The Value of IT for a Small Business

small-business-web-designI believe its easier to articulate (and understand) the value of IT for a large enterprises. Hence it doesn’t surprise me that many early entrants (read Indian IT vendors) sold mostly to this segment. While developing business cases for investment in IT, I found it relatively easier to quantify the business benefits (productivity,operating cost blah blah) for large enterprises. Something that our customer champion  can leverage to get approvals!The real challenge comes when the same value has to be articulated for a Small Enterprise.  While the business benefits remain the same, one reality we forget to factor is “Change”. Right from the strategy to product to number of customers and employees, everything changes for a small and growing business. This, if not unique, is for sure intense for smaller businesses as compared to larger counterparts.So the question is, Can IT help in managing this change that a small growing  business experiences? The reality is that a small businesses can  continue to run their operations without systems in place. It may not hamper their growth right away. For that matter IT /  Systems is last on priority during the initial years.But as business grows eventually, managing the scale becomes a night mare. Also, the executives (mostly promoters themselves) need visibility into markets ,customers, employees and processes to make informed decisions. How will they get it with out systems in place? This is where the real value from IT comes for them. IT systems not just helps them manage the scale but also feeds the executive with necessary insights to take the business to next level.

This comes along with the assumptions that IT solutions for small enterprises should be affordable, scalable and flexible to incorporate the changes as enterprise grows! The entrepreneur running the small enterprise would see a lot of value and endorse such an IT solution…

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