According to a year-end survey by j2 Global, small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are prioritizing cloud-based technologies, mobile marketing efforts and overall digital office technologies for the New Year. The results are a culmination of ideals that reiterate the sweeping change occurring throughout businesses today. Accessing work via the cloud and on mobile devices allows for a more flexible work schedule and an increase in the balance of work and life for SMBs and the enterprise alike.
Nearly 88 percent of SMBs surveyed plan to retire one or more legacy business technologies this year and almost 60 percent say they will save money by investing in cloud services. Respondents also see value in ditching the office fax machine in favor of online faxing services (27 percent) and scrapping office landlines to instead invest in mobile and virtual phone systems (23 percent).
SMB marketing will continue its upward tick toward online and social media usage with 70 percent of respondents citing the use of Facebook mobile apps for marketing, followed by Twitter and YouTube as secondary apps most used. Email marketing will also remain an important focus with 44 percent of those surveyed planning to use proven email marketing practices again in 2014 “using automation tools and running email campaigns to inspire sharing on social networks.”
Mike Pugh, vice president of marketing for j2 Global, believes that digitized offices are indeed the future for SMBs:
The unrelenting trend toward the digital office continues for SMBs across every industry. With the cost-savings and increased productivity entrepreneurs gain as they move more of their business functions to the cloud, we’re not surprised this 2014 survey finds SMBs planning to further leverage social media, virtual phone services, email marketing, and online faxing. The overall message from the survey is that the cloud just makes smart business sense for the SMB.