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    Small and perfectly formed

    I think that as a phrase, this is quite cute. It has its place in the English vocab and can be used as a comeback such as “size isn’t everything” or as a way of promoting beauty, intricacy and intimacy.

    In the modern world, size is significant.
    The size of data – “it’s big…”
    The size of a company – “They’re big therefore it’s a safe bet”
    The size of an Oligarchs yacht – “It’s huge, he must have lots of oil”
    Big is more desirable, in fact bigger is better

    Or is it?

    Where can small be better? “Small is beautiful”, “Messi is better than Ronaldo…”, “small is more agile…”, “small food portions can be better than large”, “smaller class sizes”, “a small team of specialists is better than a large team of generalists…”

    In the world of IT, size often matters. When people are making buying decisions it’s easier to hang your hat on one of the larger suppliers than risking your job on a newbie, even if their technology is better!
    Marketeers can help to make companies look bigger than they are. Why, because the bigger we look the more seriously people take us – big is more desirable, bigger is better.

    Industry analysts help promote technology and are not slaves to size but some of the big players like the Gartner’s of this world are expensive dates and require a sizeable budget to keep them at your side.

    We hear things from the Government about trumpeting innovation and providing support for SME’s. All good stuff but the software procurement process in local government can be arduous with people buying off framework agreements that are difficult for smaller companies to get on and tender processes that are often skewed to favour big balance sheets or companies with dedicated bid teams capable of writing a 50,000 word tender response in a week or previous experience in that sector which is impossible to achieve through a tender process that insists on that as a question.

    As the MD of an innovative SME that has sought to grow and scale in a covid-19 infected world, I’m in a pretty good position to reflect on how the land lies in IT and how easy it is for companies to see “small” as a barrier as opposed to something that might actually be a better fit for their business. We can operate remotely, we are more agile, we have a distributed workforce, we operate globally and our carbon footprint and running costs are extremely low. In short, the old adage of bigger is better in IT terms, really isn’t applicable.

    In this world of financial crashes, falling markets, covid-19 and general uncertainty let’s give innovation a chance. Grow our economy by investing in talent and giving new blood a chance.

    Some of the best ideas have not originated from large enterprises.

    Look at Facebook (have you seen the film “Social network”?), Hewlett Packard was started in a Garage, Microsoft started by a few geeks (sorry Bill) with sleep deprivation.

    Small is best for ideas, flexibility, agility and dare I say, going the extra mile… big is best for filling seats.

    Keep supporting the start-ups, the disruptors and give innovation a chance!

    Remember, in software, size isn’t important it’s what you do with it and how well it works for your business that matters. Especially now.

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