One of the terms you’ll see being used more frequently, especially when discussing new technology trends this year, is “democratization of expertise.” This term describes the tech simplification trend that started several years ago and is accelerating thanks to advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

This trend is one that CIO as a Service companies have been watching because it opens the doors for multiple opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to gain a competitive edge and further enhance their value to customers.

Many advanced business technologies have barriers to entry for SMBs due to both the expense and the expertise needed to use them. Examples include:

  • Building mobile or custom business apps
  • Analyzing “big data” from multiple sources
  • Setting up autonomous processes, whether they’re run by drones or a different type of IoT device
  • Customizing a user authentication experience and security across multiple cloud applications

A problem that developers of these types of technology have is that their sales are limited due to the price/expertise barrier. This has caused many large software developers, like Microsoft, to level the playing field by creating platforms that simplify these technologies, make them easy to use by those without specialized expertise, and thus significantly bringing down the cost.

32% of small businesses have plans to implement AI-driven processes in the near future. 

Only about 8% of SMBs are currently using AI in their business workflows, but AI is expected to have a growth rate of 310% over the next three years.

Read on to find out how your business can take advantage of this simplification of technology to start the new decade off ahead of the curve.

Ways to Benefit from Software that Employs Simplification

Remember how complicated backups used to be just a few years ago? If you had a large file, or several files, that wouldn’t fit on a single CD-ROM, you’d have to go through a complex process of feeding multiple CD’s into your computer hoping that there wasn’t a glitch along the way.

This complicated process made it very difficult for the average small business owner to properly backup all their computers, and it was expensive if they had to hire an outside company to come in and do it.

Today, the simplification of the cloud-backup process has changed all that. Most cloud backups are simple to start and have an interface that walks you through the process.

Website design is another example of how simplifying a complex task has helped SMBs. Now, anyone can build a website without any knowledge of HTML or CSS code.

Here are the newest examples of tech simplification that will offer you more opportunities in 2020 and beyond.

Business Intelligence Dashboards

Business intelligence dashboards are making it much easier for SMBs to get in on the benefits of data analytics. Their interfaces are designed for those without any experience integrating data and make it easy to connect multiple data points (accounting data, CRM data, Google analytics data) to the platform.

The BI dashboard takes it from there by crunching the numbers and offering unique insights displayed in easy-to-understand reporting that helps you see how your business looks from a data-driven point of view.

Custom Applications

Wouldn’t it be great to have your own employee onboarding app that included everything from HR forms to a map of your building? Microsoft has made it possible without paying thousands of dollars for a custom coder through their Power Apps software.

Power Apps is a drag and drop style interface that allows people that don’t know any code to create and deploy custom business apps in just weeks (rather than months). Unleashing the power of customized workflows to more businesses of all sizes.

Intelligent Chatbots

Having a chatbot that could reference your company’s FAQ and provide level 1 customer support is not something that most small companies have had the chance to benefit from.

90% of companies that use chatbots say they help them resolve customer issues faster and 57% say they give excellent ROI for minimal effort.

New AI-powered chatbot interfaces allow people with no experience programming a chatbot to easily input the variables needed to get an intelligent bot going to help them field customer questions 24/7 and take some of the load off their customer support staff.

Improving Data Security

If you use a program like Office 365, there are hundreds of different security settings to learn. Most businesses aren’t sure which they need to use or how they’ll impact their users for the better or worse.

Programs like Microsoft Secure Score have greatly simplified this process by allowing users to pull up a scorecard that compares their security settings with other organizations, offers suggestions on how to improve security with links to make changes, and tells you in simple terms what a setting change will mean.

Get Expert Guidance with Your Very Own CIO

Genuine Technology Group offers our CIO as a service to help businesses get the technology guidance that they deserve at a price they can afford. We can help you understand the new tech opportunities out there and how to best use them to your advantage. 

Contact us today and to schedule a consultation. Call 971-288-0880 or reach us online.