This section is dedicated to bringing you the latest news and views from the tech sector, as well as exciting developments and case studies of businesses working at the frontline.

Business technology is something of a moving target today. The technology we rely on day-to-day is different now to what it would have been only five years ago. These days there are all kinds of tools, from small business accounting software and security software, to HR tech and communication software.

Beyond artificial intelligence chatbots and algorithmic marketing, what about the business tools you need to run your business? What?s worth the investment for your business in its current stage of growth? What?s a non-essential nice-to-have???

From implementing data-driven decision-making to getting a robust bring your own device or app policy, this section explores what business owners need to know about getting the right business technology in place and managing it for the biggest returns.

Some people might be used to waking up and asking Alexa what the traffic is like, yet not so long ago people would have been blown away by the artificial intelligence that goes into helping people plan a simple morning commute.

Beyond flashy advancements in next-generation machine learning and blockchain technology, business technology includes things entrepreneurs may take for granted, like setting up virtual teams, tapping into remote working with the aid of superfast broadband, or even which business apps can help you get the most out of your team and your day.

How to implement cloud technology and unified communication for business efficiency?

There are always hot buzzwords in the world of business technology. Not so long ago it was the Cloud and the Internet of Things. These things might have sounded daunting at the time, but essentially, they boil down to sharing data and processes on the internet, and connected devices. For example, if you have a gmail account, you?re using a cloud-based communication platform

Today?s buzzwords are arguably artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented reality. Again, a lot of these kinds of technology have applications that are already commonplace. For example, many UK businesses use chatbots as part of their customer service strategy, as well running app-based businesses, and relying on virtual assistants.

What business communication tools are right for your business?

Your business technology is also vital for communications ? whether that?s with your own employees around the office, through the basics like email or instant messaging tools, or staying in touch with clients and customers through phones or even social media platforms.

Then, of course, business technology can help you be more flexible with your communications. It?s no longer necessary to drive halfway across the city for a meeting for example when you can video chat.

Along the same lines, your business tech is what opens up the possibilities of working remotely, or flexible working ? with the tools available at your fingertips, and given that most people have their own devices they can access their work on, it?s no longer necessary that your staff even work from the same place, or work the same hours.

It?s hard to sum up what business technology can be used for ? because, what can?t it be used for? There are new tools and solutions for just about every business process.

How SMEs Can Best Prepare For A Hybrid Work Future

Last year, not all firms could offer remote working options for employees, but many of those who were able to are now considering how they can blend the best of home working with the best of working at physical premises.
Employees’ expectations have also changed for good. According to Microsoft’s recent Work Trend Index, 71 percent of UK workers want flexible remote work options to stay. Data from the CIPD shows that 65 percent of employers offered no option to work from home before the pandemic, a figure that has now fallen to 37 percent.
As SMEs now look at their return to physical premises, business owners and leaders can build the true hybrid workplace of the future. And there’s a strong reason to do so.

The SME Guide to Cloud Telephony for Hybrid Working

The global pandemic has set new precedents in our attitudes towards how, where, and when we work. Lockdowns taught us that so much more can be done remotely than we ever thought possible and proved to the UK workforce that a large percentage of businesses could facilitate remote working structures – and now it could be here to stay.
As labour markets become increasingly competitive, SMEs must make sure they stand out as businesses that will invest in their workforce, show care and compassion towards their wellbeing, and be flexible in how their employees’ work.