Running a small business is hard work, but there’s a host of tech-based solutions designed to make your life easier. As the pandemic has impacted the way business is conducted – possibly forever – implementing the right kind of technology will be necessary to improve your company’s performance.

For example, innovative and user-friendly communication and collaboration tools enable companies to operate across time zones without compromising on productivity. Meanwhile, cybersecurity threats are increasingly sophisticated, meaning you must protect your business to safeguard its future.

Tech Trends That Matter Most in 2021

Alongside the incredible growth of influencer marketing and rapid uptake of 5G technology, the ground beneath small businesses is shifting fast. Here, we explore some of the major tech trends from 2021 and highlight how you can get a headstart on the competition in 2022.

1. 5G Technology

The spread of 5G technology is already shaping the future of business. With this mobile network technology providing small businesses with up to 10 times faster speeds than 4G, this helps brands deliver everything from optimised app functionality to better customer service. M1’s True 5G services provide a lag-free experience for your team, so get on board to instantly maximise your performance .

2. Remote Work

Remote work has become crucial for businesses in 2021. While some companies have been eager to get staff back into the office, it remains to be seen whether things will ever go back to how they were before. A unified messaging gateway from TalariaX sendQuick Conversa means you can manage customer communication remotely across platforms from Facebook Messenger and Telegram to Microsoft Teams and Slack. Meanwhile, M1's Cloud UC and SME Hub will also improve your team’s collaborative potential through powerful storage and workflow solutions. These enterprise cloud solutions ensure that you can go mobile with ease while saving on upfront investments.

3. Integration Platforms

As companies seek cutting-edge technology to best competitors and reach customers, business integration platforms help to boost everyday efficiency. By automating tasks, centralising critical information, and aligning your technology with long-term goals, you can streamline your business.

IoT Managed Solutions from M1 can optimise your company’s utilities and track your delivery fleet's performance. Opening up an array of opportunities, the hyperconnectivity delivered by these IoT solutions is sure to boost productivity and growth.

4. Cybersecurity

The landscape of cybersecurity threats has become more complex than before, with hackers and malicious users having more opportunities to launch attacks. Take control of your business’ cybersecurity protocols with M1’s Smart Managed Security Firewall, with advanced malware detection and comprehensive reporting features. Plus, our Data Loss Protection services safeguard your company's private information and enhance your incident response capacity.

Other Managed Security Solutions like Cyber Threat Intelligence Monitoring and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) will also help towards the creation of a secure environment for your business to run.

Tech Tools Small Businesses Can Use to Their Advantage

Here, we cover some of the most popular options that help small businesses grow.

1. Collaboration Tools

As remote work shows no signs of going away, implementing collaborative solutions ensures your business reaches its targets. Microsoft 365, part of the SMB offerings under our SME Hub, is an affordable solution for e-mail, calendar, file storage, communication, and more. Plus, granting online access to apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint , it will definitely help your team collaborate more productively.

2. Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings have gone into overdrive over the last few years. Besides services like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx Meeting has proved to be one of the best. Part of the Talariax sendQuick Conversa single communication portal, it features screen sharing and great facilitator functions.

3. Instant Messaging

When decisions need to be made quickly, instant messaging is an incredible resource for small businesses. However, you'll want a tool that's secure and prevents key information from going missing. Skype for Business, which is included in the Microsoft 365 apps for business, remains a favourite choice, while Microsoft Teams has integration with many other services to streamline contact and engagement.

4. Project Management

There are many project management tools to ensure your team keeps track of each task's progress. Besides popular services like Asana and Monday, Trello is a free solution which is remarkably comprehensive. With a gentle learning curve, your team can easily enhance its efficiency.