How start-ups can utilise IT to compete with the Big Boys — Part 2: Productivity tools

In our previous article, we looked at how start-ups and small businesses can use affordable IT solutions to look as professional and organised as their largest rivals.

This week we are going to look at some of the productivity applications and services available to small businesses that can give them access to the same tools that enterprise companies enjoy.

The relentless march of technology, the rise of the internet and the introduction of new “as-a-service” products means that small businesses no longer trail behind bigger businesses when it comes to business process and access to efficiency tools.

No longer does a business need to make large capital investments in physical infrastructure that is expensive to procure, locate, and maintain. Instead, vendors have moved to hosted solutions priced, in the main, on subscription models. This has resulted in powerful productivity and efficiency tools becoming available to those with even the most modest budgets.

But this “software-as-a-service” model brings additional benefits that were either not available previously or were at least very expensive to implement. Prohibitively costly options such as “software assurance” that gave users access to updated and newer versions of their applications as they were released and the ability to work at any time or from anywhere with an internet connection are now included as standard.

Furthermore, some vendors combine many of the functions and services that a modern business requires into a single service, such as is the case with Microsoft 365 and Google G-Suite.

Let us look at a typical Microsoft 365 set-up, covering virtually every back-office function of modern, online business.

As can be seen in the diagram above, all the most used back-office services can be wrapped up in a single subscription service. Add to that an IT support and security service and you have all your essential productivity tools managed and secured for as little as £20.00 — £30.00 per user per month.

Small businesses are benefitting immensely from advances in technology and it makes them seem larger than they are. As their business increases, they will soon shake off their ‘tiny’ title and become known as a larger business.

Want more advice? If you would like advice on IT for your small business or start-up, get in touch.

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