Big Data, Automation, Mobility: Keys to Growing Your Small Business

November 3, 2015
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For many years, big data has been the darling of the big enterprise world, capturing the attention of mostly the largest of businesses, along with automation and mobility. However, small businesses cannot simply put aside the prospect of adopting new technologies in order to become even more agile. As other enterprises begin catching onto trends that affect them in a positive manner, startups and small to medium enterprises will also need to be quick in learning from the success of big firms, especially with tools becoming increasingly accessible and available.

For many years, big data has been the darling of the big enterprise world, capturing the attention of mostly the largest of businesses, along with automation and mobility. However, small businesses cannot simply put aside the prospect of adopting new technologies in order to become even more agile. As other enterprises begin catching onto trends that affect them in a positive manner, startups and small to medium enterprises will also need to be quick in learning from the success of big firms, especially with tools becoming increasingly accessible and available.

In Duck, North Carolina, one company named Twiddy & Company Realtors has learned this the hard way after amassing years of operational data in spreadsheets. “We kept running into the same obstacles. Unless we had a good way of looking at the data, how could we make good decisions,” said Ross Twiddy, the company’s marketing director. The firm eventually went with a business analytics suite that helped them towards growth. It was better able to serve customers now that it had a clear picture of how all of this historical data tied into the problems that they kept encountering. They were able to make a diagnosis and administer a treatment for it.

Big data lets you create your own path rather than simply mimic competitors.

Formulating a marketing strategy requires a stronghold on one’s own data. With smaller companies, this becomes a challenge since they don’t have the same insight that larger firms have, according to Harvard Business Review. Many of them are unaware that big data has become more affordable and scalable to cater to the small entrepreneur.

To a small firm, the easiest way to grow and fix issues used to be to have a look at what the competition is doing. While this is a decent strategy, it is missing a drive for innovation that having insight into one’s data can bring. By implementing a solution for business analytics, you can draw conclusions on what it is you need to fix and whom you need to cater to. Intelligent companies — companies that have more organized information on their own operations — are able to make decisions that their competition cannot foresee.

Automation and big data make companies more productive

When both are applied, automation and big data will make a company more productive by virtue of trimming inefficiency. Companies that have more streamlined operations and better intelligence have the ability to focus on their key roles rather than waste man hours on getting the little mundane details right. Automation, in particular, can accelerate the growth of a company due to the fact that employees can do their jobs more fluidly with less minutiae.

Mobility makes people work together better

Businesses are increasingly looking at a mobile audience, particularly with the rise of smartphones and tablets as primary access points for the web and applications. However, a more important aspect of mobility in businesses is the way it empowers organizations to work better. Organizations can adopt collaborative apps so that team members can communicate in real-time whether at the office or in the field. Giving employees the ability and the tools to work outside of the office has a strongly positive impact on their productivity.

The cloud is getting more secure

While many businesses are sticking to older versions of in-house software, more progressive companies are implementing solutions on the cloud. The decentralized infrastructure no longer requires expensive and extensive maintenance, and cloud services are always up-to-date. Yes, years ago, getting into the cloud was a risky venture. However, TechTarget’s latest data shows that the cloud has surpassed traditional IT systems in terms of security, mostly due to the fact that businesses do not always (if ever) upgrade their on-site software themselves. This means reduced risks from unpatched vulnerabilities. Cloud services also come with excellent disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities.

 Bottomline

Adopting the right solutions to help your business grow and become better at what it does always justifies the cost. Being at the bleeding edge might come with some cost and effort, but this will eventually get a small business beyond the “Mom & Pop” stage. Big data, automation, and mobility provide a boost to productivity, increased visibility, and a way to make data-driven decisions for better business growth.