tech innovations that enables remote patient care.
From apps that track patients’ lifestyle, diet and medication to wearable tech and the AI attached that analyzes massive amounts of data to call out patterns and predictions. Tools that can change a patient’s condition closer to real-time have the potential to increase efficiency, improve outcomes and cut costs.
This technology is especially useful for healthcare providers with patients who have difficulty coming into an office.
While no single tech innovation will likely dominate the other, implementing these tech innovations will help businesses grow, save time and become more profitable. Get started by locking in the tools to revolutionize your business this year.