The age of digital disruption
The age of digital disruption is upon us, and whilst this has a positive impact on many different companies, arguably it is SMEs that are really reaping the rewards. The rise in technology in business has enabled smaller companies to level the playing field between them and larger corporations, allowing them to compete for a larger market share.
One of the most significant ways that technology has enhanced the way that businesses work is through the introduction of cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive and Dropbox. Cloud storage solutions are particularly beneficial for SMEs as it means they do not have to pay out for large and expensive office spaces to accommodate large filing cabinets and other bulky storage units. Instead, they can store all their important documentation such as employee records and invoices in the cloud or on portable hard drives, meaning they can work from anywhere and keep their costs down.
Communication and collaboration technology
In recent years, communications technology have become more sophisticated, enabling companies to use web conferencing, video conferencing and audio conferencing as an alternative to face-to-face meetings. This creates significant cost savings for SMEs as less money is spent travelling to and from meetings. Communications technologies like Skype for Business provide seamless communication between multiple members across many different locations, which also enables SMEs to pursue global clients that they otherwise may not be able to afford to meet.
Communication and collaborative tools such as Google Docs and Sheets can also help to boost productivity, enabling multiple team members to message and work on documents simultaneously. This helps smaller business make the most out their resources and work as quickly as possible, maximising the time they have to get more done.
Another key enabling factor of technology of SMEs is that it allows them to expand quickly and easily. For example, with cloud communications technology, users can be added as the business grows, without the company having to pay for pricey hardware or add-ons. The added flexibility that technology provides enables SMEs to recruit from a wider talent pool from across the country, as it is no longer a necessity that all employees are based in a centralised office location.
Advances in technology also means that smaller companies no longer have to have a fixed office location. Nowadays, all workers need is a laptop and wifi to carry out their day to day work tasks, meaning they can work almost anywhere. The boom in agile working means that the modern workforce is constantly on the move. This in turn has created a new demand for flexible workspaces, coworking and hot desking. Serviced offices offer the opportunity for workers to meet and collaborate with other keen creatives and benefit from high-cost items such as high-speed wifi, formal meeting spaces and luxury amenities that may be inaccessible to SMEs if not a part of this sharing economy.