How Technology will Shape Your Small Business Future

CEO Philip Letts discusses how he thinks technology will shape the future of business and how today’s entrepreneurs should be preparing.

How Technology will Shape Your Small Business Future

Technology has changed the way almost every area of business functions, from how employees communicate internally to customer relationship management to financial processing. There are few departments that technology hasn’t connected, simplified, enhanced or streamlined. The advent of cloud computing and its impact on the businesses in particular has been difficult to ignore.

Successful businesses in this changing economy have increasingly been those that have embraced how technology has enabled mobility and given employees the flexibility to work from any location or device. And this technology-enabled flexibility is increasingly seeing workers from outside an organisation seamlessly fit in where support is needed, with research this year finding 34% of the American workforce is now freelance.

The Businesses of the future

Tomorrow’s businesses, what I call ‘the 2020 enterprise’, will need fewer full time employees and will use networks of external resources, typically service providers, to drive a more flexible, innovative and agile entity.

Some have outlined that for every 10 people that work on the future business just one will be a full time employee. The other nine will work for ‘partner’ organisations or be freelancers. This 90% of your future human capital will be plug and play resources that you will rapidly flex up and down or even change out as new trends, products or markets come along.

The 2020 Enterprise will be able to effect change faster than today’s enterprise. They will embrace new products, new markets and new people, technology or process innovations more rapidly and cost effectively than ever before. Their cycles of innovation will be shorter and more profitable, due to their ability to tap into the right resources, skills and expertise for specific functions or projects.

Full time employees will be tech savvy, connected, project and performance managers. Roles will become more strategic run teams of external resources no matter where they come from to deliver performance based projects. They will be expected to offer insight and analysis, support more decision making and make recommendations for the benefit of the business as a whole.

How to get your small business ready to be a 2020 enterprise

It’s important for businesses to master and stay updated on all the social networks, cloud computing, mobile technology and Big Data that is relevant for them today. For companies to succeed as business and technology evolve, it is essential to embrace cloud based ERP systems, collaborative platforms and to remain truly agile.

Technology has changed and will continue to change the way almost every area of business functions, yet procurement processes are often functioning in the same way they have forever. In most procurement functions the preferred supplier list is the definitive document, leaving teams struggling to bring in skills and expertise that match their changing needs.

Online marketplaces remove the need to use procurement tools or processes to source suppliers globally. The rise of this method of buying gives business of any size a secure way to build up supplier relationships, or source one-off needs without impacting on existing processes. These 2020 Enterprises will use technology tethered to clouds of external resources to deliver more profitable and responsive business.

This piece was written by Philip Letts, the CEO of blur Group, which is an online marketplace for sourcing business services.

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