Infotech Lead India: Ravishankar, co-founder & CEO, Nevales Networks, says SMBs have always been at a disadvantage when it comes to leveraging the latest technology innovations as most of these solutions come with a steep price tag, implementation and maintenance costs and technical expertise to deploy and utilize them.
Information Technology is the backbone of any organization. For sure you cannot think of running an organization, even for a single day without the IT element. In this article we’ll stroll through some interesting topics around information technology, its role in businesses, the strong SMB IT connection, challenges in implementation and at the end how the SMBs are confronting the constraints and coming out with flying colors.
Information Technology can be defined as a set of tools, processes, and methodologies and associated equipment employed to collect, process, and present information. In broad terms, IT also includes office automation, multimedia, and telecommunication.
Role of Information Technology in Businesses In today’s world of globalization, Information Technology (IT) has certainly had a major effect on all business sectors and plays an important role in the effective management and running of a company. The use of Information Technology within organizations is although standard but continues to modernize and develop to set a competitive edge against all other technological improvements for business’, better reflecting today’s IT needs.
In order to see process advancements in the business environment, companies may utilize a range of different company IT technologies to increase the effectiveness of their organization’s functions. However, utilizing and developing different uses for information technologies and a mixture of computer-related devices will only help companies progress and have a competitive edge if they understand the facts, features, significances, warnings and considerations they should be making when it comes to IT.
Information Technology and SMBs
SMBs are extensively utilizing the potential of Information Technology in multiple ways.
Few of the popular areas where SMBs leverage Information Technology are listed below:
1. For product development: Information Technology software can to a great extent increase the speed of getting new products on the market.
2. For stakeholder integration: Information Technology has blessed the SMBs with 24/7 interconnectivity between locations across the globe at nominal rates.
3. For process improvement: The managers can review important business metrics on one software platform.
4. For cost efficiencies: The long-term cost investments are always worth the upfront substantial costs.
5. For competitive advantage: One can use rapid prototyping software to compete with products from competitors.
6. For globalization: Various departments of the company can be outsourced offshore and network technologies can be used to monitor each department.
Hold on; although the benefits are many but it’s not a smooth ride, there are numerous challenges as well in IT implementation in SMBs.
Challenges/Constraints in IT implementation
SMBs have always been at a disadvantage when it comes to leveraging the latest technology innovations as most of these solutions come with a steep price tag, implementation and maintenance costs and technical expertise to deploy and utilize them. As a result, most SMBs don’t adopt these applications, as they can’t afford the upfront license fees, additional hardware costs, dedicated staff or consultants to implement and monitor these complex enterprise applications.
In a nutshell, the constraints can be summed up in the following points:
1. Lack of funds for hardware costs
2. Lack of technical expertise/dedicated staff
3. Existing business processes are not well defined
The importance of IT in a small business is apparent when things stop working. IT is the life line of businesses and the technology is getting more and more advanced. Some companies are taking advantage of that while leaving others in their market in the dust.
An important catalyst for IT implementation in SMBs is the customized IT solution which SMBs get from some service providers. As SMBs have a lot of potential, many IT service providers are trying to come up with perfect IT solutions for this segment at affordable rates.
SaaS provides a strategic fit to the needs of SMBs by its ability to meet the growing and evolving needs of organizations while maintaining optimal expenditure outlays for such provisioning.
SMBs need to realize that with a reliable service provider, SaaS is easy to deploy as it is fully managed by the provider.
One such offering is managed security services for SMBs as it protect the organization against the threats various threats, ensures data security and relieves the organizations from the burden of maintaining a dedicated staff for support.
Few companies are constantly working to simplify the complicated Information Technology world for emerging businesses with subscription based IT security solutions. Once the initial installation is complete, the all-in-one appliance allows SMBs to have a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ security-system in place, which is backed by strong support. At a very nominal subscription fee, SMBs can ensure data security, reduce IT investments, increase employee productivity, ensure compliance and minimize business risk. SMBs that subscribe to this model get multiple payment options, the flexibility to evaluate their service contract more frequently, and pay only for what they use. They also gain anytime access to security experts and the process efficiencies realized by a single-point contact for IT security.
Inspite of all the constraints and challenges in IT implementation, SMBs are still holding on tight with the Information Technology pillar. Well, one reason for this is definitely survival and other reason is that today’s SMBs do not carry a conservative approach for business unlike in older days, in fact they are equally ambitious as big players. SMBs are looking forward to more and more information technology avenues and they have understood very well that Information Technology is not to be scared of but is an enabler for smoothening their business functions and processes. You just don’t need a process for your business but a smarter process than your smart competitor.
Nevales Networks offers SMBs (Small and Medium Businesses) a secure environment to conduct their business on a ‘Pay As You Use’ model. This secure platform is delivered over the Internet with free support and is free from licensing, scalability and maintenance hassles.
Ravishankar, CEO and co-founder at Nevales Networks