Posted by David Scult

ROIThe digital economy and high-turnover tech landscape can offer many advantages for small and medium-sized businesses, but investing in new developments comes with caveats. The panoply of new technology, whether it's software, devices or platforms, offers many intriguing possibilities for boosting SMB profitability. If it's deployed adroitly, it will likely generate positive returns - at least in the short term.

Part of being able to invest in new technology and communications solutions is effectively predicting the future - knowing when an investment can engender strong returns, and keeping up that pattern well into the future. As that (likely defunct) business that invested heavily in the Segway can probably attest, some financial decisions can fail spectacularly and with resounding finality. Other innovations, however, prompt a gradual ROI recession that takes place over time, so that it ends up doing a business damage that may be more subtle but no less extensive. Stretching your investment dollars may always come with some sort of risk, but targeting strategies that have a viable plan in place for future consistency may prove to be the best option.

Generating a strong ROI is especially important when it comes to business communications, because your employees will have to depend on your investments for some time. Asset optimization can stem from anticipating future trends. I read one thought piece recently that boiled down the SMB collaboration landscape to three significant trends - cloud computing, mobile communication and social media. These three areas have already attained some level of maturity, reflecting past success, but continued innovation shows that there are likely still many new uses that haven't yet been fully developed.

Another article I read discussed the value of internal crowdsourcing when it comes to idea generation - SMBs can increase investment in their internal collaborations by giving their employees more opportunities to contribute directly to business ideation. This strategy reflects the increasingly consumerized landscape of our current age and fosters a culture in which more value is placed on employee contributions.