Why technology is essential to compete internationally

By: IT Donut contributor

Date: 30 October 2013

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Technology has changed how we do business. But does increasing use of tools like cloud computing make it easier for businesses to grow and compete on the global stage?

In a recent study (PDF link) by Oxford Economics, sponsored by SAP, 2,100 small businesses over 21 countries were surveyed to see how they use technology to improve operations and compete globally.

It reveals small companies use cloud computing, business management software, data analytics, mobile, and social media to drive change within their businesses. 59% of respondents said technology enables them to compete in more locations than in the past.

And with nearly 60% of companies saying they've noticed an increase in foreign competition over the last two years, being able to compete globally is becoming a necessity.

Tech opens doors for your business

But technology doesn't just make it easier to compete with other businesses. It also opens the gateway to networking and collaboration. Of the businesses questioned, 40% have used online platforms to form strategic partnerships outside their home markets.

Some of those partnerships are initiated via social media. Indeed, 35% of companies questioned are utilising social media to source, market and connect directly with their target audiences. Interactive content and social sharing are cheap, effective forms of marketing.

You need to stay informed

Technology is constantly evolving, but companies that are not informed about new tech are reluctant to implement services that could ultimately benefit them. In the research, 32% suggested that they struggle to understand how technology can improve their business.

As technology advances, you must regard its implementation and management as an ongoing process. If you want to grow your business, you must be prepared to use the tools that will enable you to compete in a global economy.

Sara Parker blogs for Face for Business, a fast-growing company that provides call answering services for SMEs across the UK. 

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