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Technology Levelling the Playing Field for Small and Medium Businesses

Yaj Malik, EVP and Managing Director, Sage Asia | May 17, 2016
By tapping on technology to streamline business processes and cost control, modern day progressive small and medium businesses can stay ahead of competition and reshape the markets they engage in.

2.    Consumerization of IT

Singapore is now a highly digitized society. With the proliferation of connected devices, businesses both big and small have to adapt to the change. According to a recent survey by Deloitte's Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications, the country is ranked highest globally for smartphone penetration, with nine out of 10 respondents having access to a smartphone.

Businesses need to plan for the consumerization of IT to keep pace with the changing business environment. They can no longer assume that consumers will adhere to pre-conformed methods of how services are traditionally sought, requested and used. One obvious example is how traditional brick-and-mortar retail businesses are increasingly being replaced by online shops.

Similarly, small and medium businesses owners and business leaders need to be aware of how consumers and their own employees are now increasingly expecting a seamless experience between work and home. These days, many people use the same or similar tools for work and leisure. Businesses need to adapt to trends like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) where employees are increasingly bringing their own connected devices to the work place.

Additionally, the lines for social media usage is blurring too with platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. For instance, many consumers stay connected with their families and friends on Facebook, while they also use the same Facebook account to interact with businesses. They may be doing online shopping or accessing corporate Facebook pages to search for information.

3.    Adopting Cloud Solutions

Cloud computing may sound like just new IT buzzwords to some entrepreneurs. The fact is that small and medium businesses need to seriously consider cloud-based technologies for several reasons. Cloud means that be it software, service or even infrastructure, it is available online. This translates to accessibility anywhere and anytime for such businesses. Moreover, with cloud computing, the responsibility for IT maintenance, software upgrades and any system issues lies with the service provider.

Furthermore, Cloud-based products or solutions can be accessed on a pay-as-you-go or subscription model, so small and medium businesses do not need to worry about overinvesting. They can also be scaled up or down depending on requirements - such as scaling up when the business grows. All these features, make cloud technology an ideal choice, especially for smaller firms with tight financial considerations.

4.    Increasing Data Analytics Capabilities

Finally, organizations of any size can benefit from data analytics. Data and analytics allows businesses to gain insights into customer behaviour, market trends, internal operation or processes, etc. Data takes the guess work out of decision making. These days, more advanced computing and more powerful software allows even one man operations to work with a large amount of data - in other words Big Data. According to a recent Gartner survey, more than three-quarters of companies are investing or planning to invest in Big Data in the next two years, a three percent increase over 2014.

 

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