A Few Helpful “Best Of” Tech Lists, And Predictions…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – Microsoft Excel is finally making formulas smarter and easier.

Microsoft Excel recently revealed several updates that should make using formulas more efficient and easy. The updates are geared toward web users and include formula suggestions based on contextual data, formula by example which is similar to autofill, a tool that can identify broken links in cloud workbooks, and the ability to include pictures within cells. (Source: TechRadar)

Why this is important for your business:

When was the last time you paid for Excel training for your staff? With all the changes Microsoft has made – and some that are on the way – I think it’s worth spending a grand or two and hiring an Excel specialist to spend a few hours with your users – both general and power – to not only get them up to speed on the newest features but to answer any questions they have.

2 – These are the best PC hardware and software of 2022 and 2023.

Editors at tech website PC World recently shared their picks for the top PC hardware and software of this and next year. Top picks include the Dell XPS 13 for its thin build, the Intel Core i9-13900K for the best high-end CPU, the Adata Legend 960 for the best SSD, Norton 360 Deluxe as the best antivirus software, the Asus ProARt PA348CG as the best monitor, and ExpressVPN as the best VPN. You can read all of the picks here. (Source: PCWorld)

Why this is important for your business:

Thank you @BradChacos for this fantastic list. We’re buying new laptops and hubs this year so it couldn’t have come at a better time.

3 – 2022’s top retail technology trends tell a tale of change.

Retail technology has seen significant developments over the last year. The trends that changed retail in 2022 include unattended retail with cashier less tech, payments choice, AR/VR try-on tech such as Amazon Fashion, mobile-assisted shopping, resale product authentication, all-in-one super apps, and more. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

Another great list for anyone in the retail industry. For smaller shops I’d pay attention to unattended retail and payment choices. The rest of the items will also affect smaller businesses but will likely take longer to have an impact.

4 – These are the best work from home tech of 2022 and 2023.

PC World staff shared their picks for the best work-from-home technology for the past year and what to look out for in 2023. Top picks include the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 as the best work-from-home laptop, the Logitech C920e as the best work-from-home business webcam, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 as the best work-from-home Chromebook, and the iDrive Online Cloud Backup as the best online backup service. You can read about all of the picks here. (Source: PCWorld)

Why this is important for your business:

Another useful “best of” from PC World for any of us that have remote employees which includes some of the items from their best hardware and software list above. The more we invest in good tech like this, the productive they will be.

5 – Here’s what to expect from AI in 2023.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has seen its share of both good and bad in the last year, from art-generating models encouraging creativity to deep fakes enabling bad actors to propel lies. According to tech site Tech Crunch, some of the things we can expect from AI in 2023 are more issues coming from the use of art-generating apps, regulations for AI, and uncertainty when it comes to investments in AI companies. (Source: Tech Crunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Regulations and decentralization will continue to push AI platforms forward. I’ll keep an eye out on anything specific that will impact small businesses. For now, the industry (and the technology) continues to develop at a rapid pace.

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