Which Technology Upgrades Should Your Business Make?

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Although we’re past the holiday season and New Year’s celebration, 2018 is just getting underway. That means there’s still a lot of time to make significant decisions for your business in the coming year – especially when it comes to technology.

Most businesses view technology as a double-edged sword. Making the right investments can reduce long-term costs and greatly increase productivity. On the other hand, getting locked into the wrong technology can create an ongoing burden for your business. If you want to accomplish the former and avoid the latter, take note of the following two technology upgrades to avoid, along with three you should strongly consider.

2 Examples of Tech Upgrades to Avoid (for Now)

There’s a lot of talk around new and emerging technology trends. From AI and virtual reality to advances in payment processing, how do you know which to make a true investment in and which to ignore altogether?

These two examples are probably a safe bet to ignore – but keep an eye on them! Though the technology that drives these trends isn’t profitable now, future advances may make them worth it in the future.

1. Chatbots

Although chatbots saw a huge enterprise push last year, little has actually come from this tech. In fact, several large companies actually gave up on their chatbot initiatives. The software is costly and not advanced enough to actually satisfy typical user intent. Their purpose is mainly to close sales, but when users interact with them, they are either still in the early research phase and not ready to make a purchase, or are simply looking for customer service help. This renders chatbots not only relatively useless for most companies, but frustrating for the users who engage with them.

2. Blockchain

While blockchain technology is very interesting and will likely have a big impact down the line, it’s still too early for most SMBs to see any meaningful results from it. Blockchain’s greatest claim to fame is managing the databases that record cryptocurrency transactions. Cryptocurrency stock has had roller coaster rises and falls in recent weeks and it’ll probably take years before it’s recognized as a real form of currency – if at all.

3 Technology Upgrades to Make in 2018

That’s not to say all tech trends are bad for business! The three following examples are probably already paying off for your business if you’ve already begun the process – if you haven’t, this year is the year to start.

1. The Cloud

Not only has this technology, which hosts your files and information over the internet, become highly reliable, but competition has driven costs way down. If you’re still dealing with the limits of local storage, this is the year to securely put your data in the cloud. This will enable your business to grow from anywhere, your employees to access and share necessary files from anywhere and for you to cut costs on servers, local computers and even office space.

2. Marketing Automation

Marketing automation can yield substantial results for your business. With the goal of segmenting your leads and customers based on their actions instead of lumping them all in a single group, this type of intelligent grouping makes it much easier to fine tune all of the marketing messages you send out.

Keep in mind, there are a lot of different options in this space, so it’s worth taking some time to compare different vendors and find the solution that’s ideal for your business. In the end, it could help drive customer acquisition, customer retention and overall brand recognition and awareness.

3. Payment Processing

Do you have the right payment processor in place? The right processing technology partner can impact your business by improving customer experience and reducing overall costs. Reliable and easy to use payment processing technology will make your customers very happy, making check out processes a breeze and reducing the time they’re required to spend in-store. And, by reducing costs, not only can you save on every transaction, but the right technology can prevent problems like downtime and outages.

If you want to explore what kind of payment processing technology is available, we encourage you to take a look at our list of the industry’s top processors.

 

 

Posted on Wednesday, February 7th, 2018