Japan, the home of business technology, is set to fire out another wave of tech that will once again advance the way we conduct business. Let’s take a look at what’s coming our way, but also take a moment to remind ourselves that some of the best tech is right on our own doorstep and to find out if that new tech is really worth the hype if you’re an SME. As the saying goes – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Let’s start with a couple of examples of some tech hardware that has all the gadget lovers a-flutter…
Panasonic has turned its attentions to business on the go, with the development of the Toughpad. This is the “first ruggedized tablet”, which is powered by Android and uses high-encryption data and device security, with “enterprise-grade technology businesses and government agencies require”. Chances are you’re not setting up a sub-group of MI6, but the Toughpad will integrate with cloud technology and even has its own Wi-Fi hotspot router. And, as the name suggests, you’ll need to be giving it some real stick before t breaks. Toughpad is water-resistant, dust-resistant and will withstand a drop or two from up to four feet. Panasonic claims it to be “the ultimate tablet for the mobile workforce”.
Sony has upped their game with the new range of Vaio laptops. The Ultrabooks range boasts faster connectivity, bigger data storage capabilities and, like the Toughpad, has been made businessman-resistant, so that all those drops and dings won’t damage your mobile office. Add a battery-life of up to seven hours and searching for a power point in a train carriage suddenly doesn’t become a worry. There’s also a rumour that Sony is developing ‘no-touch’ technology; laptops that respond to the motion of your hand to a precision of 1mm.
The Backbone of Small Business
However, while these devices are evolving the way businesses will be able to communicate and share and store data, they don’t have much to do with small businesses and the backbone of SMEs: accounting. So let’s take a look at one more piece of kit that, while constantly evolving, is actually designed to work for SMEs. This time, it’s software rather than hardware that wins out.
The Intuit innovation of small business accounting technology has seen QuickBooks become the most widely-used accounting software in the world – because it’s aimed specifically at SMEs. Entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses tend not to have the money to throw at tablets, phones and fancy hardware. Instead, they’re focused on making sure that they can meet their bills, pay their staff, minimise their overheads and turn over a profit. While an all-singing, all-dancing Smartphone might allow you to share documents with your colleagues whilst on the go, it doesn’t help you to balance your books.
The Intuit innovation of small business technology is based around what small business owners need, not what makes them look good. Besides, the majority of Intuit’s software is available for mobile devices, as well as laptops and computers.
However, that’s not to say that Intuit is complacent. They are constantly striving to upgrade and improve the innovations that have led to them becoming the leading provider of accounting software. While they may not ‘ruggedize’ their products (is that even a word?), you can be sure that they will withstand the toughest financial demands that an SME can make on its software.