Key to raising productivity and improving operational efficiency in today’s digital ecosystem is adopting the right technology. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has just released an infographic  with three tech trends small businesses should look out for in 2018.
The three tech trends NFIB identified for 2018 are Artificial Intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and mobile payment systems. By adopting the solutions these technologies offer, NFIB believes businesses will become more productive in different areas of their organizations.
The three technologies the NFIB infographic points out can be especially beneficial for small businesses. If properly implemented, they can automate many manual processes, provide new ways of engaging with customers and help businesses accept payments anywhere.
Alexa Mencia wrote on the NFIB site, “With businesses relying on the internet and mobile devices to reel in customers, It’s important for small business owners to be aware of what upcoming tech trends might affect their operations.”
Tech Trends to Watch in 2018
Here are some of the data points from the infographic.
When it comes to AI, 59 percent of organizations are collecting information to build an artificial intelligence strategy. And by the time 2020 rolls around, the top five investment priorities for CIOs will be AI.
Although virtual reality is getting all the hype at the moment, when it comes to businesses, augmented reality will be the go-to platform. As for mobile payments, 56 percent of consumers are expected to use the technology by 2020. But in order to take advantage of these tech trends, they have to be implemented.
Challenges in Adopting the Right Technology
One of the biggest challenges small businesses face is finding the right technology  to address their specific needs. The problem is the sheer number of solutions available in the marketplace.
So how does a small business go about finding the right technology?
The answer will, of course, vary from business to business, but here are some points to consider before you purchase what might be trending at the moment. First, identify the areas in your company which have the potential of being improved with technology. Once you find out what you need help with, see if there are digital solutions to address them.
Depending on the level of your expertise, you might need a consultant to help you navigate the marketplace, but it will be a worthwhile investment. Using the trial and error method on your own will cost you a lot more. With the right technologies in place, your small business will be more efficient than ever.
You can take a look at the infographic below.