How to Spread the 'Small is the New Large' Gospel
Growing companies are inherently nimble and can capitalize on the shifting landscape of technology.
At bMighty.com, we hold the following truth to be self-evident: That today's technology has radically shifted the competitive landscape, giving smaller, more nimble organizations a profound advantage. bMighty's mission is to help growing companies understand and exploit that advantage.
Not so long ago, the best business technology was found only in the workplace. The most powerful computers. The fastest Internet connections. The most advanced software. The most innovative mobile devices. And because every company was basically on their own, it all required big piles of money to acquire and lots of highly trained people to manage and maintain. If you wanted -- or needed -- mainframe power, well, you had to have a mainframe.
Consumers, meanwhile, had to get by with dial-up Internet connections and poky computers running outmoded software on last-generation chips.
And growing businesses were stuck in the middle. On the one hand, they couldn't afford cutting-edge corporate technology found in the enterprise, and often ended up paying a relative premium for scaled-down -- often dumbed-down -- versions adapted for the "SMB market." They had no choice, though, because consumer technologies were painfully inadequate for even simple business tasks. Small and midsize companies found themselves at a continual disadvantage compared to their enterprise competitors.
But now, the times they are a-changing. In the last few years, the shifting tides of technological innovation have completely reversed that situation. The convergence of several key trends hands the advantages not to the large, but to the swift, the mobile, the nimble, the flexible, and the innovative.
As the best applications and most powerful IT infrastructure become increasingly available over the Internet, hosted and maintained by third parties, growing companies can finally challenge the technological superiority enjoyed by the world's largest organizations.
Software as a Service (SaaS):
Like Cloud Computing, SaaS seem s tailor made for growing companies, allowing them to access world-class application without having to buy it, host it, or maintain it.
Platform as a Service (PaaS):
While platform as a service doesn't have direct application to most growing companies, the concept plays an important role in letting software developers quickly and easily customize their programs for even the smallest customers. That helps erase the edge enterprises get by having the resources to create or commission the specific applications they need.
The Consumerization Of IT:
From the iPhone to Gmail, consumer technology now offers much more power at a far lower cost -- often free! -- than does established corporate technology. Growing businesses can enjoy a productivity advantage, for example, by being flexible enough to support the iPhone when a Fortune 500 can't. Similarly, lean and mean startups can save big by relying on free services like Gmail or the many alternatives to Microsoft Office. Even purely corporate applications -- including business intelligence software -- are being consumerized. While consumer alternatives may lack important features business users are accustomed to-security is the most common issue--they may also offer real advantages.
Web 2.0, Social Networking, User-Generated Content:
Back in the day, it took big bucks to get the attention of the public. You needed a hefty PR budget and massive advertising campaign just get on the radar screen. Not any more. Today, even the smallest company armed with a great idea and a clever strategy can hit it big using viral marketing techniques to spread the word via YouTube videos, online user reviews, forwarded e-mails, social networking services, and many other techniques.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search-Based Marketing (SEM):
SEO plays no favorites. Search engines don't care how big the company that owns a Web site is. All that matters is the site's content and execution. And search-based marketing puts all companies on an even footing: You pay only for results and you don't need to spend a fortune to start getting results.
There are many similar trends, including advanced mobility technology that let a few people do the work of many, outsourced security and backup options that make it easier to protect growing companies' information assets, virtualization schemes that maximize hardware utilization, and localization technologies that help smaller businesses focus on customers who happen to be close to them. And this is only the beginning. These trends are already spawning new examples and opportunities for growing companies.
As this manifesto makes clear, at bMighty.com, we're dedicated not just to chronicling this historic sea-change, but to advancing it by delivering the practical, transferable expertise growing companies need to take advantage of it. We'll explain how to do it, show you how other growing companies are doing it, and lay out the best practices for doing it first.
That's not all. bMighty is also spreading this "Small is the New Large" gospel in live events, both in person and virtual. We'll be hosting the bMighty SMB Theater and Pavilion at Interop on September 17 and 18 in New York City, and look for more of our award-winning virtual events -- like bMighty bConnected and last year's bMighty bMobile -- in the fall. And we are also working to create a true bMighty community where growing companies can share their own hard-won experiences and knowledge.
Thanks for coming along for the ride.
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