A painter is only as good as his brushes, a mechanic is only as good as his tools, and your business is only as good as its technology. Seriously though, technology has innovated nearly all aspects of culture, including the way we conduct business. While it may seem idealistic or even romantic to keep your business “pure,” analog, and off-the-grid, you run the risk of falling majorly behind your competitors.

Without harnessing the power of technology, it’ll take you leaps and bounds to perform even the simplest tasks – such as basic communication or file sharing – with the speed, accuracy, and efficiency as your savvier competition. Not sure where to start? Whether you’re looking for ways to bring your company into 2018, or software to improve your already avant-garde business, here is a list of the top four technologies you should consider implementing this year.

1. Wi-Fi Calling

This is a great starting point, because many services that offer Wi-Fi calling, such as Google Voice,are free and ridiculously easy to install and use. Enhanced communication enables you to send or receive calls and messages virtually everywhere Wi-Fi is supported. You and your employees are therefore able to respond swiftly to senders and address urgent concerns. There are plenty of similar apps and software solutions apart from the web-based Google Voice which you can install on your phone or desktop as well.Companies with regular conferences should consider Skype for Business as a video calling alternative. It’s a Microsoft product and therefore automatically integrated with MS Office Suite; when a business meeting is set up, participants will automatically receive a hyperlink invitation through Outlook.

2. Payment Methods

In 2018, people can make payments using their smartwatches and phones. Crazy, right? Millennials especially are eager to ditch their wallets at home and make use of mobile payment options. It’s fast, easy and secure to simply swipe their device over a virtual card reader. Companies such as Merchant Account Solutions make it easy for even small businesses to add mobile credit card readers to their payment options and become participating merchants.

3. Cloud Services

If your business isn’t already utilizing cloud-based storage systems, it’s time to get on board. It’s the way of the future and there’s no getting around it. Cloud computing refers to computing services – servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, etc. – that are performed over the internet, i.e. “the cloud”. It provides a simple way to optimize your business’s critical operations, and although it will require upfront costs or pay-as-you-go pricing, it could significantly reduce your IT budget. Services like Dropbox are popular and cost-effective, but you should consider a more advanced cloud computing system for increased security.

4. Data Security

CNBC reports that the number of devastating cyberattacks is surging, and likely to get much worse. In only the first six months of 2017, there were 918 data breaches which compromised 1.9 billion records. That’s an increase of 164% compared to 2016! It’s absolutely imperative to harness technologies which employ intense cybersecurity measures to circumvent the threat of an attack. Take a crash course covering the ins and outs of cybersecurity and what you need to do to keep your data safe. Use a top-ranking intellectual property translation software offered by companies such as SYSTRAN, whose engines are based on the latest improvements of artificial neural networks and deep learning. Biometric facial recognition probably isn’t mandatory, but it is really cool and can keep your business impressively locked down! Technology has advanced to the point of enabling the use of facial recognition as a security key. It has the potential for a wide variety of applications and it’s a major crime deterrent. When compared to other biometric security features – such as fingerprint or palmprint scanning – facial recognition has distinct advantages because it’s a non-contact process and can be captured from a distance.

If your company’s assets and information get out, the effects could be crippling. Governments are introducing legislation which forces the disclosure of data breaches, and consumers are made well aware of the attacks sensationalized by the media. As such, they’re unlikely to do business with a company who can’t guarantee the security of their personal information.

It’s time to upgrade and get with the times. Add technologies to your business that can improve communication, convenience, and security – the investment will be worth your while!