How SMBs Can Get A Competitive Advantage On The Digital Economy?
It is getting harder for small and medium businesses (SMBs) to compete with the larger corporate structures in the digital economy. Corporations have an enormous purchase capacity and buy resources at the best possible prices. They also have the capacity to hire and employ the best professionals on a global scale.
However, there are three important things that SMBs can do to improve significantly their playing field – avoid major cloud service providers, preserve flexibility, and use open-source software applications.
While corporations are bureaucratized organizations, whose internal procedures are quite unfavorable to their clients, the SMBs can adopt flexible, customer-friendly service models. Are you an SMB owner? Here is what you can do to prepare your business to take on the corporate players.
Don't Give The Big Tech Your Money!
As any business in the digital economy is built on software-defined infrastructure, the major corporations and especially the Big Tech are in pole position to win against any competition. Companies like Amazon have virtually entered any wholesale and retail market niche. They are selling cloud infrastructure and software services to the same SMBs that whom they directly compete in trade.
It is not a smart decision to buy web hosting or cloud services from AWS and give your money to Amazon as you help them to take on you and limit the opportunities to grow your business. Can you do drone deliveries? Can you guarantee 24-hour or 2-day delivery to your customers for free or at a low cost? No, you can't! Amazon does it and it uses the money you give them to do it.
If you need any kind of technology infrastructure - Web Hosting services, virtualized Cloud Servers, or bare-me tel Dedicated Server Hosting, simply go and choose a smaller provider. Its employees would walk the extra mile for you.
The same pattern applies to any business that needs to compete with the American retail chain stores like Walmart, Costco, Walgreens, The Home Depot, Target, CVS, Kroger's brands, Lowe's, Best Buy; Europe's Schwarz Group Lidl, or Kaufland, Metro, Tesco, Aldi, Ikea, the French Carrefour, and all other corporate sellers. In order to compete successfully with these monstrous business structures, SMBs need the buy tangible products at the best possible prices. This is not easy but is still doable as SMBs would use similar supply chain models.
Alternatively, the SMB producers and traders can also position themselves in any smaller but at the same time much more profitable market niches of creating and selling special and luxury products.
Protect Your Main Competitive Advantage - Flexibility
When it comes to the delivery of digital services, SMBs still have a huge competitive advantage. Even with the major clouds that are pushing the software development industry toward a software architecture design model called "Native Apps" SMBs still have a chance. They just need to:
- Whenever possible, build the digital infrastructure on top of an Open Source-based software applications
- Carefully choose a software app based on the Traditional Applications software model that allows you to host and migrate the app on infrastructure per your choice
- If one of the so-called Native Apps is about to be used, it is important to avoid any kind of vendor lock-in or cloud lock-in
To keep their strategic advantage - the flexibility - SMBs must avoid being locked into any complex, very expensive, and binding digital service frameworks used by the Big Tech companies and the major cloud service providers. The complex business models are out of fashion anyway.
Protect Your Main Competitive Advantage - Flexibility
In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, on Jan 27, 2022, and titled "Protect Open-Source Software", the former CEO of Google and Alphabet Inc. Eric Schmidt, said that "Open-source software has been an incredible democratizing and innovative force for the digital world." For this reason, his company Schmidt Futures launched the Open Source Software Virtual Incubator. it is a platform where software engineers are encouraged to exchange information about what they are working on so that investors and corporate structures can discover and eventually support great ideas.
Think about that. Why an ex-Google CEO and one of Big Tech's long-term corporate operatives would support Open Source projects? The answer is because they are important! The creativity of the millions of open source software developers is vital for corporations, who want to take advantage and implement the best ideas into their business ecosystems. This will secure their business success for the decades to come. So, no matter whether you are a small or medium business, do the same - build your digital business infrastructure on top of any open-source software solution and do not allow the corporate player to take your business hostage.
Open-source software auto-installer libraries like Softaculous, CapRover, Installatron, Cloudron, BitNami Stacks, and others allow SMBs owners to choose from hundreds of popular software applications and to host them on any server they want: on-premise in the office; on an owned server colocated in a data center; on a leased physical dedicated server; on any virtualized cloud server with any web hosting or cloud service provider.