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Why size doesn’t matter in the digital economy

Damien Bueno
Monday, December 11, 2017

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Size is no longer a primary indicator of business success because the game is no longer about being big or small. Future performance is determined by the speed at which you can respond to market change.

Many of the challenges faced by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) remain unchanged – you need to find and retain customers in a competitive market, you have to plan for the future without taking your eye off the here and now, you need to grow your business without losing control. And of course there’s cash flow to worry about.

But in the digital economy, every business has access to similar market opportunities. For example, online stores mean you have the potential to serve a global audience while cloud technologies allow you to scale rapidly.

With less red tape to cut through when making changes to everyday operations, SMBs have an important competitive advantage over larger rivals when it comes to making the digital shift.

How to get a head start

Acting like the business you want to be, not the one you are today, is a crucial part of being successful in the digital economy. Research from analyst house IDC shows the fastest growing SMBs are using cloud technologies to transform their business.

When selecting the right mix of technologies, being clear about future growth ambitions and which partners can help is key. Agility and scalability are vital if you’re going to move at the required speed as your business grows, while ensuring business growth pains do not hamper progress.

It’s important to select cloud-based technologies that can scale to meet your growth plans, making use of services that can be managed by technology partners so you can get on with running your business. This approach provides the capabilities needed today with the flexibility to add new ones as required. Importantly, you’ll only pay for what you use.

Australian technology company Acurus is a great example because the business was doubling in size every six months. One of its core objectives was to provide a technology platform able to serve 300 employees, despite only having 60 full-time workers at the time.

During its hunt for a new cloud-based management platform to help keep on top of its business processes, Acurus initially discounted SAP as too big and expensive for its needs – a common misconception held by smaller businesses. When given the opportunity, SAP demonstrated how it could support its business needs today and into the future as the business grows.

Within three months of engaging SAP, Acurus was live on SAP Business ByDesign – the cloud-based application management software tailored for SMBs. Acurus now has real-time insights into business performance and processes, empowering employees to make smarter and faster business decisions. For example, greater transparency into financial processes meant it could quickly resolve and process sales, anticipating future needs, delivering cost savings and improving client interactions.

Smaller solutions built on big insights

While technology is fundamental to business success in the digital economy, SAP understands it’s a complex world for SMBs. In Australia, SMBs make up 86 per cent of our 4,000 customers. We also have more than 140 partners helping those SMBs solve specific business challenges and unlock new opportunities.

Our SMB cloud technologies are built on the same principles that power some of the world’s largest brands. This means you benefit from services and technologies built on the lessons learned from a broad range of industries. We’re also investing heavily in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and the internet of things.

Stepping into the unknown is daunting regardless of whether you’re a large or small business. That’s why it’s never been more important to have the right partners around you.

To find out how SAP can help you become the business you want to be visit: sap.com/australia/switzer

This is a sponsored article from SAP.

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017


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