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Technologies that defined this year for small business

From cloud computing to collaboration tools and on to the Internet of Things, there's an ever-growing list of tech trends that influenced small and medium-sized businesses this year.

Here are the top five.

Automation technology Is one of the major trends of the year, says Stephen Canning, technologist and CEO of ASX-listed Australian tech company JCurve Solutions.

"According to the 2016 SME Directions Survey, 66 per cent of small businesses plan to use automation technology more before the next financial year to help them cut costs and streamline existing processes," he says.

"That's not surprising, considering automation can be used to increase business efficiency in so many areas, including inventory management, business intelligence reporting and enhancing the customer experience."

Andrew Tucker, CEO of ITonCloud, says cloud computing has been the dominant trend with SMEs in 2016. "Applications like accounting software, file sharing, ERPs, file storage, project management and CRMs have streamlined operations and, in some instances, become commonplace."

ITonCloud helps businesses simplify and automate their IT systems by leveraging the cloud.

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