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A Year in SME Technology and Telecoms
Comms Group News
Ed Hobson, Technical Director

A year in SME technology and telecoms

By Comms Group Head of Technical, Ed Hobson

Read time: four minutes

Whatever kind of work you do, there’s no getting away from technology and telecoms – especially if you run a small business. With that comes an overwhelming amount of information and guidance, so we’ve rounded up the year’s most important tech and telecoms for you and your growing organisation…


Technology ­– including AI, data and helpdesk apps – is extremely important to small businesses. And in this month, customer relationship software company, Salesforce, surveyed SMEs on their views on technology and how it’s shaping their businesses. You can see it here.


SMEs might not invest as much in technology as larger businesses, but when they do, cyber security and cloud tops their shopping lists. That was the finding this month in a new study conducted by an internet service provider. Now that we’re at the end of 2018, has this study proven true for your business? 


The end of the tax year sees everybody’s attention turn to finance and banking. That’s probably why this article in March, about financial technology for small businesses, was a hit. As banks increasingly look to make their business products more user-friendly, mirroring consumer experience, this is definitely an article to bookmark for your own business finances.


This one’s a biggie. In this month, Ofcom published the results of their survey SMEs to find out what they want from telecoms providers. The businesses questioned said a key challenge was understanding the terminology used by telecoms providers – and they also said they are still drawn to bigger suppliers. It’s why we pride ourselves on being approachable, friendly and transparent. 


May saw the new GDPR legislation come into effect, which is designed to protect customer data and privacy. And although we’ve not heard a huge amount of concern about it from our small business clients, we do recognise the significance of the regulation. So we always advise our customers to go straight to the horse’s mouth and use the GDPR guidance from the government. Here’s a good place to start.


World Cup fever gripped the nation and its businesses. Being big sports fans ourselves, we were only too happy to join in the cheering for Gareth, Harry and the team. But we also saw a string of articles relating the beautiful game to business. This piece how the World Cup offers lessons for business resilience was a particular favourite.


Hidden among the almost-constant debate about Brexit, came this announcement from government about its plans for communications infrastructure. Obviously, the document paints the government in a positive light, but we applaud the basic ideas of increasing competition and widening the market – and the notion that it is no longer acceptable to neglect digital connectivity in rural areas.


Not unrelated to the government announcement in July, this month saw government proudly declare its investment in broadband infrastructure has boosted SMEs’ turnover by £9billion. A great headline of course, but our experience on the ground suggests the apparent improvements aren’t trickling down – especially in rural areas. We say ‘watch this space’.


Hardly a day goes by without news of a cyber attack – and over the summer, British Airways became one of the latest victims. Often, bigger organisations are the target for hackers, but that doesn’t preclude smaller businesses from such attacks. Many companies simply don’t know where to start when addressing their cyber security concerns – we think this article, published in September, is a good place.


Never a day goes by without some kind of survey or study. And it’s why we like to cherry pick the best reading for our customers. In October, we saw this study that found 83 per cent of SMEs use online banking, but a lack of trust, tech outages and fees are making for some justifiably unhappy customers. Come on, banks, move with the times – give business customers the same experiences as consumers.


At the time of writing, we reckon Black Friday is still boosting UK businesses’ sales, as its popularity grows year on year. If you’re an SME and missed out on all the action, make sure you look into this massive initiative ahead of next November. When you do, remember, promotions can be about services as well as products – Black Friday is no longer just about technology sales. Here’s what some SMEs planned for this year’s Black Friday.


‘Tis the season to be jolly. For us, that means switching off from work. And even as a telecoms and technology firm, we say now’s the month to get away from the smartphones and screens and firmly fix your focus on family, fun and festivities. Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year, from everybody at Comms Group

What telecoms and technology developments shaped 2018 for you? Let us know on our social channels: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Looking to get more out of your telecoms in 2019? Our friendly team can help from the first step. Talk with us now.

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