The digital transformation started among so many small businesses over the past few years rages on, as businesses realize the benefits they can reap—including better customer experience and higher productivity—by investing in the right technology.
What will be the top technologies pushing businesses forward in the year ahead? Which technologies will dominate 2023? Here are five small business tech trends expected to grow in 2023:
Trend #1: Adopting AI-enabled business tools
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are being integrated into all sorts of business tools today. From online chat to content generation to customer relationship management, AI is helping businesses work smarter and faster across a wide range of business activities, while gleaning valuable insights from their data.
“Artificial intelligence and machine learning-driven technologies are becoming increasingly accessible and affordable, and are being used by small businesses in a wide range of industries to automate tasks, improve decision-making and gain insights from data,” says Jonathan Poston, a business growth consultant based in Asheville, North Carolina.
According to Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, 2023 will bring advancement in using AI to generate short videos, allowing businesses to quickly create videos by typing scripts into an online form. There are already several AI video generator tools available—and those will only get better.
Trend #2: Increasing reliance on mobile devices
As mobile networks continally get faster with 5G—and devices like smartphones and tablets easier to use—businesses are seeing the benefits of integrating business mobile into their operations, whether to help them serve customers or collaborate and communicate internally.
“As more and more people rely on their smartphones and tablets for both personal and professional purposes, small businesses are increasingly using these devices to connect with customers, manage operations, and access business applications,” Poston adds.
Small businesses can utilize a wide variety of mobile business apps, allowing them to optimize delivery routes, text customers and coworkers with important messages and access their key business tools—such as their communications platform—from anywhere.
Trend #3: Buying electric vehicles
Starting in 2023, business owners can qualify for tax credits worth up to $40,000 for buying new electric and hybrid plug-in vehicles (EVs) and certain heavy-duty electric-powered trucks and machinery. (Consumers also qualify for electric vehicle tax credits.) The newly introduced credits—which will be available for 10 years—are expected to drive up electric vehicle purchases significantly in coming years, with Boston Consulting Group predicting that EVs will have 53% U.S. market share by 2030.
There are two levels for the commercial EV tax credit: Electric vehicles that weigh less than 14,000 pounds qualify for a credit of up to $7,500, while those that weigh more than that (think heavy-duty trucks) qualify for up to $40,000.
The rules around the new credits for commercial EVs are somewhat complex, so it will be important that business owners understand them and potentially consult a tax advisor before buying a vehicle.
Trend #4: Saving time with software integrations and workflow automation
As business owners look to reduce costs and increase productivity, they are turning to built-in software integrations and platforms that allow them to automate business workflows and tasks. A growing number of “low-code” tools and applications are making such automation accessible to even the smallest businesses.
According to Gartner, spending on low-code application platforms is expected to rise 25% in 2023, and increasingly those tools are being used by people outside of IT roles to build applications that automate business processes.
Trend #5: Investing in digital collaborative technologies
Now that it’s clear that remote and hybrid work environments aren’t short-term fixes, more small businesses with employees who work remotely some or all of the time will be investing in more robust technologies that help their teams more effectively collaborate and get the information they need.
Employee experience is becoming a bigger priority as small companies have struggled to hire and retain employees. The right solutions can enhance the employee experience by allowing all employees to connect and collaborate more seamlessly
This can include everything from remote employee onboarding and employee intranet platforms to project-management and workflow tools to all-in-one voice, video and text communication platforms.
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