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Tech Tools Every Small Business Needs

Key Takeaways

  • Okta’s research has identified the most popular tech tools for small businesses.
  • When choosing a tool, considerations should be made for cost, functionality, usability and personalization.
  • The most popular product may not meet your individual business needs.

It can be difficult to keep up with the latest technology trends in any industry. It can be even more difficult to identify which tech will solve your business’s unique pain points. Whether your business is  just starting out or looking to scale, properly leveraging tech is a great way to set yourself up for success.

Based on the 2018 research report from Okta, here are the most popular tech products for each category. Keep in mind that the most popular product may not meet your business’s exact needs. Consider cost, functionality, usability and personalization before moving forward with a platform.  

Customer relationship management

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is a tool that supports your customer care, sales, and marketing staff a 360-degree view of its customer base. That view includes current customers, prospects, vendors and partners. When used properly, a CRM effectively and efficiently ensures that nothing falls through the cracks and that everyone in your organization is always on the same page about your customers. A good CRM can be a great tool for effectiveness and efficiency in any organization.

Human resources platform (HR)

Managing your employees can be time consuming, regardless of the size of your company. Whether you run a startup or a large company with hundreds of employees, HR is going to play a vital role in the success of the organization.

A good HR platform will help you streamline your workflow, save time and money, while providing efficiencies for administrative tasks. With self-service tools, employees can complete the majority of their admin tasks on their own. More robust platforms provide capability for onboarding, time-off management and year-end reviews.


The ability to communicate quickly and efficiently while doing business is critical. Email is the default go-to communication tool within most organizations. Cost, functionality, and usability are some of the driving factors that go into selecting an email service. Look for an email platform that is easy-to-use, includes features your team needs, and can provide scale as your business grows.


If collaboration is a big part of your business, you’ll need a communication tool outside of email. Teams that can work together in real-time, from anywhere, are more productive. The right tool reduces confusion, increases transparency, and sets the stage for meaningful exchanges. Some key features to look for include a robust search function and the ability to categorize conversations.

Project management

Project management tools help to plan, execute, and control all aspects of a project or task. Companies use these tools to ensure that each task is completed on time and to optimize time management for the entire team. Project management tools become essential as a team grows and projects become more complex.

  • Most popular: Jira

What to remember

Although these are the most popular tools, they may not be perfect for you. For other options, poll your professional network to gather a short list of their favorite tools. Next, create a list of your needs and priorities and look for them in these tools. Remember, some tools can integrate with software you may already use or could be part of a larger enterprise solution. Through product demos, you should be able to get a sense of what will work best for your company.

More information

Learn more about how we’re committed to helping your business reach its potential. Our dedicated business banking professionals can help you find the right products to meet your business’s needs; please call 1-800-428-7463 or drop by your nearest Citizens Bank branch.

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