Small businesses are the heartbeat of America. According to the US Small Business Administration, there are 30.2 million small businesses in the US, which makes up an astounding 99.9% of all businesses. Furthermore, they employ almost half of all US workers, with 47.5% of the US workforce employed by small businesses.
Although these incredible statistics show just how important small businesses are to the US, it’s no secret that running a small business is hard. Oftentimes, resources are strapped, budgets are tight, and human capital is minimal. Additionally, small businesses are continually up against industry giants who seemingly always have access to the resources and capital that many small businesses don’t.
To make ends meet, it’s easy to believe that many small businesses would run as tight a ship as possible by having only the bare minimum technology. However, research has actually been found to support the opposite. In Spicework’s 2018 State of IT report, small businesses are projected to make significant increases to their hardware budget, and the reported reasons behind their new technology purchases include:
- End of life (62% of responses)
- Business growth (57% of responses)
- End user needs (55%)
Small businesses see the value technology can provide for their organizations. So, even though resources may sometimes be tight, it doesn’t mean that small businesses aren’t using technology. It just means that they are being smart about the technology they are choosing.
In general, small businesses are always looking for new ways to be productive and efficient at as low of a cost as possible. That’s why technologies like mobile applications and the Cloud are so appealing.
The Rise of Mobile Applications
One survey found that in some parts of the world more than 94% of small to mid-sized enterprises use their smartphone to help manage their business. Why? Because mobile apps are efficient and inexpensive. Plus, being able to manage a business from the palm of your hand allows business owners and managers to experience a level of freedom that was non-existent even just 10 years ago.
But the Cloud is an entirely different beast.
The Impact of the Cloud
According to one survey, small businesses are expected to put more of their technology budget towards “cloud-based productivity solutions”.
This movement is due in part to the Cloud giving smaller businesses access to technologies that were seemingly unattainable in years past. Common restrictions like lack of IT staff, technical know-how, office space, and infrastructure are no longer issues thanks to emerging cloud technologies. Additionally, cloud services are often considered operating expenses, which eliminates the need for copious amounts of capital and resources to implement a new technology.
Moving Communications Technology to the Cloud
One of the technologies that are booming with the migration to the Cloud is the business phone system, or, better yet, its more evolved successor: the Unified Communications (UC) system. In fact, Gartner previously reported that the rate in which organizations deploy cloud telephony will more than double between 2016 through 2021.
For those unfamiliar with the term UC, UC systems take all the ways a business communicates (including voice, video, email, fax, IM, and more) and integrates them all into one solution. These types of systems are known to increase efficiency, boost productivity, enable greater collaboration, and improve customer satisfaction.
Before UC solutions were available in the Cloud, they were hands-off to many small businesses. However, with the introduction of the phenomenon known as UC as a Service (UCaaS), businesses can essentially subscribe to their UC system instead of buying it. That means even the smallest of businesses can now take advantage of the features and benefits of UC that were previously reserved for larger organizations with more resources.
UCaaS is a great example of the types of technologies that small businesses are investing in because they realize the value it provides their organization. Small businesses that are strapped for resources can cost-efficiently maximize their productivity through technology without needing to have a dedicated IT team.
Learn More about UCaaS
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits and logistics of implementing UCaaS, click here.