Small business is big business in the United States. According to the Small Business Administration, the 28 million small businesses in this country account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales. Those businesses need and use technology just as much as larger enterprises.
Small to medium-sized businesses are embracing the cloud, are going mobile and face mounting cybersecurity concerns, especially from ransomware attacks. Amid all of this, SMB owners and IT leaders are busy running their businesses, and don’t often have time to stay on top of the key technologies and IT trends affecting the SMB market.
That’s where BizTech is coming to the rescue. We’ve assembled this list of the 30 Must-Read SMB IT blogs to provide a cross-section of the most influential thought leaders in SMB technology. These are the blogs that can help SMBs stay on top of the key tech trends affecting the market now and in the years ahead.
We’ve produced similar blog lists for the financial IT and nonprofit IT sectors, but felt that the SMB market, because of its importance and complexity, needed its own list. These 30 blogs include veterans from years past, many new picks from our editorial staff and nominations from our readers.
We hope you enjoy our list of the 30 Must-Read SMB IT Blogs. Pick up a badge to post on your site if your blog was one of the 30 named!
Started in 2010 by networking guru Chris Wahl, the blog has evolved into a weekly take on how a tech veteran approaches various IT problems related to data center and virtualization technologies, business challenges, and new products and solutions.
The blog gives chief technology officers, CIOs, CISOs and data scientists meaningful context and advice on topics as diverse as cloud migration, how to guard against distributed denial of service attacks, trends in Big Data and analytics, and how to respond to data breaches.
Wasp Barcode, which provides software and barcode scanning technologies to small businesses, uses its Buzz blog to keep SMBs up to date on cybersecurity, asset and inventory management issues, as well as marketing and other general business problems.
If you’re looking for tech tips related to Microsoft Azure, virtualization and JSON, look no further than Jennelle Crothers’ TechBunny blog. Crothers, who has spent 15 years as a systems administrator managing Windows domains, Exchange Server, desktops and other IT systems, provides valuable and in-depth insights in an accessible way.
Produced by enterprise software titan SAP, this blog explores how SMBs can use software, collaboration and other IT tools to handle changing trends in the economy and keep all aspects of their businesses ahead of the curve.
Part of a larger family of blogs from IT Business Edge, a B2B business technology site, this blog offers practical tips on inter-office IT issues, including data management, the type of accounting software SMBs should use, and new products small businesses should be exploring.
Laurie McCabe’s Blog
Laurie McCabe is a partner at the SMB Group, which she founded in 2009 with Sanjeev Aggarwal. She has made it a well-respected market research and consulting firm that provides insight and guidance into how and why SMB and mid-market customers discover, evaluate, compare and buy technology solutions. McCabe uses her blog to highlight SMB Group research on collaboration, mobility and other IT topics, as well as how tech deals and trends will affect SMBs.
Small Biz Labs
Written by Steve King and Carolyn Ockels, partners at Emergent Research and senior fellows at the Society for New Communications Research, Small Business Labs focuses on the changing nature of the digital economy and how it affects small business owners.
Until recently, this blog was known as Complete IT Professional, and the name change reflects how it has evolved over time. The blog still provides real-world advice for IT professionals, but the focus has narrowed to Oracle database developers.
The software giant uses this SMB-focused blog to tout how small and medium-sized businesses can take advantage of products like Windows 10 and Skype for Business. In addition, the blog offers practical advice on a range of tech topics, including how SMBs can best use collaboration tools, overcome security myths, take advantage of “digital transformation” and manage cloud security. Many of the blog posts are written by Cindy Bates, vice president of SMB for Microsoft.
Technology is transforming how retailers are marketing to, interacting with and selling to customers. Yet a lot of retail IT blogs and news sites focus on large retailers. SMB Retail trains its lens on small retailers and the technology they care about, from point-of-sale terminals and software to accounting systems and data analytics.
The credit card company uses this blog to help small businesses keep on top of industry trends, and connect with other entrepreneurs and industry experts. The blog covers a wide range of topics, including how sales and IT teams can improve how they work with each other, and how online tools and Big Data can spur small business growth.
@AmexOPEN | Read the blog: http://americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/explore
TechAisle is a data-driven, global SMB IT market research firm that produces reports and analysis on tech trends affecting the SMB market. Its blog, written by analyst Anurag Agrawal, discusses the firm’s research and major developments in the industry affecting SMBs, with a heavy emphasis on cloud adoption and technology.
Hunt, a five-time Microsoft MVP award winner, is a web security specialist who often blogs about the cybersecurity vulnerabilities of popular software products and platforms — and how SMB IT professionals can strengthen their security. He also helps ground cybersecurity discussions in real-world experience and warns against the conversation getting too hysterical.
The Tech Savvy SMB
Not every blog is run by a veteran tech journalist who was a “sysop” on a CompuServe forum dealing with teleworking in the 1990s, and later worked on a four-year project with the European Commission looking at how emerging internet technologies could benefit geographically disadvantaged communities. However, that’s the background of Kevin Tea, whose Tech Savvy SMB blog deals with topics like IT security, productivity and cloud-based telephony. What sets Tea’s blog apart is not only his deep knowledge of the issues, but his straightforward writing style.
The Pulse of IT
Hewlett-Packard Enterprise’s main IT blog, The Pulse of IT isn’t a forum for HPE to shill its products. Instead, it offers a wide range of practical tech tips that are relevant to SMBs. These include how to fix common networking mishaps, making SQL Server upgrades, updating hardware without a hassle, the promise of self-healing infrastructure, and the advantages of storage virtualization.
SmallBizClub.com has an interesting pedigree; it was created by Tarkenton Companies, the firm founded by entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton. The blog provides easy-to-digest advice on tech topics like cloud migration and making sure your business is optimized for mobile, as well as practical tips on upgrading phone systems.
This blog provides advice from people who have been in the trenches of small business. It’s published by Harry and Sally Vaishnav, who have more than 15 years of experience in consulting with small business owners and buyers, as well as hands-on experience owning and operating multi-unit franchises. The blog covers a variety of general business issues facing small businesses, but also delves into key tech trends, including collaboration and security technology, and how best to set up IT in a new office.
MTS Business Hub
MTS, a leading communications service provider in Manitoba, Canada, provides a user-friendly and image-rich blog with lots of practical advice for SMBs that bypasses tech jargon. A sampling of these posts includes a guide to data center best practices and terms, how to overcome common conference call technical issues, and how to deal with ransomware attacks.
Tech veteran Ivan Pepelnjak has decades of experience designing and implementing enterprise networks, and focuses on large-scale data centers and cloud deployments, software-defined networking and data centers, and network functions virtualization. His blog serves as a vendor-independent forum for news and advice on scalable physical or virtual architectures, emerging inter-networking technologies and real-life IT solutions. It’s a blunt, authoritative and interesting take on networking trends and a must-read for networking professionals.
Want to stay on top of not just the latest in tech news but what it will mean for your computers and smartphones? How-to-Geek is a clearly relevant destination. The site provides a wealth of tips and guides on everything from the best new features in Apple’s iOS 10 — and how to use them — to how to turn Windows PCs into Wi-Fi hotspots.
The blog is the brainchild of Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content marketing consultancy specializing in small businesses and entrepreneurship. SmallBiz Daily has a sharp editorial focus on key trends affecting SMBs. That’s likely a result of the fact that Lesonsky is a former editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine; key players in the site include former Entrepreneur staffers Maria Valdez Haubrich and Karen Axelton. The site’s tech-focused coverage includes informative discussions on topics like data backup, whether to buy or lease IT equipment and why video conferencing is a must.
Smart Hustle Magazine focuses on a lot more than just tech, and bills itself as a platform to spur small business entrepreneurial success by celebrating “smart hustle,” the tools and behaviors needed to “overcome scarce resources, setbacks and other obstacles through creativity, innovation and perseverance.” The site’s tech coverage falls in line with that vision, and includes posts like a rundown of remote file-sharing services, an update on IT security trends and tips for dealing with app developers.
Founded in 2014, fossBytes focuses on making major tech news relevant to SMB audiences. The site provides a fun, snarky take on how the announcements and foibles of the biggest names in tech will affect everyday users.
Talk Tech To Me
GFI Software provides a variety of IT software tools, including web and mail security, archiving, fax, networking and security software. The company’s Talk Tech To Me blog is equally versatile, offering weekly updates on Microsoft security patches, guides and tips for systems administrators, and tech trends and advice for SMB owners who are tech-savvy.
Google Small Business Blog
Every company, large or small, probably uses Google’s services in some way, whether that’s for search, advertising, Gmail or Android smartphones. The search giant’s small business blog provides insight into how SMBs can best take advantage of its products, including AdWords and Google My Business listings, but also provides tips for how best to connect with Google Partners, online professionals and agencies that can help a business grow.
Small Business Computing
A B2B news site, Small Business Computing gives SMBs insight into tech developments and trends, from IT security to cloud analytics. The site is a go-to-destination for SMBs that want to stay ahead of the game when it comes to tech news.
IT Pro Guru
You know you’re in for a treat when you read Dan Stolts, a chief technology strategist for Microsoft. Stolts is proficient in many data center technologies (Windows Server, System Center, virtualization, and more) and has more IT certifications than you can shake a stick at. For SMBs that are Microsoft shops and deal heavily in Windows Server and Azure, the IT Pro Guru can drop some serious knowledge.
The Networking Nerd
Tom Hollingsworth dives deep into tech trends and news, from DevOps to machine learning and major tech deals. His takes combine trustworthy insight and a side of snark. A key component of his post is “Tom’s Take,” in which he ends his analysis with blunt first-person thoughts that are just as illuminating as his in-depth discussions of major IT trends.
Small Business Trends
Small Business Trends was founded in 2003 by Anita Campbell, a former corporate attorney and general counsel who later served as CEO of a technology subsidiary of Bell & Howell. The site provides information, breaking news and advice on hot topics for small businesses. Its tech coverage provides a solid mix of practical hardware tips and advice on major trends like cloud migration and identity verification.
@smallbiztrends | Read the blog: http://smallbiztrends.com/category/technology-trends