How tech can take the brakes off business growth
62% of UK organisations plan to grow their customer base in the next five-to-ten years, according to a recent report on building a digital business.
And they’re wise to prioritise growth.
According to a McKinsey & Company study spanning 32 years and 3,000 companies, ‘growth trumps all’ when it comes to financial success.
The cost of not growing?
‘Grow fast or die slow’ is the ominous conclusion.
But that statement is now five years old. And at the risk of parroting a phrase you’ve heard a thousand times before, things really do move quicker now.
I don’t think it would be too dramatic to say ‘grow fast or die fast’ today.
But with the wider UK economy currently growing at its slowest rate in over a decade, it’s clear that many of the country’s firms are struggling to gain any serious momentum.
Let’s look at how you might break free from the things that are currently holding your own growth plans back.
Growing from the ground up
If we’re talking about growth, it’s important to emphasise the number of organisations looking to achieve it through mergers and acquisitions – 53,000 globally in 2018 alone.
This approach differs from organic growth in a way that brings a whole new set of challenges.
When you acquire another business you’re faced with the added complexity of integrating two companies built in an entirely different way on entirely different technology platforms.
The two of you may have shared goals, shared values and be 100% strategically aligned. But when it comes to the nuts and bolts, when you try to integrate your operations, somehow the pieces just don’t fit.
Technology plays a huge part in this, of course. Or should we say: outdated technology plays a huge part in slowing things down, making it hard for many organisations to expand and evolve as quickly or smoothly as they’d like.
In fact, 31% of organisations can’t introduce new workplace tools because their IT infrastructure is too complex, according to a recent report Ovum report.
And you can see why. They have hundreds of applications across multiple offices, all of which need to integrate seamlessly and securely.
And they can’t simply replace the parts that don’t work. The foundations they built years ago don’t cater for such luxuries. So they’re locked in to a pace of growth that’s far too slow to compete with more agile opponents.
But what if it didn’t have to be like that?
What If there was a way to change the infrastructure that underpins every piece of technology throughout your organisation? The network that binds it all together. And all without disrupting your day-to-day business or making your head of security wince.
Let’s face it: the networks of old have a habit of being inflexible. And business growth today relies on things being quite the opposite. You need the ability to quickly set up in new locations, create new services, respond to opportunities, expand into new markets.
Your old network simply won’t let you do that fast or securely enough. But a modern, cloud-based, software-powered network will, which means you can test, build and get things up and running quickly.
Change slow, grow fast
It might seem like a bit of a catch-22: you know a different kind of network could reduce complexity and power growth, but you have to wade through incredible complexity to get there.
When it comes to a modern network like SD-WAN, however, the above statement is only partly true.
Yes, it’ll never be a quick and easy fix. It is digital transformation in every sense of the overused phrase – not something you can simply pick off the shelf and switch on overnight.
But with today’s networks you don’t have to make all those changes at once. You can implement them, step by step, feeling the incremental benefits over time without any significant risk or disruption to your business.
So if you’re worried about whether you can grow fast enough not to die (to steal a somewhat dramatic line from McKinsey & Company), you might want to look at your network before you lose hope.
Get that right and you’ll be able to evolve in a way that matches your ambition. Quickly, securely, without any barriers.
In short: you’ll set your business free.