When the online publication Small Business Trends surveyed nearly 500 small and midsize-business owners across the country last February, they found that technology has become more important than ever in companies of all sizes.

Though CRM is often an expensive and lofty goal for time-strapped businesses, it drastically increases growth once it’s implemented and understood. In fact, Small Business Trends found that “growing SMBs are twice as likely as their stagnant counterparts to rely on CRM in their daily lives.” Along with these cohesive programs, synchronizing business data across platforms is becoming a priority as well, especially when providing a holistic view of key customer information.

Even artificial intelligence has begun to crop up in the small business market, albeit slowly. Still, it’s clear that the fastest-growing businesses are using automation and predictive sale forecasting nearly twice as much as their stagnant counterparts. SmallBusinessTrends.com, 2/14/18

The Internet Of Things: Are You Okay Playing Offense?

Adjusting your home’s thermostat and hot water heater back to normal temperatures as you board a plane on your way home isn’t just cool, it’s incredibly handy. However, the network of these and other connected devices – often called “the Internet of Things” (IoT) – poses one of the biggest security problems of the modern era.

Most people think about changing their computer password regularly and their ATM PIN occasionally, but they almost never consider changing the password the programmable thermostat ships with from the factory, meaning that anyone who can access the manual has access to your thermostat.

You should adopt a strict offensive posture against these types of threats in your life and business. If there is even a suspected problem with one of your IoT devices, pull the plug. Your heater may be cold when you get home, but at least your data will be safe.