For 10+ years we have seen disruption happen around us. The technology revolution is in full swing, and even though enterprises and corporations have been on the bandwagon for some time, small and medium businesses have been left scratching their heads.

In this article, we will be highlighting the coming year’s most promising trends that will help small businesses come out of the dark with innovative tools at an affordable price.

1. Artificial Intelligence as a service

Drone flying above street.

With the amount of data collected everyday, AI is now a necessary tool to serve as a support to make sense of it... quick. With easy to use services providing processing, analytics, and even customer service solutions in one, small and medium companies can now incorporate AI into their operations without breaking the bank. For example, now that deep learning is part of AI, retailers can now show custom recommendations to their customers, just like Netflix knows what you want to watch.

“It has been found that 61% of shoppers prefer to shop from retailers who are using augmented reality.” Dymon Study

2. Small businesses will exploit Data Analytics.

Poster on a wall.

Harnessing data analytics have been long overdue for small to medium size companies. Not only does it provide valuable internal information, but it also lays the groundwork for better marketing strategies (once they really understand their customers thanks to AI).

Without the need to build infrastructure, small businesses can outsource analytics services for a small monthly price. Easy to read data will also allow inexperienced business owners to make decisions based on their analytics reports without the need of costly data scientists.

3. AI chatbots will now understand context.

Robot and a lamp.

It makes sense that when searching for Chatbots, one of the first Google results is blog posts on: why do they suck? And the answer is because they used to behave as what they are: robots. But nowadays, and following along for the new year, chatbots have made an incredible advancement thanks to ML: now they understand context.

Not to fear this will be the beginning of the robot revolution. Small businesses can rely on robots to support their customer service needs with machines (or algorithms) powered with AI, in order to understand what a customer’s needs really are (forget about the days of pressing zero until reaching a live agent). And this not only means that businesses can somehow unburden themselves from customer service needs, but they can also provide better customer service experience while collecting valuable data.

4. Decision making with augmented intelligence.

Road split

According to the McKinsey Global Institute’s research, AI could deliver an additional output of $13 trillion to the world economy by 2030, which would boost global GDP by nearly 1.2 percent a year. Acting as a capital-hybrid, AI can aid the growth of both the economy and humans. It will definitely have a revolutionary impact on the decision-making process. 

Data ecosystems are now a possibility for small businesses. It is like a filing cabinet, only that now it lives in a cloud. And it is now affordable for businesses of all sizes to build, process and make smart decisions based on it. 

Because of this, decisions are not based off of gut feelings. One of the benefits of this, is cost reduction, leaving human biases and errors in the past. 

5. All-in-One platforms Are on the rise

Hand together.

As companies collect more data, their need to complete tasks in a single place is important. In 2020 a rise for all-in-one platforms will be seen on the financial, security, marketing and technology sector.

We’ve seen companies that started with one offering, now offer a variety of services as a result of their consumers needs. Why is it relevant for small businesses? Because it helps automate their processes, saving them time and money.

2020 will be the year where AI becomes accessible to all business owners, and leveraging its power will be a necessity. Small and medium businesses are trying to become more efficient, and with AI becoming a tangible force, they can now grow faster while keeping costs low and productivity high.