10 Small Business Tech Trends Defining 2023 

Technology is vital for small businesses. Here are 10 small business tech trends that are defining 2023, their potential benefits, and how to prepare for them. 

Written by David Appel
Published on Jun. 28, 2023
10 Small Business Tech Trends Defining 2023 
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Technology is the great equalizer for how up-and-coming companies compete against the big firms. Recent technological advances are unlocking new levels of automation that will save time and let you focus on scaling your business. Tech can also integrate and streamline your business processes, making them more efficient.

Digital technologies like customer relationship management (CRM) software let you view real-time data on a single platform, helping you make better decisions. Chatbots allow you to be there for customers 24/7, boosting customer satisfaction. Plus, accounting software helps you stay on top of your finances and pay suppliers on time.

10 SMB Tech Trends for 2023

  1. Applied AI and machine learning.
  2. Edge computing and distributed infrastructure.
  3. Software 2.0: Low-code programming.
  4. Hybrid work engagement and retention.
  5. Hyperautomation and super apps.
  6. Clean energy and sustainable tech.
  7. Metaverse.
  8. Zero-trust cybersecurity and architecture.
  9. Responsible datafication.
  10. Embedded finance and blockchain.

In other words, technology is vital for small businesses to grow and compete with more prominent brands.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 10 most significant tech trends for small, yet quickly growing businesses in 2023. Read on to find out how each trend affects your business, the potential benefits, and how to tap into them.


Small Business Tech Trends Defining 2023

This year has seen the rapid growth and evolution of many digital technologies. Below are ten tech trends that can help small businesses get ahead of the game. 


1. Applied AI and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have become critical tools for small businesses looking to boost productivity and interpret patterns in real world data. 

Real-world applications include image generation, customer interaction, predictive forecasting and more. AI and machine learning also allow for more significant levels of automation. 

Small businesses can use AI and ML to forecast customer demand, ensuring they always have optimal stock levels. They can also offer personalized customer experiences based on past interactions and behavior. 


How to Tap Into This Trend

Look at which of your current processes you can automate, then create guidelines that set out how you will use and regulate AI. In addition, reassure staff that AI won’t replace them but will augment their work.

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2. Edge Computing and Distributed Infrastructure

Edge computing is often paired with distributed cloud infrastructure, giving small businesses the ability to manage edge devices from a single control pane and ensure consistency.

Users can control each edge device locally, improving security and data privacy for small businesses. This will make sure you’re compliant with privacy regulations and strengthen cybersecurity

Adopting a distributed infrastructure also reduces latency and makes your business more agile. This is especially important as your business grows.


How to Tap Into This Trend

Look at ways to update and standardize your existing IT infrastructure to make it compatible with cloud and edge computing. Also, make sure you have redundancies in place in case of outages and follow all relevant legislation. 


3. Software 2.0: Low-Code Programming

Software 2.0 involves using machine learning tools that rely on neural networks for software development no-code and low-code tools utilize machine learning, letting you customize your existing code and automate manual tasks, saving time and increasing efficiency. It will also enable the rapid scaling of AI-driven applications. This ensures your tech stack meets your current and future business needs. 


How to Tap Into This Trend

Review your tech stack to make sure it’s compatible with Software 2.0. It’s also worth investing in your IT talent and looking at ways to leverage low-code programming to give more value to customers. 


4. Hybrid Work Engagement and Retention

The last few years have seen a permanent shift toward hybrid working practices. This has resulted in a corresponding increase in tech that supports this new way of working. Examples include collaborative technologies like Slack, Microsoft Teams and Skype, as well as HR systems.

Technology that supports hybrid working lets small businesses recruit talent from afar. Collaborative tech allows teams to work together and facilitate human connections in a remote world. Plus, you can increase employee engagement and retention by offering flexible working.


How to Tap Into This Trend

Consider investing in productivity and collaboration software to enable flexible working options. In addition, talk to staff about the equipment they need to work from home effectively.  


5. Hyperautomation and Super Apps

Hyperautomation involves identifying, assessing and automating as many processes as possible. As robots and software become more intelligent, automation will continue to grow. This will reduce time-to-market and free employees from repetitive manual tasks.

Meanwhile, super apps, platforms that combine separate apps into a single interface,  streamline processes and boost efficiency. A good example is IPO accounting software. An Initial Public Offering (IPO) is a great way to raise capital for your small business. But it also presents a lot of extra work for you and your finance team.

IPO accounting solutions integrate and automate your financial processes before and after your IPO. They also ensure compliance with relevant regulations, including SOX. In this case automation simplifies a very complex process and lets you focus on scaling your business. 


How to Tap Into This Trend

Investing in automation is essential, so consider how to implement hyperautomation, and look at ways to integrate and centralize your existing apps. 


6. Clean Energy and Sustainable Tech

It’s no secret that we’re seeing a shift toward clean energy and sustainable tech. Examples include renewable energy generation, electric vehicles, insulation and heating and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Investing in sustainable tech is a must for small businesses looking to secure long-term growth. More people are environmentally conscious, so companies that fail to adopt genuine green practices will struggle to attract customers and remain competitive. 

Clean technology will also support high-performance computing (HPC) and other technologies that maximize efficiency and reduce time-to-market.


How to Tap Into This Trend

As sustainable tech becomes more affordable and accessible, find ways to harness it to stay competitive and reduce costs. In addition, look at how climate change legislation could affect you and make sure you meet your obligations. You could even look at rewarding eco-conscious customers who actively reduce their climate footprint.


7. Metaverse

The metaverse is still in its infancy, but metaverse tech like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are already growing in popularity. This tech could revolutionize how businesses interact with and sell to their customers. For instance, AR lets customers visualize furniture in their homes or try on clothes virtually.

AR and VR could also see remote employees interacting with colleagues in a shared virtual environment. Small businesses could use this type of technology for training. Plus, digital twins (a virtual model of a physical object) could help with spatial and process planning.


How to Tap Into This Trend

For now, focus on how you could create and manage a digital twin of your business. Also, think about how to improve your conferencing facilities to support hybrid working. 


8. Zero-Trust Cybersecurity and Architecture

In response to the growing risk of cyber attacks, many businesses are adopting zero-trust cybersecurity architecture that focuses on verification and access control. 

Zero-trust technology includes multi-factor authentication (MFA), security assertion markup language (SAML) and other access management tools.

Small businesses are at particular risk of cyberattacks, but zero-trust cybersecurity can significantly reduce that risk. It also reduces security and compliance costs and increases consumer confidence in your business.


How to Tap Into This Trend

Examine the benefits of zero-trust architecture and create a roadmap for implementation. You’ll also need to consider how to track the results.


9. Responsible Datafication

This trend refers to how companies can use data to improve products and services and better serve their customers. Datafication must be done responsibly, though, especially when it comes to customer data. You don't want to fall foul of data protection regulations like CCPA or GDPR.

Analyzing data can help you pinpoint areas for improvement and make better business decisions. It can also help you identify opportunities to target new customers or create new revenue streams.


How to Tap Into This Trend

Make sure you understand your legal obligations for collecting and storing customer data. Also, make sure your data practices align with your business goals, and consider investing in data analytics software. 

For example, enterprise resource planning software solutions let you manage all aspects of your business from a single, secure database. 

With ERP software, you can:

  • Integrate and streamline key processes.
  • Reduce costs.
  • Increase productivity.
  • Future-proof your business.

With these cloud-based tech tools, all your employees can work from the same data, reducing errors. Plus, you’ll get real-time insights into every aspect of your company, helping you make better decisions and scale effectively. 


10. Embedded Finance and Blockchain

Our final trend is driven by the demand for financial services inside existing tools. Embedded finance is likely to feature prominently in the future of fintech. For example, Apple has added a buy now, pay later function to iPhone, while Amazon now offers lending options to sellers.

Embedded finance lets companies offer financial services without building the corresponding financial infrastructure. You can also offer customers a more streamlined experience, which will boost their satisfaction.

What’s more, blockchain offers businesses strong security and transparency. Plus, it increases efficiency through automation while eliminating the need for third-party verification.


How to Tap Into This Trend

Look at whether you can offer your customers any embedded financial services like payments or banking. It’s also worth examining the potential benefits of blockchain for managing your finances more effectively. 

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Future-Proof Your Business

Technology is important for small businesses to stay competitive and scale effectively. With this in mind, it’s essential to be aware of emerging tech trends as they’re likely to have implications for your business now and in the future.

To future-proof your small business, look at your existing processes and the potential benefits of these technologies. Make sure your tech stack is compatible with them so you can easily integrate them in the future. Also, make sure you have policies in place to deal with their impacts, such as new regulations.

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