TechTalk Detroit Ep. 6: Top Small Business Tech Trends To Watch In 2020
On the sixth episode of TechTalk Detroit hosts Chuck Lobert & Brian Spurgeon discuss the top small business tech trends to watch in 2020.
Consumer and business technology are always changing. In hopes of finding the next groundbreaking innovation for users, market leaders continually push the boundaries of current technology. For a small business owner — or even just as a personal consumer — it can be difficult to keep up.
Artificial Intelligence – The Top Small Business Tech Trends To Watch In 2020
Artificial intelligence is a technology that allows computers to correctly make decisions that would otherwise be left up to users. The two primary popular forms this has taken in the consumer and business worlds to date include:
- Machine-learning, which exponentially improves the frequency with which it makes correct decisions by accumulating data and repeating processes (i.e., it “learns” by rote)
- Speech-based technology that can understand spoken word in multiple languages, allowing it to execute tasks by verbal input (e.g., Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant)
“There are lots of things you can do with artificial intelligence; the possibilities are endless,” says Brian. “The hold up has always been the price.”
By investing in this technology as a service, small businesses can benefit from an economy of scale. You just pay for access to artificial intelligence solutions, instead of having to pay outright to own them or develop them internally.
AI can be applied to small business technology and processes in the following ways:
- CRM: A key application of Artificial Intelligence will be in Customer Relationship Management. An effective CRM system gathers all crucial company information on customer interactions in one place for analysis and reporting, allowing savvy business managers and owners to learn what they’ve done well and what they could improve on. As vital as standard CRM is, just imagine how much more effective it could be when supported by Artificial Intelligence?
- Smart Cybersecurity: Security based on advanced algorithms that can adapt and learn creates a system that can become familiar with the usual patterns associated with each user and device, detecting anomalies in those patterns quickly. Essentially, something known as a neural net can be used in cybersecurity efforts. Based on a robust algorithm, the neural net can “learn” to spot patterns of data associated with previously identified and classified spear-phishing emails.By incorporating this technology into an email client’s spam filter, the filter will be able to spot fraudulent incoming emails and eliminate them before they reach the recipient.One of the best parts of neural nets is that they continue to learn and improve the more that they are used. With increasingly more data to draw from, this Artificial Intelligence will become more and more accurate in doing its job. Investing in Artificial Intelligence technology is critical, as machines can respond much more quickly to the way these attacks are adapting.
- Automation: Lastly, Chuck and Brian talked about automation and how machine learning plays an enormous role in optimizing workflows and predicting problems before they occur. With workflows based in the cloud, you can automate or semi-automate many processes:
- Use analytics to predict problems before they arise.
- Automate and monitor work and maintenance schedules.
- Track and optimize work-in-progress on sites using sensors that monitor downtime.
“Ultimately, when you start small and look at your basic processes, and start building out automation where you can, you’re going to start to see the benefits of it,” says Brian. “It’s one of the best ways to make your company more efficient and more productive.”
Modernizing your business doesn’t have to be a massive restructuring of the way you do business. Step by step, you can affect these changes, either by talking to your staff about mobile device use for work or consulting with Vision Computer Solutions about how to harness newer technologies.