Six Technology Trends Will Have Major Impact On Smaller Businesses In 2005

Thursday 7 October 2004 11:50 CET | News

Six trends will play an important role as small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) adopt new technologies to stay competitive with larger corporations, stated the Information Technology Solution Providers Alliance (ITSPA), a national, non-profit alliance that helps SMBs understand how technology and local technology providers can help them succeed.

ITSPAs advisory board, made up of top executives from the nations most respected and well-known solution providers, made the following predictions about the trends that will affect SMBs in 2005: Top Six Trends In 2005: -- IP Telephony (VoIP) - VoIP, or the transmission of telephone calls over the Internet, can save SMBs money over time. While the technology is costly to implement, businesses will save money as costly long distance calls and conference calls can be made online and as phone plans are no longer needed. The technology also increases worker mobility, as employees no longer need to be at their desks to make phone calls. The use of this technology will continue to increase as companies decide to invest in technology that will save money in the long run. -- Mobility and wireless networking - Growing worker mobility and less-expensive and lighter hardware have increased the demand for wireless networking (Wi-Fi.) National chains such as Starbucks, Panera Bread, Subway, and hundreds of hotels are just a few of the businesses that offer wireless connections. SMB employees who have wireless equipment can work from a local coffee shop or can easily find Internet access while traveling. Wireless networking will make it easy for workers to access the Internet from a variety of locations. -- RFID (radio frequency identification) - RFID, also known as smart tags, will be used more in the United States in the coming year. According to IDC, a market research company in Framingham, Massachusetts, growth in the RFID marketplace is expected to grow from $91.5 million to $1.3 billion in 2008. The technology, which Wal-Mart is helping make more common in the U.S., will be used more frequently as an alternative to barcodes. The technology has specific applications for SMBs and is not appropriate for all industries. Automotive, consumer packaged goods, defense, pharmaceuticals, retail and security will be among the first industries to adopt the technology, and some RFID consulting firms will offer specific offerings for these and other industries. SMBs in certain industries will need to consider adopting RFID as the technology becomes more prevalent in the U.S. -- Security - Security continues to be an issue for all businesses, and will continue to be a concern as SMBs move to wireless technology. Companies must find ways to protect electronic data as they adopt emerging technologies. Companies must defend against worms, viruses and hackers, while complying with government regulations. -- Utility computing - Utility computing--i.e., paying as you go for computing services--is an appealing model for SMBs and will grow in popularity in the coming year. SMBs can save money by paying for applications and hardware on an as-needed basis. With utility computing, companies would no longer have to purchase and maintain costly equipment or pay to update aging software. While the technology is not perfect, it is continuing to evolve. The model is ideal for SMBs who could save money by only spending on the technology they are currently using. This model would also ensure that SMBs could always get the latest technology. -- Servers - Servers perform a number of vital tasks for SMBs such as hosting Web pages and email service as well as storing valuable/confidential information. As servers become more central to their operations, SMB companies are demanding compact and efficient servers that provide optimum performance. Servers are becoming more specialized as the market moves towards rack-optimized servers, which are powerful and space saving because they are thin and easy to stack. Blade servers, which use less energy and are made of small shoe-box sized components that are easy to add and remove, are also being adopted by SMBs in specific vertical industries.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce