When it comes to small businesses and technology, many owners and operators implement some advances that can help their marketing and sales, but often shy away from more in-depth equipment. However, new reports have found that putting new strategies into place can lead to a huge improvement in overall productivity.

Big Data
The New York Times reported that with a simple software upgrade, many small businesses can learn more new information about their sales and customer demographics than they'd ever expect. By purchasing big data-centric technology, which is increasingly tailored to small businesses and the specific equipment they have on hand, businesses can track everything from the supplies they need at different points in the day to the sales figures they see during an average workweek.

Big data adoption is growing by leaps and bounds. From 2010 to 2013, small businesses using intelligence software more than quadrupled, growing from just 1.7 percent of the market to 9.2 percent, the news source said. This is likely because of the more extensive expansion of the technology, as many experts told the news source that the latest tools can be operated without prior education and can even be operated via smartphone.

3-D Printing
Much has been said about 3-D printing in the past few years, but Bloomberg Businessweek noted that it's being adopted in more businesses than ever. Small manufacturers, as one example, have picked up basic models that can print prototypes of their final products. A company that took this approach said it has been able to wipe three months off its average production cycle, which gives it a much better position in the at-large market.

As 3-D printing becomes more popular in the near future, its uses will expand further, helping push its potential purposes past these prototypes and other options like creating replacement parts for machines. In the next two years, the printers are more likely than ever to reach a larger consumer market, with average prices plummeting from $1,000 to $100 or even lower. As a result, the possibilities for small companies can only grow.

IT and tech industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in information technology equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.