You’ve heard them at conferences; you’ve read their techno-babble infused pontifications on hundreds of technology websites. You’re afraid you might throw yourself into a vat of melting cellphone touch screens if you have to listen to one more technology bloviator talk about the sea change of paradigm shifts in the upcoming confluence of scalable management decision-making objectives concerning enterprise exchanges and IT infrastructure implementations.
The problem for the non-technical business owner is that, in their attempts to impress you with their knowledge-base of web-enabled minutia, there is usually a grain of truth at the base of their self-important presentation. That grain of truth is this: somewhere, somehow, your business needs to address its technology infrastructure. But what is that exactly? Even small businesses can no longer ignore the role of cloud-based computing and the secure low-cost collaboration and productivity tools. It’s still a challenge to understand what is the best technology for very small business. Simply put, the best technology is appropriate technology.
That means using simple tools rather than enterprise-grade IT monsters that suck out all f your profits while you and your staff struggle to understand what they do.
In a recent survey conducted by Osterman Research of mid-sized and large organizations, respondents show an increasing use of cloud-based productivity tools by end-users.
* 11.0% of end users are on Office 365, growing to 24.3% by mid-2016
* 5.9% of end users are on Google Apps, growing to 9.4% by mid-2016
* 1.3% of end users are on BPOS/hosted Exchange, growing to 2.8% by mid-2016
* 0.7% of end users are on IBM SmartCloud, growing to 1.5% by mid-2016
That’s just Microsoft; Google Apps is growing up, lesser-known players like Zoho and ThinkFree are also offering lower cost cloud-based solutions for smaller businesses. And for very small business these offerings can be cheap or even free.
So before you dismiss the next technology conference as a complete snore, there might be some take away from very small business, search out the balance of appropriate technology that solves some business problems at a level you actually can understand and implement. While the language of technology can sometimes be a bit monotonic, the presentation just a bit unimaginative, the advantages of cloud technology is tremendous. Small business owners might want to step out of their comfort zone long enough to consider the use of appropriate technology in their enterprise.