The proliferation of new tech has helped small businesses improve efficiency by designing products which enable you to run your operations from anywhere, at any time.
Here’s what small business owners need to know from the big tech news this week.
1. Device overload
A whopping 2.4 billion devices – which includes PCs, smartphones, laptops, and tablets — will be shipped over the next year, Gartner research estimates. The research firm forecasts the sale of PCs will continue to fall while mobile takes over, growing from 1.9 billion in 2015 to over two billion in 2018.
2. So with all those devices, it’s fair to say the number connected to the internet will also climb
Some estimates forecast that the number of devices connected to the internet will hit 34 billion by 2020. That equates to about four devices per person, a rate which will no doubt completely transform the way we live, work and play. Xero CPO, Angus Norton, pointed out this week all these connected devices are delivering a huge amount of data which was not previously available, and it’s already changing the way businesses innovate. More on that here.
3. Robots are changing the way we build and move products
It’s not quite the futuristic tech we saw in Star Wars or the Jetsons, but robots are real. There’s a great breakdown in TechCrunch this week which examines the various ways humans and robots can collaborate. Robots may not be able to fully replace human creativity, but they can complete monotonous, repetitive tasks, well.
4. It does mean that many simple, repetitive jobs will disappear
According to a report published by the World Economic Forum this week the number of jobs technology will take over could be around 5 million by 2020 and the ones most at risk are white collar, admin positions. But it’s not all doom and gloom: technology is also creating jobs. According to the report, 65% of kids starting school today will have jobs that don’t even exist yet. If you want more reading on the subject, we have a recommendation in our Friday Reads column.
5. In the accounting industry, platforms like Xero are harnessing the new technology
Xero uses machine learning and automation to free accountants up from data entry so they can provide more value to their small business clients, acting as virtual CFOs or advisors. It’s also helping small businesses become more agile and take on the giants in their sector.
6. All this change means learning to code and understand technology has never been more important
Apple this week announced it would open its first iOS development centre in Europe in a bid to teach children how to code.