Tech Trends Business Owners Can Expect in 2024

9 mins read

As the world hurtles towards an increasingly digital future, small business owners must stay attuned to the latest technological trends to ensure growth, efficiency, and relevance in a dynamic marketplace. The year 2023 set the stage for transformative changes, and as we look ahead to 2024, a plethora of tech trends are poised to reshape the small business landscape. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deeper into each of the 11 tech trends, exploring the nuances and implications for small business owners.

Artificial Intelligence Becomes More Widespread

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are no longer confined to the realms of tech giants; they are permeating small businesses. In 2024, we can expect AI to revolutionise various aspects of small business operations. Meredith Schmidt, EVP, and GM of Small Business and Essentials at Salesforce, notes that AI’s adoption by small businesses will lead to more personalised customer experiences by automating manual tasks. For instance, AI-powered voice assistants, personalised customer experiences, and e-commerce chatbots are set to become commonplace. Small business owners can leverage these AI applications to maximise efficiency, saving time and resources.

The 5G Rollout Gains Momentum

The rollout of 5G technology, initially set in motion in 2019, is expected to gain significant momentum in 2024. Beyond faster data transmission speeds, the real game-changer is the minimal latency, a crucial factor for the Internet of Things (IoT). With 5G, small businesses can explore a more interconnected and efficient ecosystem, unlocking opportunities for innovation and streamlined operations. Ericsson Mobile predicts a doubling of IoT devices deployed using cellular 5G connections from the end of 2022 to 2028, signifying a substantial expansion of IoT career opportunities for IT professionals in the small business sector.

Continued Adoption of Employee Monitoring Software

The widespread acceptance of hybrid and remote work models necessitates the continued adoption of employee monitoring software. Rhiannon Staples, former CMO of Hibob, emphasises that the shift to remote work has fundamentally altered businesses’ dynamics. Centralised HR information systems and employee monitoring software have become mission-critical in navigating the challenges posed by remote work. Businesses will seek solutions that provide granular oversight of remote workers, ensuring productivity and effective collaboration. Features like mobile device coverage and the ability to identify ineffective working practices will be paramount in the selection of employee monitoring tools.

Perfecting Remote Onboarding

As businesses embrace hybrid work models to harness potential cost savings, the role of technology in facilitating successful remote onboarding becomes pivotal. Technology will play a crucial role in orchestrating a seamless onboarding experience for remote employees. According to Staples, investing in technology that plans and orchestrates every step of the onboarding process will be essential to make new team members feel welcome and connected. Tools facilitating virtual introductions, team connectivity, and cultural assimilation will be prioritised by small businesses aiming to build cohesive remote teams.

Expansion of Tech-Assisted Retail Shopping

Major retailers have been at the forefront of adopting mobile and social media shopping to create a contactless shopping experience, and small businesses are set to follow suit in 2024. The decreasing price point of such technologies makes them more accessible to smaller enterprises. Mobile payments, including QR codes, mobile terminals, and wallets, will continue to grow in popularity. As consumers become more comfortable with these payment methods, small businesses can leverage tech-assisted retail shopping to enhance customer experiences and improve profitability.

Rise of Superapps

Gartner predicts that 2024 will witness the rise of superapps, heralding a new era of streamlined and unified app services. Small businesses can benefit from these superapps by combining disparate services into a single, user-friendly interface. This unification addresses the challenge of connecting different software platforms, fostering seamless communication and data flow across various business functions. Roy Mann, CEO, and Co-founder of, anticipates breakthroughs in integration platforms, enabling smooth connections between diverse software applications.

Increased Focus on Cybersecurity

The evolving nature of work practices has given rise to new forms of cyber threats, making cybersecurity a top priority for small businesses in 2024. Despite the prevalent sense of optimism among small business owners, research from BullGuard indicates that cyberattacks are on the rise. Small businesses are not immune, with cloud security company Barracuda revealing that they are three times more likely to be targeted in phishing attacks than their larger counterparts. Jim Lippie, CEO of SaaS Alerts, emphasises the importance of adopting a comprehensive backup-and-disaster-recovery solution, aligning security practices with those of enterprise businesses.

Big Data Takes Center Stage

Small businesses are set to amplify their investments in big data and analytics, defying fears of an economic recession. According to Nash Squared’s Digital Leadership Report, two-thirds of digital leaders believe that big data and analytics will provide a competitive advantage over the next year. The adoption of big data technologies allows small businesses to refine best practices, gaining insights that improve market positioning and enhance decision-making capabilities. The report also highlights that 64% of respondents believe big data gives their companies a competitive advantage, with nearly a quarter experiencing actual revenue from their data initiatives.

Emphasis on Automation

The buzz around automation in small business circles is evolving into a serious exploration of workplace automation. Omri Traub, founder of Popcart, notes that businesses are increasingly considering automation as a solution to save costs and address labor shortages. In 2024, we can expect a surge in automation investments, including online pricing automation and inventory management systems. Traub envisions a new wave of companies leveraging the cloud to create automated solutions, ushering in an era where repetitive tasks are handled seamlessly by machines.

Influencer Marketing Continues to Grow

Influencer marketing is not a passing trend; it’s poised for sustained and robust growth in 2024. Statista projects that the influencer marketing industry will be worth $22.2 billion in 2025, emphasising the enduring impact of influencers on consumer behaviour. The changing habits of consumers, particularly among Gen Z, who rely on platforms like TikTok for search and discovery, contribute to the expanding reach of influencer marketing. Authenticity is key, with consumers seeking recommendations from influencers they trust. Small businesses can capitalise on influencer marketing to connect with their target audience, build authenticity, and drive sales.

Continued Growth in Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising has become an integral part of small businesses’ marketing strategies, and this trend is set to continue in 2024. According to Hootsuite’s Future of Social Marketing report, 83% of marketers express confidence in the return on investment (ROI) for social media advertising. This marks a significant increase from the previous year, underscoring the proven value of social media advertising for businesses. Matt Rosenberg, Head of Communications at Helbiz, predicts that as more businesses adopt a micro-focus, social advertising will grow as a cost-effective and efficient means of targeting specific audiences. The ability to create unique and engaging content through social media channels is crucial in today’s digital landscape.

The tech trends outlined above are not isolated developments; they are interconnected facets of a rapidly evolving technological landscape. Small business owners need to remain vigilant and adaptable, recognising the symbiotic relationship between technology and business growth.