Recently, I have been very fortunate to have an intern join the company – Kenneth Bevan joins Pinnaklo Ltd from UCC.

At Pinnaklo Ltd we are very conscious of the impact that the right technology and it’s usage has on the growth opportunities it presents to an SME Business and Kenneth has made come exceptional observations and advise in this blog post that he has just created. We hope you enjoy this read. Noella Carroll – Managing Director at Pinnaklo Ltd

Over the past 18 months it has been clear that technology plays a great importance in our lives. From a personal standpoint, I have increased my own reliance on technology to stay in contact with friends during the pandemic, finish my college work online and began my post college life remotely. This has got me thinking about the importance technology has on business and more importantly SME businesses.

There are many different advantages to technology when it comes to business, some of these are: Cloud computing is relatively new to the technology world, but the effect it has had is huge, allowing us to move away from traditional data storage to something more flexible and cheaper. This is a huge advantage to smaller business as it removes the need to store data locally and makes the information available wherever it is needed.

Another positive use of technology for SME businesses is, it allows them to enter new markets previously unavailable to them. With apps such as Uber eats and eBay, small businesses can now enter more local and international markets. Uber eats is a food delivery service and this allows small food businesses to be able to offer delivery, when a few years ago this may have not been possible. Then with sites such as eBay and Amazon SME businesses can set up virtual stores and organise international deliveries. This really levels out the playing field for small businesses against large organisations.

With the rapid growth in popularity for social media, SME businesses have a new and cheaper platform to market off. With social media, by creating competitions has transformed marketing for business, these competitions would usually consist of a raffle and to enter you would need to like or share that companies post. This can be a huge help for SME businesses as it gets their company into the eyes of the consumer, without the need to pay for more traditional advertising such as commercials.

Social media can also be used for recruiting for businesses that may require large amounts of staff. Industries such as warehousing, and factories will make the best use of this if they require large amounts of staff. They can post job descriptions on social media and collect applications from there.

While the implementation of new technology is great and I would think every business should at least consider technology, there are also a few drawbacks. The process of implementing these technologies is expensive and time consuming, in the long run this process would be worth it, it should be noted that it is not an easy process. There may be a requirement to hire a software engineer or a project manager on contract to implement these technologies and it will take him time and resources to move all the necessary data across. The larger the amount of data that needs to be transferred, the longer this process takes.

The one thing everyone should be concerned about technology is that it is unreliable. I think I can safely say that we have all been at home at one stage where we decided to stream a movie or a tv series and it keeps freezing. This leaves you sitting there waiting for it to come back on. The same thing can happen in the workplace environment. If the internet goes down in an office, you must be sure that there is some backup system in place. Otherwise, there will be employees sitting around unable to do any work. I have had some personal experience with this from working in a warehouse. Whenever the system goes down, there is a large delay in finishing the job.

One final thing I would like to discuss, and it is not really a disadvantage more of a word of caution. When dealing with technology and especially the internet, it is important to be careful. As we seen recently in the news the HSE got hacked. This shows that hackers will target everyone. It is important to be careful, before you click on any link make sure that you are certain that it is safe.