What keeps small business owners up at night? It’s not technology.
According to a survey conducted in 2016 by the National Federation of Independent Business, the cost of health insurance, government regulations, taxes and economic uncertainty were among the top concerns. In fact, the survey found that “Using Computer(s), the Internet or New Technology Effectively” ranked No. 48 on the list.
With so many priorities competing for small business owners’ attention, technology can sometimes seem like an afterthought. Yet any modern small business relies on IT to run and compete effectively in today’s fast-paced, always-on, mobile environment. Small business owners and IT leaders can turn to blogs to help them stay aware of the tech they need and how best to use it.
They’re in luck. Just as we did in 2016, BizTech has compiled a list of what we think are the best small business IT blogs out there. Reading these blogs on a regular basis can help small businesses stay on top of tech so that they can focus on growing their business.
We hope you enjoy our list of the 30 Must-Read Small Business IT Blogs. Pick up a Must-Read IT Blog badge to post on your site if your blog was one of the 30 named!
Laurie McCabe’s blog remains indispensable for small businesses. McCabe is a partner at the SMB Group, which she founded in 2009 with Sanjeev Aggarwal, and she’s a well-respected small and medium-sized business (SMB) market analyst. Her blog regularly mixes in discussions of major technology trends and developments along with practical tech tips.
Gene Marks runs the Marks Group, a 10-person customer relationship management consulting firm based outside Philadelphia, as well as Marks Group Live. He has written six small-business management books, most recently The Manufacturer's Book of Lists and In God We Trust, Everyone Else Pays Cash. His blog not only collects his weekly posts for Forbes that highlight how major tech news affects small businesses, but also curates relevant tech news from other sites.
Digitalist Magazine by SAP
This blog, produced by enterprise software giant SAP, covers a wide range of technologies relevant for small businesses, including cybersecurity, the Internet of Things (IoT), customer experience and software. It’s updated almost daily and is a great way to stay abreast of key tech trends.
ShopKeep is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) company, but its blog is not a marketing platform for its products. Instead, it offers practical advice for small businesses and retailers, especially based around POS technology and questions.
Updated on a daily basis, tech veteran Ivan Pepelnjak’s blog draws on his decades of designing and implementing enterprise networks. It serves as a vendor-independent forum for news and advice on network technology in general, and specifically on large-scale data centers and cloud deployments, network function virtualization, and software-defined networking and data centers. For anyone interested in the future of a network architect’s job or the ins and outs of IPv6, IPSpace is a must read.
Mastercard Biz: Small Business Finance Blog
Mastercard may not be the company that first comes to mind when thinking about small business technology, but this blog keeps the interests of small businesses in mind. The blog focuses primarily on small business finance but also includes related tech topics, such as protecting data when working with contractors, digital payments, online commerce and using tech to retain your best employees.
Small Biz Viewpoints
This blog offers a wide range of practical advice for small business owners, from buying software on a budget to managing remote employees with technology to selecting an office printer. That should come as no surprise, since it’s published by Harry and Sally Vaishnav, who have more than 15 years of experience consulting with small business owners and buyers, as well as hands-on experience owning and operating multiunit franchises.
4sysops is an online community for IT professionals. On the blog, a variety of experienced IT pros cover the latest technologies in system administration, cloud computing and development operations. The blog also features a wiki, where users can share their IT know-how, and a forum, where members can ask IT administration questions or discuss the latest hot IT topics.
Adventures in Automation
The best IT blogs are sometimes written by people you may have never heard of but who know a great deal about a particular technology. Such is the case with the blog written by T.J. Maher, who has worked in the software testing field since 1996. Maher started Adventures in Automation in 2015 as a way to store the “copious amounts” of notes he found himself taking when he began researching automation development. The blog covers a wide range of software testing topics, from automated testing frameworks to quality assurance. Although this blog is highly specialized, it should appeal to anyone who works in software testing.
While some IT blogs are highly specialized, others are more general. SmallBiz Technology focuses on helping “regular” small business owners — those who aren’t tech savvy — know what technology they need to boost productivity, save time and money, increase revenue and improve customer service in their businesses. The blog offers a range of tech news, resources, analysis and events for small business owners.
If you want information on the latest tech trends affecting small and medium-sized businesses, and the IT those companies are actually adopting, Techaisle is a great place to start. Techaisle is a data-driven, global SMB IT market research firm that produces reports and analysis on tech trends affecting the SMB market. In the blog, Techaisle analyst Anurag Agrawal discusses the firm’s research and the technology SMBs are using, including cloud, PC as a Service and IoT.
For any small business IT leader or administrator thinking about taking their organization to the cloud or what to do when they get there, this blog is a must read. It is highly regarded for its informative content and variety of contributors, and it covers everything from disaster recovery to cloud analytics to customer experience improvements.
Graham Cluley is a British security blogger whose daily blog covers the latest computer security news, opinions and advice, most of which is highly applicable to small business IT security professionals. He held senior roles at Sophos (where he founded the Naked Security blog) and McAfee. His topical coverage highlights how the latest IT and computer security news affects users.
Small Business Trends
Small Business Trends offers a wide range of information, breaking news and advice on hot topics for small businesses. The blog 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. Its tech coverage offers a mix of practical tips (how to protect websites from cyberattacks and news on pricing for IT products, for example), and major tech trends and announcements.
Microsoft US Small and Midsize Business Blog
While the world’s largest enterprises use Microsoft technology, so do the vast majority of U.S. small businesses, and the tech giant has an interest in catering to their needs. The company’s SMB-focused blog not only highlights how small businesses can take advantage of products like Windows 10, it also offers practical advice on how mobile devices can transform retail store operations and what small businesses stand to lose in a cyberattack. Many of the blog posts are written by Cindy Bates, vice president of SMB for Microsoft.
The Networking Nerd
On Networking Nerd, Tom Hollingsworth dives deep into tech trends and news, including everything from the problems with legacy IT to resource contention and the future of wireless networks. His posts, which come out roughly once per week, combine trustworthy insight and a side of snark. A key component of the blog 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 the technology at hand.
Mike F. Robbins
Mike F. Robbins is an MVP for Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell and SAPIEN Technologies. For small business IT pros that deal with Microsoft PowerShell on a regular basis, Robbins’s blog dives into the technology and provides practical tips on how to navigate and use it effectively in their IT environments.
Toolbox for IT
Toolbox.com hosts an online community for IT pros, which claims more than 2 million members and provides discussion groups, blogs, research and networking opportunities. The site’s blogs feature practical tips and advice from IT pros who are in the trenches.
Xerox Small Business Solutions
Xerox’s blog for small business IT pros has a mix of practical advice (how to check the toner level in printers, how to print from smartphones) and higher-level thought leadership (why digitization is important for SMBs, and why small businesses need transition plans when introducing new technologies).
If you deal with Microsoft Azure, container technology, virtualization and many other tech topics, you should be reading Jennelle Crothers’s Tech Bunny blog. Crothers, who has spent more than 15 years as a systems administrator managing Windows domains, Exchange Server, desktops and other IT systems, provides practical tips and technical insights in a personal and accessible manner.
Richard Siddaway’s Blog
Richard Siddaway, a PowerShell MVP, has been working with Microsoft technologies for more than 22 years. Over the course of his IT career he has been an analyst-programmer, server administrator, support engineer, database administrator and architect. His interest in automation techniques, including automating job creation and submission on mainframes, started many years ago. He has been using PowerShell since the early beta versions. His blog taps that wealth of knowledge and experience to provide practical tips and tricks to PowerShell users.
This blog is likely aimed at more established small businesses (those that have CTOs, CIOs, CISOs and data scientists), but it offers meaningful context and advice to all kinds of IT leaders on a wide variety of topics, including cybersecurity, Big Data, how to keep data organized inside a company, physical security technology and more.
Small Biz Club
Small Biz Club is all about practical advice for small business owners on how to start, run and grow a business. The blog’s tech coverage includes why single sign-on is necessary, the best technology to provide physical security for an office, why businesses embrace managed IT services and more. The blog has an interesting origin story: it was created by Tarkenton Companies, the firm founded by entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton.
If your small business uses VMware technologies, you need to be reading this blog. It's written by Eric Siebert, a senior systems administrator specializing in virtualization and Windows Server administration who works for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Siebert is well connected with VMware and offers loads of in-depth commentary on VMware’s products and services, as well as on the company itself. If you want to stay on top of VMware and what its tech means for your business, check out vSphere-land regularly.
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 hot topics in IT in a knowledgeable, straightforward way.
TechRepublic: 10 Things
TechRepublic’s 10 Things blog offers lots of “listicles” and rundowns on key IT trends for SMBs, including software-defined networking deployment, cybersecurity myths and running IoT projects. The blog provides the key facts on a wide range of technologies, techniques, strategies and skills via concise, need-to-know lists.
Small Biz Labs
In a world where Uber, Lyft, Rover.com, Airbnb and TaskRabbit command attention and millions of users, it can seem hard to keep up. Luckily, small business owners can turn to Steve King and Carolyn Ockels, partners at Emergent Research and senior fellows at the Society for New Communications Research. They write Small Business Labs, which focuses on the changing nature of the digital economy and how it affects small business owners, as well as independent contractors and those working in the gig economy.
Noobpreneur is a small business and entrepreneurship blog offering newbie-friendly tips, trends and insights, including online entrepreneurship and social media for business. The posts are both topical and tactical, and range from covering new technologies like augmented reality to distributed denial of service attacks and how to run a tech-savvy business without actually knowing a ton about tech.
The blog is the brainchild of Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content marketing consultancy specializing in small businesses and entrepreneurship. SmallBizDaily’s tech coverage has a sharp editorial focus on key trends small businesses should stay on top of, from augmented reality to combating insider threats and cyberattacks. That’s likely a result of the fact that Lesonsky is a former editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine; key players on the site include former Entrepreneur staffers Maria Valdez Haubrich and Karen Axelton.
Tech Talk offers practical tech advice, such as how to explain IT investments to management and the importance of patch management. The blog is produced by GFI Software, which provides a variety of IT software tools, including web and mail security, archiving, fax, networking and security software.