• Massive ambition: how small businesses can outpace large competitors by investing in innovative tech

Being a little fish in a big pond isn’t easy but there are ways for small businesses to get ahead of their competitors without burning their profits. By investing in upgrading to Windows 10, your business can enjoy the benefits of a larger organisations, without the overheads, hassle or price point.

Here are four vital tools that small businesses should be taking advantage of today.

1. Office 365

If you’re not already using Microsoft’s Office 365 in your business then you’re missing a trick. For a simple per-user-per-month fee, so you only ever pay for what you need, you get access to:

  • Office Online, which allows you to use the full Microsoft Office suite on any device, wherever you are;
  • Collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams for group chat, private messaging and file sharing; and
  • Video conferencing software powered by Skype for Business so you can host and join HD calls with anyone around the world.

 

2. Surface-as-a-service

Global spending on business hardware is expected to reach $386bn (£276bn) in 2018, accounting for a significant portion of overall spending. Having up-to-date hardware is crucial for any ambitious business but the upfront cost can crush an SMB’s budget in the short term.

Surface-as-a-service is a solution that allows businesses to lease high-end devices, pre-installed with the most recent software, and pay back the cost over time. With the right partner, you can also bundle a bespoke solution as part of your surface-as-a-service solution to include other services such as deployment and maintenance.

 

3. Business Intelligence

The key to getting ahead is first understanding where you are right now. Without this information, you can’t know how to move forward. To compete with larger companies, you need business intelligence that you can turn into actionable insights and one of the best tools for this is Microsoft’s Power BI.

This suite of analytics tools takes business data and translates it into visual reports and dashboards that you can use to make smarter business decisions without the need for a big team of technical professionals.

4. Migrate to Windows 10

Improve your overall business efficiency now and into the future; by ensuring that your Surface devices are working at their best with Windows 10. The new operating system ensures that they will work with improved performance capability as well as an intuitive, updated interface.

As well as this, it’s best to ensure that your devices maintain a basic level of security as there will be no further security updates and patches to Windows 7 as of 14th January 2020. It’s time to act now: upgrade to Windows 10 to ensure the baseline security of your business.

The popularity behind Windows 7 makes sense; but it’s time for a refresh. Find out why migrating to Windows 10 is the best thing you will do for the future and security of your business.

You’ve got to play hard to win

Competing with a large competitor will never be an easy battle. The trick for smaller businesses is noting the advantages they have over the giants, such as flexibility and scalability, and exploiting them wherever possible.

‘To survive, or better yet thrive, in this more competitive environment,’ writes Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson in the Harvard Business Review, ‘the mantra for any CEO should be, “Deploy, innovate, and propagate”: First, deploy a consistent technology platform. Then separate yourself from the pack by coming up with better ways of working. Finally, use the platform to propagate these business innovations widely and reliably.’

To win the race you have to be ready, willing and able to innovate and evolve at a fast rate. If you can do this, you can be the little fish that owns the pond.

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