Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 —Google is phasing out free G Suite for small businesses.

Google has stopped offering its G Suite legacy free version to small businesses. As of June 27th, Google transitioned existing subscribers to a paid Google Workspace account. The monthly rates for Google Workspace Business editions start at $6 and go up to $18 per month, per user. This means that businesses with 300 users who previously took advantage of the free G Suite offering now must pay between $21,600 and $64,800 per year. (Source: Investopedia)

Why this is important for your business:

I guess all good things must come to an end. Most of my clients are small businesses and don’t have 300 users. But regardless, G Suite is a powerful office collaboration platform and I think it’s worth the price.

2 — Employees would consider leaving their jobs over work provided tech.

A recent survey of 10,000 IT professionals, office employees, and C-suite executives found that 49 percent of participants expressed their dissatisfaction with work-provided technology and 26 percent actually considered leaving their jobs due to their frustration. The study also found that 42 percent of employees have paid for technology out of their own pockets as a workaround to inadequate technology. (Source: Tech Republic)

Why this is important for your business:

If you’re going to have people work from home – and I strongly suggest you incorporate this as a standard employee benefit for those who can – then you’re going to have make some investments in good hardware and software for them to do their jobs. Another investment: security. You’ll likely have to employ an IT firm to monitor your remote employees and ensure that their routers and home networks are secure as well as running the most recent versions of their device’s operating systems.

3 —Google Maps added a new store location feature, Locator Plus, Reserve with Google integration, new analytics, and more.

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Google Maps announced this past week the addition of several new features for businesses to integrate with Google Maps. (Source: Search Engine Land)

Why this is important for your business:

The new features include an embedded Reserve feature that connects customers to several services and provides end-to-end appointment booking, a Store Locator embed feature that lets business owners efficiently roll out and update their store locator on their websites, and the Google Locator Plus feature which enables businesses to efficiently import details of their business from their Google Business Profile. Google Maps is a very important way to generate traffic for your business and my advice is to invest some time to fully take advantage of these new tools.

4 — These are the retailers setting up shop in the metaverse.

A growing number of big-name retailers and organizations are buying space in the immersive, virtual world known as the metaverse. These companies include JP Morgan, HSBC, Louis Vuitton, Samsung, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Burberry, and Adidas. With approximately 50 online space providers for the metaverse, companies can choose from various platforms including Somnium Space, Decentraland, Voxels, Horizon Worlds, and The Sandbox. (Source: BBC).

Why this is important for your business:

The metaverse is real. Big companies are jumping in. Someday – and too far in the future – your company will also need to be setting up shop in this virtual world.

5—More delivery robots hit the streets as a new law goes into effect.

Residents of Georgia may see more robots on the sidewalks and streets soon thanks to a new law. House Bill 1009 — which concerns robotic delivery devices and personal delivery devices — was passed in April and went into effect last week. The new bill does come with some restrictions. Robots will not be permitted to operate on highways with speed limits of 45 mph or more and must limit their speed to 4 mph on sidewalks and 20 mph in bike lanes. (Source: WTOC)

Why this is important for your business:

If you can’t find the people to deliver the goods, why not robots? Considering our country’s severe labor shortages combined with rising costs of employing people, many businesses are turning to automation – workflows, AI, robots – to get work done.

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