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5 Technology Tips Every Small Business Needs to Know

Bianca Fermiza

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Technology and business go hand-in-hand. The premise is simple – technology can adjust and handle an increased workload. It gives you the ability to take on new opportunities to make your business more efficient in its operations. This enables you to consider the possibility of expanding and entering new markets.

Some entrepreneurs might consider investing in technology a challenge, but if it is done and deployed properly, it will drastically improve the way you do business. It has the capacity to increase sales, boost employee productivity, and ease miscommunication and error in your daily operations. No matter what size your company might be, technology has both tangible and intangible benefits.

Here are 5 technology tips that every small business needs to know.

1. Consider Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System

Enterprise Resource Planning is all-purpose software that can do anything from accounting, inventory, human resource, warehouse operations, finances, and a lot more. ERP software like SAP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV help integrate all your core business processes and enable you to stay ahead of the competition. A lot of people find it challenging to find the right ERP software for their business.

However, if you research your needs thoroughly and seek expert advice, you will be able to choose the right technology for you. You can also involve employees in the process of selecting a program. Having ERP software gives the different departments of your company transparent access to relevant data. This will result in less error, increased productivity, and reduced expenses on human resource. ERP software provides real-time data that is beneficial for management to make effective business decisions and adapt to rapidly changing business environment.

2. Connect With Customers

Every business owner knows that one of the most important factors in doing a successful business venture is taking care of your customers. There has to be customer intimacy. You have to understand their needs and you need to tailor your products and services to suit what they want. For small businesses, having Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is an effective way for them to stay competitive in the ever-changing landscape of their chosen industry.

CRM software can store detailed information about your customers’ behaviors and enables targeted marketing, product development, and sales activities. You need to make your business more efficient to keep increasing revenue.

3. Engage in Social Media

Social media can be considered as one of the fastest and most reliable ways to connect with people all around the world. If you have a business, having an online presence will efficiently validate your brand. A lot of companies use social media sites for them to market the products and services that they are offering.

It also enables your customers to easily get in touch with you. For you to successfully utilize social media to your advantage, you have to set goals, know your target audience, decide on the type of digital media you want to focus on, have a social media strategy, and constantly analyze your engagements, for you to know if there is something to be changed or improved.

4. Optimize Your Website

Just like having social media identity, it is also important for your company to have its own website. You can use your own website to showcase your products and services to your customers. It also gives credibility because, in this technology-rich world, people tend to trust businesses that have their own website.

You can optimize your site by researching keywords and creating content based on that, speeding it up for users, using landing pages, and update your page titles every now and then for them to rank up in search engines to create traffic. These methods can be efficiently executed by a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist. An SEO Specialist helps you make your website more popular in Google.

5. Boost Efficiency with Productivity Tools

These are computer programs which allow users to create specific items quickly and easily rather than doing these things by hand. Some examples of these tools are Word Processing, Spreadsheets, and Databases. Productivity tools can be considered as game-changers for entrepreneurs. One of the most common productivity tools is Microsoft Office. It offers different programs like MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Outlook, just to mention a few.

On the other hand, databases and spreadsheets are commonly used for organizing, storing, calculating, sorting, and graphing information. These applications permit the creation of a whole new and calculated data. With these tools, you can precisely evaluate your company’s performance in the market and look for ways to improve your operations.

Bianca Fermiza is a Content Marketing Writer for an IT company that provides business solutions for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs). She currently gives tips about SAP Hong Kong. The authorized distributor of small business solutions and top of the line software SAP Business One in Hong Kong.

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Technology

Console vs. Mobile vs. PC: Three Kinds of Gaming

Steven Sanders

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Video games have come a long way since Pong, and we now have a variety of different genres to play across a range of platforms. Gamers will always debate amongst themselves about the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, but they will nearly always show some form of bias for their preferred gaming system.

Over the course of this article, we’ll be covering the three primary types of game systems in this day and age. We’ll take a look at highly portable mobile platforms, available game consoles, and powerful gaming PCs, comparing each of them so that you can see exactly how they differ from each other.

PC

PC gaming is often seen as the most cutting-edge way to play your games, and it makes sense. A gaming PC is a lot easier to keep updated than a console since you can replace the components as soon as they come out. Console gamers instead have to wait until the next iteration of their system comes out.

Of course, a PC is also much more versatile than a console, as you can custom-make one that isn’t constrained by whether or not it will be feasible on the market. Keep in mind that gaming PCs pay for their impressive performance and graphics when it comes to stability, with the quality of releases depending on their degree of optimization.

Console

Console gaming is often seen as the more convenient alternative to PC gaming, and there is significant overlap between the games that are available on both types of systems. Console games will typically run at a lower frame rate and a lower resolution than PC games due to the inherent limitations of the systems.

Since a game console has to be reasonably priced, then there is a limit to the performance they can output, and yet they provide immense value for money. You would be hard pressed to find a gaming PC complete with a keyboard, mouse, operating system, and monitor for the price of a console.

Mobile

Finally, mobile gaming takes up a huge percentage of the global gaming market, and that’s what makes it so attractive for game development services. Whenever you have a bit of downtime, you can simply take out your smartphone and start playing a game, and the massive number of ads rakes in a tidy profit.

While there are some games (like Fortnite) that are available on mobile, console, and PC, you’ll find that the majority of mobile games are not available on the other systems due to their simplicity. Mobile games usually have simple control schemes due to the difficulty of adapting them to a touchscreen.

Conclusion

There is no “best” way to play video games, so don’t let anyone discourage you based on your preferred platform. We hope that this guide has summarized the differences between each of these kinds of game systems.

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Technology

The Pros and Cons Behind DevOps as a Service

Steven Sanders

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It seems as though every component of business computing is being used as a service, including DevOps. The advantages of using devops as a service are obvious: You are able to rent computing resources instead of having to buy and manage them on your own.

However, is it possible to outsource each aspect of business operation? Can DevOps as service work for your organization? Does the cloud collaboration between operations and developments help speed up projects, or does it mean that your company will lose control of business-centric applications?

Before discovering the arguments supporting and refuting devops as a service, it’s good to define the meaning behind DevOps?

What is DevOps as a Service?

The term DevOps comes from the creation of operations and development, two different disciplines. Some traditional companies have departmental silos that make it difficult for IT professionals to work on creating business automation software.

DevOps creates an environment needed for the rapid testing and development of custom business software. Making a DevOps-based collaborative environment is easier for security specialists, IT engineers, QA engineers, and other teammates to ensure that there is synchronization, integration, and synergy between workflows.

To ensure that your DevOps environment is successful, your team will need to use agile software methodologies. The more difficult the project, the more enterprise components you’ll need to ensure that your team works properly.

DevOps as a service allows you to relocate those enterprise resources towards the cloud. Rather than using basic software development tools, DevOps as a service collects the development tools towards a platform that’s hosted in the cloud.

Advantages Behind DevOps as a Service

Here are some reasons why companies are starting to use DevOps as a service:

  • DevOps as a service hides the complexity of information and data flow, which means your DevOps team members can focus on their team specific tools without having to know the entire toolchain. For instance, a software developer can conduct tests through source code management tools, and IT operators can make changes with configuration management tools.
  • DevOps allows users to collaborate as it places tools on the cloud. This allows users anywhere to work together and complete projects.
  • Using cloud-based services is a data-driven process where everyone has the same data set. This leads to better quality control and documentation.

Disadvantages Behind DevOps as a Service

Here are the disadvantages that exist when using DevOps for your IT team:

  • Security is always a huge concern. Your security team isn’t always apart of DevOps and the DevOps teams usually choose speed over security when creating software. With DevOps cloud services, you can create unnecessary exposure and risks, especially if its the transport layer that’s left unsecured.
  • Outsourcing DevOps infrastructure will require some level of software development expertise, including having an understanding of orchestrating a workflow, infrastructure, and integration. You’ll need experts and tools of DevOps as a Service in order to be successful.

Conclusion

When you’re using DevOps as a service, you’re increasing your IT teams’ productivity. And if you’re thinking about making a new DevOps strategy, DevOps as a Service will help shorten the time to deploy apps and will give you versatility as you create new business process applications.

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Finance

3 Technologies Revolutionizing Online Business

Steven Sanders

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Modern technology has proven itself disruptive time and again which has allowed businesses to flourish and advance in industries like education, manufacturing, logistics, and finance. Disruptive innovation is also disrupting companies from Google to Microsoft. While in the past the disruptions were unexpected, it has allowed business owners and entrepreneurs to see how the innovative ideas are lucrative opportunities that improve business models significantly. Here are three transformative technologies that are revolutionizing businesses worldwide.

1. API Integration

An application program interface (API) is a software building application tool that determines how API components interact. Partnering with a skilled API Integration company will help companies identify API sets that best connect hardware and software and allow user devices, programs, and data to function and interact with one another. Companies need API integration for many reasons, including to:

  • Connect to cloud apps
  • Develop new APIs
  • Extract data from legacy systems
  • Write new apps
  • Increase productivity
  • Manage APIs in-house
  • New technology integration
  • Develop product or service ideas
  • Generate software solutions for end-users

Some of the most popular APIs utilized by companies include YouTube, Google Maps, Twitter and Amazon. As technology progresses, API integration offers limitless possibilities for companies to expand as growth and revenue do.

2. Artificial Intelligence

Thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) in the past mostly innovative thought process, but today it is a mainstream tool used in daily business operations to improve efficiency and productivity. By 2030, experts predict that AI will contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy and 26 percent gross domestic product to local economies. As more businesses pop up online, APIs will customize customer experiences and analyze data that interprets consumer buying histories to predict future product or service trends. It will also help companies use predictive AI to target new demographics based on behaviors.

What is clear about AI is that it is set to disrupt more companies in the future because of quantum computing that will be smarter and more complex than how we are using it now. It will solve problems like global warming, poverty, space exploration, and disease all because of AI superhuman quantum computer systems that will dissect and analyze data in seconds without programmers feeding them commands. Popular AI in use today includes Siri, Alexa, Cognito, Netflix, and Amazon. The next generation of AI will include facial recognition, augmented reality, internet of things connectivity, emotional replication, drone delivery, and voice or visual search platforms.

3. Blockchain Cryptocurrencies

For the past few years, blockchain cryptocurrencies have thrown many industries into a disruptive state as it decentralized how companies buy, sell and store data. Blockchain uses transparent ledgers to connect an extensive network of users, so it has a reputation of being a tamper-proof way to make transactions, which is an indispensable tool to e-marketers. Blockchain technology like Smart Contracts will also become mainstream, which will allow businesses to use it to secure financial transactions via cryptocurrency exchanges.

Companies must prepare for the future of AI and blockchain technology by investing in the type of resources that transforms new talent and streamlines information technology departments to win in business.

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