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The Future of SMEs

The world of business technology is fast moving and in recent years, a huge number of advances have become a reality for even the smallest company. From GPS navigation systems and tablet computers to the rise of increasingly sophisticated ecommerce websites, SMEs are reaping the rewards of many new technologies. But what will the near future see and how will it benefit small businesses?

Telepresence Robots

Many routine office tasks can also be done at home via video conferencing and email, but telepresence robotics takes this even further. They are relatively simple systems using cameras, microphones, screens and speakers which can give you the embodied ‘sense’ of really being in the room. This is an exciting prospect as more sophisticated technology in this area could result in eliminating the need to travel or commute at all.

The Virtual-Physical High Street

Around 37% of UK SMEs believe that in 50 years, traditional high streets and business centres will disappear. Instead, virtual-physical telepresence will be used to make a high street that exists on the internet and physically all at once. For example, a small or medium business without a fixed location could rent a shop space where it offers virtual products and services. This would combine the convenience of the internet with the human interaction of a traditional shopping experience.

Global Trading and Delivery of Products

The elimination of trade restrictions posed by currency and state borders and the emergence of multilingual and multicultural telepresence work forces could mean it become unecessary for SMEs to be tied down to one country, or to have anything like a headquarters. All the boundaries preventing SMEs from trading globally will slowly dissolve, levelling the playing field and making it easier t compete on the world market.

So, how will all this affect your business?


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