Clunky, outdated technologies still hold back many small businesses. These sometimes costly systems put businesses at risk of system crashes, slow WiFi speeds, cyber-security breaches, and decreased productivity. If you're struggling with these issues, you're not alone. As a study from ZenBusiness found, over 50% of employees said their workplace technology was outdated—including computers, software, and cloud-based platforms. And almost 100% said this affected their ability to be productive. That's where smart devices come in. With innovative technologies like smart thermostats, smart lighting, and adaptive WiFi, small businesses can increase efficiency and safety—and future-proof their companies for a tech-driven world. Here, we'll unpack just why smart technology is important for small businesses and how you can use smart devices to meet your business goals.
Benefits of smart devices for small businesses
First, let's look at how smart devices can benefit small businesses:
- Increased security. Smart security systems and smart locks can detect motion, trigger automatic alarms, and monitor your business around the clock to increase safety.
- Enhanced productivity. Smart assistants and cloud services can help you automate manual tasks, track productivity, and optimize towards key business goals.
- Improved energy efficiency. With smart thermostats and smart lighting, you can reduce energy costs and improve sustainability.
- Remote management. You can manage and monitor smart devices from anywhere, making it easier to run your business on the go.
Technology that is holding your small business back
Now, for the hard part: Being honest about the outdated technology that's keeping your business from growing and beating the competition. Specifically, here are a few obsolete technologies many small business may still use:
- Analog thermostats. Having to manually adjust a room's temperature can be time-consuming if you need to respond to changing employee and customer needs. These thermostats also lack the capacity to learn from your behaviors and optimize their energy output in real time.
- Manual locks and security systems. Outdated locks and security systems may not allow you to create separate passwords and permissions for managers, employees, and guests. They also may not come with motion-activated alerts, 24/7 camera feeds, and remote management capabilities.
- Traditional or mesh WiFi. Traditional WiFi systems send a signal from one central router. Mesh WiFi systems distribute signal throughout a location using various nodes. However, neither solution adapts to your business' connectivity needs, distributing signal the most efficient and cost-effective ways.
How to replace this technology with smart devices
Smart devices can be lifelines for small businesses struggling to update their old technology and automate time-consuming tasks. If that sounds all too familiar, you might consider replacing your outdated platforms with these smart devices:
These WiFi-enabled alternatives to traditional locks enable small business owners to set keyless entry codes for employees and guests, open and lock doors from their smartphones, and monitor all entrances and exits in real time. Smart locks also improve security by removing the risk of human errors like losing a physical set of keys.
Smart thermostats help you save energy and money by adapting to your business's climate—automatically heating and cooling your space based on factors like occupancy, weather, and time of day. So they can turn down the heat once employees leave on a winter night and crank it up again just before they arrive the next morning. These smart devices also connect directly with your HVAC system, using machine learning to gather usage data and optimize for energy efficiency.
Smart security camera
Smart security cameras can protect your business from intruders and theft. These smart devices use motion sensors and artificial intelligence to detect people on your premises and automatically record any suspicious activity. They also operate wirelessly, so you can place them anywhere without the hassle of dealing with cables. And they connect to the cloud, so you can easily manage video recordings and security alerts from your smartphone.
Smart light bulbs can help small businesses reduce electricity bills and improve security. Smart bulbs use motion sensors to turn on and off depending on when people are in the room, or they can be programmed to light up at certain times. Like smart thermostats, smart bulbs can also adapt to your schedules and learn from your behaviors to increase energy efficiency. These devices can even adjust their color and brightness to enhance employees' comfort and productivity.
Adaptive WiFi is a smart alternative to traditional and mesh WiFi. Like mesh WiFi, adaptive WiFi distributes signal throughout your entire location using nodes or access points. The big difference is — instead of distributing that signal evenly to each node — adaptive WiFi uses AI and machine learning to distribute signal in real time to the areas and devices that need it most. So if the front of your office needs more connection in the morning to support visitors and the conference room in the back corner of your office needs more connection for meetings in the afternoon, your WiFi will adapt and send the right amount of signal to each area.
Start powering your small business with WorkPass
In with the old, out with the new. It's a maxim for a reason, and it's vital for small businesses that want to continue to innovate and get ahead of the competition. Built specifically for small businesses, WorkPass delivers a suite of smart services including adaptive WiFi for reliable connectivity, AI-driven network security, and staff management tools for increased productivity. Plus, it all runs in the cloud so you can manage and grow your business from the palm of your hand. WorkPass also automatically gathers customer data and insights, so you can optimize your business to meet customers' needs. And it even turns your connected devices into motion sensors, providing additional peace of mind. Learn more about WorkPass and create a customized membership that meets your small business needs.