- 14th December 2015
- Posted by: Mark Dodds
- Category: Technology
Over the Christmas period we were drafting out the contents for our new website, we got to the cloud segment and what the advantages were for small businesses, the usual cost-effectiveness and work from anywhere answers came to mind. We went onto think about the competitiveness it gives businesses and more specifically how technology has put smaller businesses on the same playing field as much larger businesses in terms of technology. So we thought we would write a blog post about it…
Small businesses no longer trail behind bigger businesses when it comes to business process and technology in the way that they used to. Technology is progressing and growing at an incredible rate and new software is now giving smaller business the ability to make their operations more efficient. This ultimately means that customers are now benefitting from an improved service provided by these smaller businesses. This has led to an increase in the number of ‘tiny giants who are now getting ahead of larger businesses as they are able to operate with an improved agility and speed.
Working and moving becoming one
One way smaller businesses have pulled themselves in line with the larger business is through Software as a Service (SaaS) such as Office 365. This is a subscription-based software model and it helps to support a workforce that is mobile in real-time. If smaller businesses implement the SaaS model they are able to get ahead of larger competitors as it a lot easier for them to put it in place. This enables staff to work wherever they may be, on smart phones or tablets. If staff can work where they want and when they want they can provide customers with a service that is constantly working. Using this model also makes it possible for businesses to lower costs through opting to use a Bring Your Own Device initiative.
This will enable staff to use their own devices for work and this means that businesses will not have to purchase as much hardware. They will also benefit from being able to stay up to speed with the change in technology because consumers are always looking for the newest technologies. This will mean that they will have the fastest machines and therefore they are in control of upgrades and all of this helps to keep small businesses pushing boundaries.
No more worldwide problems
Using SaaS will mean that small businesses will be able to move quicker when it comes to putting new technology in place which removes the need for worldwide deployment. The software can be implemented quickly and efficiently while larger businesses struggle to roll it out to multiple offices and hundreds or even thousands of staff. A fast roll out will help to keep business moving and they will be able to act faster than larger businesses, taking advantage of opportunities that may arise.
Security concerns for businesses of all sizes
As software advances it also enables small businesses to contend with large business from a security perspective. Storing any private and critical data yourself can come with huge risks as well as high costs. Through using SaaS technology it would mean that all critical documents remain secure. This would mean that the business-critical documents that belong to a small business would remain as secures as those belonging to a large organisation. In previous years, small businesses have been penalised by the high costs associated with certain levels of security but the introduction of cloud-based Digital Transaction Management (DTM) has altered this. Businesses now have the possibility of using a single digital platform to handle their documentation which means an improved compliance and greater security, regardless of their size.
Another priority is advanced security and this makes smaller businesses appeal to enterprises with which they can form working relationships as they know they will be secure. For small businesses to expand and grow, forming partnerships in this way is an important part of the process. This proves that investing in security can help to achieve a return on investment swiftly.
In 2018, there will be changes made to the EU Data Regulation and small businesses need to be alert to this. Greater security measurements will be a requirement for small businesses that handle personal information of customers by using a single regulatory framework implements across EU member states.
The regulation consists of two areas known as regulation and directive. Regulation handles how bulk customer data is stored while directive explains how to deal with criminal penalties that follow a security breach. To avoid criminal penalties, data encryption is a crucial part of the process to ensure that they are compliant and this is why DTM technology is important – saving time and money.
Leading in the user experience stakes
Small businesses do not only benefit from back-office technology but they also benefit from the user experience gained from using small business products. Smaller businesses can adapt to product offerings off the back of feedback from customers but larger businesses often have to stick with products due to processes and legacy software. This means that smaller businesses benefit from a better agility and their customers appreciate this. Customers remain loyal when they feel like they are valued and this means return custom.
Small businesses are benefitting immensely form the advances in technology and it makes them seem larger than they actually are. As their business increases they will soon shake of their ‘tiny’ title and become known as a larger business.
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