SMB Technology

On trend with technology

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To compete in today’s business world, SMBs have to be sure to stay one step ahead of the competition when it comes to technology.

Budgets are becoming increasingly tight and, for many SMBs, this will prove to be a major factor in what fashion they choose to buy into when it comes to technology. Constrained cash options, though, have seen the emergence of innovative tech trends, allowing SMBs to do a lot more for a lot less. For those who ride out the storm, these strategies are sure to pay off in the long run.

On the rise are those that are user-friendly and require a minimum spend of time and resources on training and maintenance. Recent figures show there is currently a strong focus on IT investments that directly benefit a business’s bottom line, reduce operating costs and improve productivity.

So what’s on trend, technology-wise?

Mobility

In an environment that calls for anywhere, anytime solutions, smaller devices with high-end offerings are the order of the day, affording SMBs the flexibility to meet market demands. It seems to be a case of the smaller the better, and there’s no room for compromising on quality. Mobile devices that keep you on the move are key, including smart phones and notebooks. Testament to this, figures prove notebook sales remain strong even in a faltering economy.

For technology on the go, look no further than Lenovo’s IdeaPad S Series Netbooks: 2.6 cm thin and weighing in at a mere 1.2 kilograms. Reliable, affordable and easy to use, the range boasts an array of standard features, including an Intel HD audio and graphics media accelerator among them. To up the mobility stakes, the S-Series Netbooks feature an integrated webcam as well as microphone and bluetooth capabilities, so staying connected proves a cinch.

In the mobile workplace, tools such as telecommuting and VOIP are crucial, reducing travel expenses, increasing flexibility and positioning teams to allow them to communicate and share leads no matter where they are.

Online Social Networking

Many SMBs are looking for cost-effective ways to reach a broader client-base, social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn are proving the perfect solution.

Recent data from US-based ComScore Media Metrix shows the number of visitors to micro-blogging service Twitter jumped 131 per cent in March to 9.3 million visitors. ComScore suggests that this growth is being driven by older users, in the 25 to 54 year old demographic. To date, other social networking sites have been dominated by the 18 to 24 years old contingent. This growth has also been attributed, in part, to coverage in the mainstream media.

“It seems you can’t get through a typical newscast anymore without some mention of Twitter,” says ComScore industry analyst Andrew Lipsman. “Like it or not, Twitter is quickly revolutionising the way our entire news ecosystem operates, from journalist to consumer, and blurring the lines in between.”

Social networks offer a direct channel, allowing SMBs to extend their reach. The number of SMBs which have bought into this trend, and have used this platform to leverage their existing online presence is growing exponentially.

Storage and Security

In this environment, storing and protecting your assets is key. With the growing reliance on multimedia business solutions, including video, images and music, and with the increasing trend towards the paperless office, there is more and more to store, as well as more and more to protect.

The answer? Network-attached storage (NAS) proves to be a good fit, providing SMB owners with peace of mind without hurting the hip pocket, such as Lenovo's collection of user-friendly ThinkPlus Services.

With the tagline: simple, online and secure, Lenovo Online Data Backup offers multi-layered data encryption to safeguard your most critical business and employee data, as well as a personalised encryption key. A secured, automatic remote storage solution for business documents and data, this is available for both the Lenovo Think Server and for PCs and workstations, ensuring secure data storage, disaster recovery and business continuity.

Published on: Friday, July 16, 2010

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