The adoption of cutting-edge technologies to steer business activities during community lockdown to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, even if involuntarily, provides evidence that technologies not only offer competitive advantages but also provides a means for survival, by improvising existing business models. In June 2019, we issued a call for papers to address the awareness, adoption, and implementation challenges of technologies that can drive businesses of all sizes in the fourth industrial revolution. We intended to identify as critical elements the “must-have” and a “nice to have” technologies for small businesses and innovation. Then the ongoing COVID-19 global health pandemic struck in December 2019, forcing the need for digitization of business activities and remote operations, which was considered a “nice to have” to immediately become a “critical to have” to survive in the ever increasingly uncertain business environment. This paper identifies the technologies, evaluates disruptive software platforms, and strategies needed for creating and managing small business innovation and highlighting the complexity of that process and the context within which this process takes place. We integrate this discussion alongside a summary of the articles included in the Special Issue. The current realities show that technologies that enable social business creation, customer relationship management systems, new communications channels, virtual reality technologies for remote operations, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are crucial to lowering the costs of doing business. Big data and predictive and visual analytics are critical enablers to aiding complex business decisions in the current challenging business climate.
Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Akpan, Ikpe Justice; Didier Soopramanien; Dong-Heon Austin Kwak (2020). Cutting-edge technologies for small business and innovation in the era of COVID-19 global health pandemic. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/08276331.2020.1799294. Retrieved from https://oaks.kent.edu/covid19ksu/cutting-edge-technologies-small-business-and-innovation-era-covid-19-global-health