Walmart enters the metaverse… and more tech news for small businesses this week

Here are five tech events that happened in the past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 —Walmart is quietly preparing to enter the metaverse.

Walmart appears to be planning its own collection of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and cryptocurrency. Late last month, the retailer filed trademarks that involve plans to sell and manufacture virtual goods such as sporting goods, personal care products, toys, home decor and electronics . A separate filing detailed that Walmart will offer consumers NFTs as well as virtual currency. (Source: CNBC)

Why it matters to your business:

The metaverse is real and small business owners should pay attention to it. Over the next few years, we’ll see more and more meetings, events, and other activities take place virtually like millions of people do in games right now. We will have our own avatars and attend events in this virtual world. Some locations will be hot properties. Digital products ranging from furniture to artwork will be bought and sold. GenZ already knows this and they will be the biggest participants. Big brands like Walmart are already claiming their rights.

2 – US fintech Current introduces high-yield savings where customers earn 4% interest.

Current, a US-based fintech, will launch a new product aimed at making its banking offerings more efficient. The announcement included information about the launch of its new high-yield service known as “interest” which will allow any user to earn a 4% APY (annual percentage return). This rate is 60 times higher than the national average. Interest will be available to all users, including anyone using the Free Basic plan in addition to their Premium users. (Source: Technological crunch)

Why it matters to your business:

There are now many online banking options for small businesses and acceptance has grown significantly over the past few years. And you can’t argue with a 4% interest rate when current rates are close to zero!

3 —Softra no-code platform for building business apps on Airtable data raised $13.5 million.

No-code web app building platform Softr announced last week that it had recently raised $13.5 million and detailed that it plans to build the “largest no-code app building ecosystem code” to the world using the table on the Airtable platform. Airtable has different development sectors that allow users of different skill levels to build, from JavaScript programmers to non-programmers. The app can also integrate with over 30 other products. (Source: business beat and world of information)

Why it matters to your business:

Airtable continues to be a very popular platform for many of my clients looking to easily create online databases and spreadsheets that can be customized for specific functions. Add-ons like Softr make the platform even easier for non-software developers to build apps. So, before committing to software development with a more expensive programmer, it is worth considering these tools first.

4 — IT spending is expected to hit an all-time high in 2022 as industries look to the future.

According to a new report, IT spending is expected to surpass pre-COVID levels with 5.1% growth this year. This will bring total spending to $4.5 trillion. Analyst firm Gartner also predicts that the enterprise software sector, which includes areas such as cloud computing, will see an 11% year-over-year increase, which would be the strongest growth in IT spending. The IT services segment, which includes management and consulting services, is expected to rank second with spending $1.3 trillion (Source: ZDNet)

Why it matters to your business:

Coming out of the pandemic, it looks increasingly like 2022 will be a year of upgrading for infrastructure, hardware and software. What are your plans?

5—Microsoft unveiled an accelerator for startups that use technology to help the planet.

Microsoft has announced an accelerator for startups that use technology to help the environment. (Source: Microsoft)

Why it matters to your business:

The AI ​​for Environmental Sustainability Accelerator will help companies that use artificial intelligence to drive positive change in one of six categories: green skills, climate equity, ecosystems, waste, water and carbon. Chosen startups will join the program and receive cloud credits for Microsoft Azure and guidance from industry experts.

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