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Keeping up in the tech industry is challenging, and there are always new tools to try to help you stay ahead — notable examples include apps and services like Trello, Asana, and Notion, but the list is growing. On one hand, this means startups have a plethora of tools to work with. On the other hand, it means that you may feel the need to chase the newest technology trends if you want your startup to keep up.

These days it’s all the rage to see startups building tech for other startups’ back office — that’s the core of airCFO’s partnership with companies like Brex, Gusto, and Routable. Some of the most innovative solutions are being developed in this space through collaboration.

When you’re sinking into your startup’s initial rhythm, don’t get swept away by weekly trends. Instead, take a look at 2020’s broader back-office software and technology trends to see what kind of programs your startup’s going to need and which ones you can put on the back burner.

Personal Data Management

No matter how advanced technology becomes, your startup is always going to require a human element. With human interaction, however, comes the risk that your employees will forget or misplace some of their essential data.

That’s what makes personal data management back-office software all the more essential in 2020. With the help of updates to older software, you’ll find it much easier to keep track of your passwords, documents, and other employee data. Without these updates or new apps specifically designed to improve your startup’s organization, you may find your development slowed in 2020.

Of special note in this space is 1password (used internally here at airCFO) which is an especially strong choice for companies that need to manage sensitive client logins or personal data.

Voice-To-Text & Speech Recognition Software

As it turns out, speech recognition may also have a place in the back office. Your employees will have an easier time multitasking and organizing their data if they’re able to dictate it verbally. Speech recognition software keeps your employees’ hands free and makes finding documents in your vast – or growing – history all the simpler. While it may not be essential in your office this year, technology is trending in this direction. Why not start experimenting with it now?

This technology, compared to some of the others we’ve mentioned, is nascent, and the space is still evolving. Google has voice-to-text capability that is increasingly effective (and free), but there are some impressive paid options, like Dragon Professional and Braina Pro, that might be worth looking into, depending on your startup’s needs.

Customer Relationship Management Software

This kind of software marries the back office with the front, bringing the whole of your startup together. What’s better than data-based unity?

The benefits of back-office software don’t have to be restricted to your startup’s behind-the-scenes needs. With the help of this software, you’ll be able to foster stronger relationships between your sales teams, consumers, and the data that both parties generate. Not only will you be able to more accurately track consumer trends, but your sales team will be able to foster email marketing campaigns and social media marketing with ease. Your CRM will then be able to report back regarding a campaign’s success, allowing your sales team to adjust your strategies as necessary.

Popular in the startup space are CRMs like Salesforce Lightning, Hubspot, which has free or low-cost offerings, and SugarCRM, but the options are varied and complex — there’s definitely a solution out there for every company.

Real-Time Payment Management Systems

Processing your payments is essential to revenue generation – but the initial costs of software can put a damper on your budget. Partner that cost with the long-term cost of security, and you’re looking at a significant increase in your initial startup costs.

This is less-so that case when you use modern, online wallets and their affiliated processing software to manage your startup’s payments in real time. Not only will you be able to pay suppliers more quickly, but you’ll be able to increase the safety of your transactions without incurring additional costs. Not only that, but newer back-office payment systems generate financial reports for you. That means less time looking at Excel for you and more time knowing exactly where your cash is going.

There are a lot of standouts in this space, but airCFO has partnered with Routable, which comes strongly recommended.

Cloud-Based Office Software

You probably already know about the versatility of the cloud, it’s essentially baseline, especially for startups that want to stay agile and competitive, but a lot of firms still insist on keeping a lot of information in solid-state, even things that can be easily managed from a cloud platform. We’re well past the adoption phase, and even though no cloud service is up 100% of the time, office software platforms are more secure and reliable than ever.

Most startups will want to use something like Google Suite or Office 365, though there are smaller players like Corel Wordperfect or LibreOffice that may be valuable to companies with specific needs.

Matching technology’s ever-increasing pace is next to impossible. If you want to start 2020 off on the right foot, though, keep some of the aforementioned trends in mind. Experiment with the back-office software that you like best and see if you can’t give your startup a leg up in the new decade.