Five Things That Could Impact Your Business

Five Things That Could Impact Your Business

March 11, 2018

Each week at Louis Mamo and Company we try to identify stories that might be important to you and your business. We look at and examine trends in marketing, technology and general business so that you may benefit by potentially adapting your business to insure its longevity and success.

In case your missed it, here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they will affect your business.

1. Google will be doing a major re-design of Gmail.

This week Google “confidentially” told its G-Suite customers that it’s planning a major re-design of its Gmail software. “We’re working on some major updates to Gmail (they’re still in draft phase),” a company spokesman said. “We need a bit more time to compose ourselves, so can’t share anything yet—archive this for now, and we’ll let you know when it’s time to hit send.”

Why this is important for your business:

Since several sources are reporting this, it should be obvious just how “confidential” the news is. But it’s interesting and important news for business owners. Millions of users and companies use Gmail as their main email client, so any change will have a big impact on those companies’ productivity. Look for a fresher, cleaner interface, easier access to G Suite apps like Calendar, a “smart reply” feature online that mirrors the capability on mobile devices, the ability to “snooze” emails and choose when they re-appear in your inbox and offline support for those situations where your internet connection is spotty.

2. PayPal readies rollout of traditional banking services

PayPal plans to move into traditional banking services such as direct deposit, debit cards and mobile check processing this year. The company will work with small banks to do this and may also invest in out-of-home ads to promote the new mobile features to consumers in ‘banking deserts’ – areas where banks aren’t conveniently located. The services won’t require monthly fees or minimum balances but will charge a 1% fee on any check deposited by smartphone and ATM fees for those who aren’t in PayPal’s MoneyPass network.

Why this is important for your business:

If, like so many other companies, you’re using PayPal for transactions it only makes sense to maintain your entire banking operations with them too. Larger companies like Apple, Sam’s Club and Amazon are also moving in this direction and as digital payments grow in popularity and millions of small business owners find less reasons to have a traditional banking relationship, firms like PayPal will step in to handle our day to day transactions.

3. Web browsers are starting to kill passwords.

Some of the most popular Web browsers are trying to do away with passwords. Internet standards organizations the FIDO Alliance and W3C have launched a new specification that allows Web browsers and websites to support biometric encryption methods in place of passwords. Firefox already works with the technology, and Google’s Chrome and Microsoft Edge will begin supporting it within the next few months. Apple, which operates its Safari browser, has yet to announce its support.

Why this is important for your business:

Better keep those hands clean! Very soon we will be seeing browsers, software and hardware that will rely on biometric sign-in technologies. As a business ownere, this, along with the trend towards two-factor authentication, will have a significant positive impact on the privacy of both our data and that of our customers.

4. A long-awaited Internet of Things (IoT) crisis is here, and many devices aren’t ready.

Even though a flaw in IoT devices such as routers that makes them vulnerable to attack was exposed in 2006, an industry-wide lack of investment in security since then could lead to other abuses. This week, the content and web services firm Akamai published new findings with evidence that attackers are actively exploiting these weaknesses not to attack the devices themselves but as a starting point for other malicious behavior, including DDoS attacks, malware distribution, spamming, phishing, account takeovers, click fraud and credit card theft.

Why this is important for your business:

Like death and taxes, there will always be hackers. IoT devices are exploding this year and will soon impact how you track information through your business. Manufacturers, farmers, shippers and distributors will be among the companies most affected by this technology. But with the good comes some bad: a new vulnerability to malware. Before investing, consider this risk and ask your vendor what they’re doing to mitigate it.

5. Vermont’s maple syrup business is booming, thanks to technology and changing tastes.

Sales of maple syrup are growing fast, driven by consumers looking for natural sweeteners as they move away from refined sugar and corn syrup. Maple’s advocates also tout it as a source of minerals such as manganese and riboflavin. In Vermont, America’s leading maple-producing state, production has tripled in the past 10 years, from an average of 2.3 million liters a year in the late 2000s to about 6.8 million liters a year now. And automation is a big reason why.

Why this is important for your business:

Those laid-back Vermonters can teach us a thing or two about technology. According to an article in The Straits Times, maple production until recently was limited by how much human labor could be put to work. But technology, like the spider webs of plastic tubes that connect to thousands of taps drawing the syrup from trees and state-of-the-art machines that perform “reverse osmosis” and extract water to cut down on boiling time, is rapidly changing that. “We know you can get more sap out of a tree than is currently typical,” said one owner. Yeah, they’re doing it. Are you?

Is your business maximizing it’s technological capacity to increase productivity? At Louis Mamo and Company we can assist you in this area. For a free technology and/or operation analysis, contact us today.