Babble CEO Matt Parker spoke to IT Pro about how the right technology can help SMEs thrive post-Covid:
Post COVID-19, what will the tech stacks of small businesses look like?
“Many small businesses have embraced the change that Covid-19 has brought but some have failed to pivot. All businesses need to build data-driven, cloud-based strategies which enable more variable cost structures, as well increasingly agile, automated and secure operations. Fixed, on-premise technology is now a hindrance and will be forced out by business continuity plans. Covid-19 has brought the necessity of cloud to the fore and businesses that don’t have cloud infrastructure in place will face ongoing challenges in pursuing reliable IT infrastructure, employee–client connectivity and security requirements, to name a few.”
How has mass remote working influenced the tech stacks small businesses are now using?
“Small businesses are realising that modern collaboration and communication tools not only enable remote working but also increase the efficiency and productivity of staff across teams and location boundaries. Tech stacks have been around and available for years, but it has taken a pandemic to make businesses embrace the tools that many already paid for but didn’t necessarily install or use.”
Integrating workers with technology has always been a challenge. How has COVID-19 reinforced these challenges?
“Unfortunately, many businesses are stuck in a ‘we’ve always done it like that’ loop. It’s up to the business to adopt the technology available – and this has happened recently as they haven’t had another choice. The shift in human-to-technology interaction has been remarkable during the pandemic.”
Many businesses were continuing on their digital transformation roadmaps until the pandemic. How is their digital transformation being impacted today?
“We’ve seen that many projects set for the medium-to-long term have been accelerated during the pandemic to ensure business continuity. The need to reduce costs quickly, and be scalable and agile, has bought forward mass adoption of cloud tools.”
Can you identify any new tech trends within the small business tech stack that will become the instruments of change for how SMEs use tech in a post-COVID-19 world?
“I believe online meetings are here to stay, and Microsoft Teams as a collaboration and communication hub will change businesses and how they operate. The ability to add on business grade voice to this means companies have one central hub for communication internally with colleagues and externally with customers.”
The cloud was the core of every SMEs tech stack before the pandemic. Has this changed?
“Everything has been accelerated but the cloud remains at the core of every SME’s tech stack. We’ve seen that previous plans to continue operating on-premise tech and utilising previous investments further have been scrapped.”
Any other comments you would like to make?
“The Covid-19 pandemic is a catalyst and opportunity for businesses to reimagine themselves and how they operate. Cloud solutions liberate businesses for a fresh start in the new world of work; facilitate rapid growth through new capabilities; and provide organisational resilience, allowing companies to thrive, not just survive.”