Posted by : Amanda Stein Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Managing a small business or a startup can either be a difficult undertaking or an exciting adventure, depending on how you feel about tackling the unexpected and how much you are willing to adopt new technology that can help you and your employees to communicate and spend your time effectively. The real game changer for startups and small businesses, states, comes when businesses can embrace change and work with new innovations. According to Ventana Research, a benchmark research and advisory services firm, innovative tools for improving business analytics, cloud computing and social media are helping companies get ahead of competition, set reasonable goals and be more efficient.

Tools to Measure Progress - Business Analytics states that Ventana's research concluded that business analytics are considered very important to 52 percent of the organizations that were involved in the survey. Many businesses that use analytic tools complained that building comprehensive data that made sense was difficult or inconclusive. WebFocus RStat, an alternative to Salesforce, is a new comprehensive and affordable tool. Using this tool will allow you to analyze trends and make sound predictions for future operations, based on accurate forecasts and existing financial trends.

Essential Utility - Cloud Computing

Since businesses can use cloud-computing solutions to secure data, share files, or as an alternative to a hosted windows server, a majority of the participants had to admit that cloud solutions were essential to day-to-day productivity. The cloud is becoming a standard method for onboarding applications and require little IT involvement. According to Ventana's research, 63 percent of the participants said they used cloud-computing solutions for data security. states one solution that cloud vendors are offering businesses are Security as a Service (SecaaS), which provides encryption, as an extra security measure.

Expanding Corporate Footprint - Social Media

Organizations are struggling to integrate the analytics. Businesses need easier results of communication, which is hopefully what social-media outlets will do for them. It will align human dynamics with analytics to better support communicating observations. Many companies are using social media to improve on their brand awareness, but 81 percent of the businesses also used social media to find new talent that would benefit their company, according to SmartDataColle. LinkedIn and Twitter have served as being great vehicles for recruiting and reaching experienced applicants across a wider landscape. Ventana also measured how much companies found social media to be an effective way to communicate with customers. Many companies, both large and small, have found that they are able to communicate quickly and effectively through social media tools like Facebook and Twitter. Users can ask a question on a companies' Twitter or Facebook page and the companies' customer service representative, who is operating the social media page can respond in real time as the question is posted.

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