Small businesses are always looking to find better ways to collaborate and adopt new technologies for their day-to-day efforts. Collaboration technologies as a whole take one of the top 5 spots for IT priorities on a year to year basis. Over two-thirds of businesses also report that leveraging collaboration tools does drive better collaboration and customer responsiveness as well.

For the small business looking to jump on the technology trends to help them become more collaborative and productive, there are a few trends to keep in mind as we head into the second half of 2015. In today’s blog post, we’ll examine some of these trends that can positively impact small businesses, and keep them humming for the years ahead.

1. The Emergence of Cloud

We’ve spoken about cloud many times on this blog, and for small businesses that have yet to convert, the window of opportunity is still available. Recent data from Odin, a business insights company, suggests that 78% of United States small businesses will be fully adapted to cloud computing by 2020. Cloud is great for small business collaboration since the technology empowers businesses to collaborate remotely, store files in a central location, and be secure while saving costs on an IT team.

2. The Empowerment of Being Anywhere

Mobile device sales for phones and tablets have taken over personal computers with employee desires of being able to work from anywhere, anytime. The emergence of the “bring your own device” movement reflects that productivity goes hand-in-hand for employees. For small businesses, this means no longer having to rent industrial space to bring employees together or having to purchase devices for use for their employees. Everyone can work from the comfort of their chosen locations, and come together as a team when needed, either online or in person.

3. Big Data is a Big Deal

Big data is driving organizational change, with research firm PGi projecting big data spending to increase to $20 billion by 2016, up from $10 billion in 2013. More and more software tools are beginning to use big data to measure everything from workplace happiness to productivity. For example, Microsoft Delve is a new tool bundled with Office 365 that tracks workplace productivity for both individuals and teams.

4. The Workplace of Things

The workplace of things, in conjunction with the internet of Things, is an emerging trend that is not only taking over our homes, but our businesses as well. Cisco Systems, a leader in the IoT revolution, even projects the market to become an eventual $19 billion dollar market. Connected devices will inevitably trigger technologies that will help small businesses collaborate better with each other, leveraging big data, the ability to work anywhere, and the emergence of cloud.

5. Agility is the Recipe to Victory

The final aspect of collaboration that’s emerging on the market is that of time. A flexible workforce now means that not only can people work anywhere they want, but they can also do it when they want to as well. Business communication is now more asynchronous than ever, which means more can get done. Such tools that facilitate this are web conferencing tools that allow for live screen and file sharing.

How is your business evolving?

As we move towards the future with advanced collaborationtools, how will you adopt these philosophies into your day to day activities? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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