The technology you adopt for your business should be relevant to your industry, whether you’re primarily online or not and consider whether you have the in-house expertise to implement and maintain multiple cloud-based solutions.
Too often, founders or owners hastily buy an expensive SaaS, or cloud-based application, to solve a problem. Often, many founders recommend you create a manual process for employees to use until it can’t scale with your needs as a company first.
Also, without an employee championing it throughout your company, many companies find themselves locked into a contract, and the software not being used by employees as it was intended. These are all important things to consider outside of what you need the software to actually do.
Another great piece of advice; talk to founders or owners in your industry or attend industry trade shows to find out what kinds of software market leaders can’t live without. Read software reviews on sites like Software Advice or Capterra. Unbiased reviews from actual users is paramount to finding the right fit for your business as well.
In the meantime, we’re covering which categories of technology SMBs are prioritizing. This, too, will help guide you in your decision making process.
According to a recent survey by Capterra, these are the top 10 tech budget priorities for SMBs:
- Finance and accounting - 54%
- Cloud computing - 48%
- Data and information security - 47%
- HR software - 43%
- Project management - 40%
- CRM - 38%
- BI and analytics - 35%
- Mobile business - 33%
- Internet of Things - 26%
Now, let’s review these numbers in brief. Naturally, if you’re in business, you need accounting software to track your expenses, which is why you see that prioritized by many as number one. There’s really no one that argue against that one, whether you’re a company of three, 300 or you’re self employed. Death and taxes are inevitable, just in case you need a friendly reminder.
The second most apparent spend that every company can benefit from is cloud computing, such as data storage, and a CRM (Customer Relationship Management), which helps you capture and maintain customer and prospect data.
CRMs help you better serve your customers and maintain customer and prospect data in marketing campaigns. The more data points you collect on either customers or prospects, the easier it will be for you to target specific groups, which is why you see digital marketing as the fourth highest priority.
Naturally, every company is concerned about backing up their own data due to the innumerable security breaches companies endure each year. Your customers want you to keep their personal data safe and secure, which is why data and information security is the third most prioritized tech spend.
Imagine if you lost all of your company data due to a fire or malicious virus, would you be able to operate the following day? If not, you need to work on a plan to get you there. This is why you need to backup your company data daily and follow information security best practices.
The mobile category is worth mentioning due to the amount of time we spend on smartphones and mobile devices today. It depends on your business type as to how deep your mobile capabilities need to go, but every business needs a site that renders on mobile.
If you’re in B2B or B2C eCommerce space, you certainly need to make buying easy and possible on mobile as well. Some eCommerce companies and wholesale distributors have created mobile apps for their customers, who may not often be desktop bound. You have to make your services available where your customers are, not where you are.
Finally, functional teams and areas, if significant in scale, will likely request they adopt cloud-based apps that help them better manage marketing, human resources (think the hiring process) or project management, if you’re a startup software company. And, you may find companies adopting IoT (Internet of Things) if they inventory a large volume of expensive assets that are used by employees. A trucking company, for example, may need IoT devices to help them track their fleet and deliveries.
Again, it all depends on what stage your company is in, your industry and what business processes could be improved that would have the best impact. If you’d like to learn our journey and how Systum has helped companies determine what kind of technology they should adopt, fill out the form below.