While some SMBs see innovation as a “big bang” involving complex and powerful technology, mid-sized companies are increasingly adopting  “ a slow and steady wins the race” approach to their transformation. And keen proponents of the latter point to long-established brands like HP and Google, arguing these megacorporations were once small and grew by iteration.

Precedent demonstrates there is merit to a stepped approach. Take the case of Google, which opened its doors in 1998 as a fledgling search engine among many established competitors, including Yahoo!, Excite, Hotbot, Lycos, Infoseek, and Altavista. Since Y2K, Google advanced by small(ish) increments, picking up the technology that would become Google Maps here, acquiring a key developer of mobile software there.

True innovation requires not only a critical or questioning mindset (i.e., “Are we really doing the best we can?”) but also a drive to do something new – and a focus to see it through. Many SMBs, even those at the earliest stages of digital transformation, may have one, two, or all three of these “ingredients.” However, at a time of rapid change, intense competition, and technological advancement, SMBs face challenges on many fronts, including:  

  • Budget – Money is always a (limiting) factor for SMBs, especially for those with aspirations to compete with larger, more established organizations.
  • Expertise – As SMBs don’t have the deep pockets of large corporations, they may in some areas lack the internal expertise to fully leverage new technologies.
  • Strategy – Many SMBs must spend most of their time and resources on just “keeping the lights on,” with less emphasis on DX planning.
  • Culture – Employees in SMBs focused on just surviving or hanging on to their share of the profits pie often find it difficult to assume an innovator’s mindset. The result, without dedicating extra resources to training and/or infusing new blood through new hires, is most often just maintenance of the status quo.

For many SMBs, the way forward includes embracing cloud and finding a good partner to work with. The cloud often offers reduced costs, scalability, greater ease of collaboration and security. A good partner or service provider can look after the technical backend parts of the business and allow you to focus on the parts of the business that give you a competitive edge.

But how do you choose a partner? And with thousands of cloud tools and services launched each year, how does and SMB owner know when to take the leap?

A January 23rd webinar featuring former City of Toronto CIO Rob Meikle and Synnapex President and CEO Yoon-Soon Kim will help answer those questions and other key questions around SMB innovation, including:

  • When is an organization ready to move to the cloud?
  • How will cloud help with efficiency?
  • What do privacy and data regulations mean to SMBs?
  • What are the qualities of a great partner?

As businesses move beyond “should we move to cloud?” to “how do we move efficiently, the webinar offers timely advice from the people who face wrestle with these challenges daily.

Register now and get yourself a great start to 2020.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada