To help small businesses predict the smartest ways to invest in technology in Canada in 2022, GetApp surveyed 150 Canadian business leaders about what types of software they plan to invest in. According to the majority of respondents, application integration, conversational user interfaces, and blockchain were the most cited technologies to make an impact over the next two years.
Over one-third of respondents said their companies plan to adopt application integration software. This was the most popular technology noted throughout the entire GetApp survey.
Application integration lets digital tools communicate and work together. Since the pandemic accelerated digital transformation, businesses are working with more digital tools than ever before.
According to GetApp, for businesses, it is extremely important that applications be integrated and keep data consistent across various locations.
In addition, orchestrating a streamlined flow of activities performed by disparate applications and providing access to data and functionality from different applications through a single user interface is also important.
Conversational user interfaces
Conversational user interfaces (CUI) were the second most cited technology planned for implementation in 2022, with 36 per cent of respondents reporting it.
A CUI is any technology that enables users to interact and chat with a machine the way they would with a human. For example, voice assistants such as an Echo, Google Home or Siri are forms of CUI. Text-based chatbots are another example.
According to GetApp, SMEs have adopted chatbots to provide 24/7 service, respond to customer questions, collect customer data and provide information in different languages.
36 per cent of business owners reported wanting to invest in blockchain technology over the next year. GetApp attributes this to this year’s increase in cyberattacks.
Blockchain technology creates records in decentralized ‘blocks’ that are unable to be changed, making all recorded data safe and verifiable. It can create records of numerous activities, such as monetary transactions, supply chain movement, and even contact verification. GetApp explained in its report that the technology creates an extra layer of cybersecurity for digital businesses. This means hackers must successfully get into multiple ‘blocks’ of data to gain access to information, which adds complexity to the hack and reduces the likelihood of data breaches for organizations using the technology.
The survey reveals 27 per cent of businesses plan to invest in mobile applications.
In addition to the 45 per cent of companies who said they were already using this technology, this suggests that a large majority of Canadian SMEs could have a mobile app by the end of next year.
GetApp also surveyed SMB leaders in the U.S., U.K., and Australia about mobile application adoption. In Canada, 42 per cent of decision-makers plan to invest between $10,000-$50,000 in mobile applications in the next 12 months.
Globally the planned spending is smaller, with only 33 per cent of U.K. and U.S businesses planning to match Canada’s level of investment, and 32 per cent from Australia.
The survey also revealed a drop in business interest in augmented and virtual reality tech. GetApp reported that 22 per cent of business leaders say they may invest in augmented and VR technology. However, in a previous survey from February of this year, that number was at 32 per cent.