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1. Scarcity of Tech Manpower – Austin Entrepreneur Network (Texas) Director, Hall Martin says that “technical labor is a big challenge in this part of the world.” Due to shortage of quality, IT professionals’ small-medium businesses will lean heavily on cloud-based applications. Cloud-based project management and client management will be used profusely in businesses of all sizes to counterbalance the increasing shortage of technology labor.

2. Video conferencing will be widely used - Many organizations feel that freedom and flexibility will encourage employees to perform better. Due to this, there have been a considerable increase in the remote employees and contract/independent workers in recent years. Companies believe that the productivity of an employee is at best when they work in a more relaxed atmosphere. It could be from their home, cafe, client’s premise or from anywhere with Internet access. Therefore, many companies are embracing video conferencing to keep in touch with their remote employees. Brian Difeo, Community Manager at the Hive at 55, says “While videoconferencing has been around for a while, typically it’s only used by a small percentage of professionals. I think that’s going to grow.”

3. Cloud computing will gather momentum – Rob Enderle, founder of The Enderle Group, a technology consulting firm, believes that “There will be a lot more cloud services being offered.” This year we will witness many small business owners adopting applications on project management, timesheets, data storage and CRM on the cloud to take their business to new levels. Cloud computing has leveled the ground for many small businesses and they must make use of cloud services to compete with the larger players.

4. Employees will bring their own gadgets to work – According to Enderle Group, employees will prefer to use their own gadgets. Small business owners will use a lot of the latest model smartphones and tablets in his office. We see people switching to the latest gadgets such as iPad 2, tablets based on Android 4.0, Windows 7, BlackBerry PlayBook to empower themselves at work.

5. Data security will be a concern – Gartner, a research firm, opines that no one gadget will dominate the field and organizations will have to manage a wide array of devices. This will surely lead to data security threats. Therefore, small businesses must consider implementing certain protocols for the usage of personal devices. There has to be a set of standard rules of conduct for all employees in the workplace if they are using their own devices.

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