One of the biggest challenges facing any business is determining which trends to latch onto and which ones to bypass. Technology moves at breakneck speed, so there are new options available all the time. How can an organization know which of these trends will turn into the Next Big Thing, and which ones will fall by the wayside? It's insight that could prove invaluable – the difference between staying on the cutting edge or losing money to a wasted investment.

While the lasting individual devices or platforms may be tough to predict, there are larger trends that businesses can keep tabs on in order to stay ahead of the curve. For small companies, this is an essential process – it will keep them competitive with larger competitors that don't embrace new devices.

Keeping an eye on the latest trends
With that advice in mind, there are a few emerging technologies, platforms and trends that businesses will increasingly come to adopt in the next year. The sooner a company latches on, the bigger its upper hand will be.

According to, the office itself might be due for a few cuts. More businesses are reducing their investment in actual office equipment like computers and telephones as more workers move into a mobile setting. In turn, mobile devices and software-based platforms like VoIP that can integrate mobility into the workplace will continue their meteoric growth.

Additionally, sensible data storage, backup and security are becoming high-demand commodities with the greater emphasis on cyber threats within the last year.

Invest wisely
When it comes to investment strategies, companies must prioritize. First and foremost are the items that "keep the lights on," as the Burlington Free Press described, but the strategy should also include those new systems that could drive growth or change directions for the company. The news publications divided these investments into three categories:

  • Drive: Those systems that ensure day-to-day operations are carried out without error.
  • Flourish: New platforms like new software or website upgrades that tie in with strategic goals and organizational growth.
  • Pivot: Research and development initiatives that pinpoint new systems or programs, like testing and design proofs.

By focusing on these three facets of investment, businesses can not only maintain – they can expand.

Equipment and business industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in 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.