It’s not just cricket bats and tennis rackets where you find a sweet spot. Sometimes firms find themselves in a particular situation, quality, or combination of factors, that is the best or most effective possible for their goals and objectives. In periods of major change, one of the obvious advantages for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is that they are more homogeneous, usually less complex and more motivated to increasing value.
Therefore, it is likely that the focus for improving the take up of digital technologies AND adopting new management procedures will fall on SMEs.
The principal reason is that SMEs are the largest employers and producers of national wealth. On a collective basis, even a relatively small growth in SMEs quickly adds employment. And, unlike global corporations, SMEs are far less likely to up-sticks and move their H.Q. to a more advantageous location.
“This is for everyone” – Sir Tim Berners-Lee The World-Wide-Web was invented 30 years ago this month (March 1989) and this famous quotation from its inventor is equally applicable to many of the new digital transformation technologies. As is his less famous statement: “It’s not about connecting computers, it’s about connecting people”
Historically, most SMEs were denied the top-to-bottom enterprise systems that corporates invested so heavily in. The eye-watering costs of such hardware and software were worthwhile if only micro-savings could be achieved from every one of millions of transactions each day. The corporate goals at the time were not transformation or industry disruption but profit tracking and cost optimisation.
3 building blocks of digital transformation have opened up the availability and cost of vastly superior digital systems for SMEs: Cloud, Rapid Application Development and Software as a Service (or SaaS).
So, every business, small or medium, can now have as much computing “power-on-demand” as the biggest corporation. Anyone can try out the 2.8 million Android Apps, the 2.1 million iOS Apps and every form of advanced business software from the 280,000 SaaS companies. You may already be using leading SaaS products like Office 365 and Salesforce without realising how much more is available.
Tailoring all of this to fit with the way your business works used to be a big expensive headache. Now there is a vast choice of SaaS products and most comes with standard interfaces. Components can be joined together, even if you have ancient ‘legacy’ software that still provides useful functionality. The magic ‘glue’ that allows this is called ‘APIs’ or Application Programming Interfaces. Cheap off the shelf APIs such as zapier.com can literally glue together millions of software combinations. And if there isn’t an API that’s suitable, plenty of specialist companies will write one for a very low fee.
If you would like to understand how digital transformation applies to your business, and how you can embrace this new wave of technology read about our digital transformation services here, or get in touch.
In next weeks blog post we explore how SMEs have already benefited from Digital Transformations against big corporations.
Former CIO, Ross Harling, has helped numerous organisations with technology-driven business transformations. He has received numerous Business, Ethical and Environmental awards for his work in this and other fields. Since 2014 Ross has also been an Expert Evaluator for the European Commission on Business and Technology Innovations.