The project’s birth

Some time ago, after having successfully completed a number of large-scale IT projects, I had a chance to view the world of small companies. A unique aspect of the Italian economy is the large number of small-size businesses working in the market, and I realized that it is a very interesting and exciting aspect of our society.

The Italian market in effect is very different from any other county because there is a particular motivation towards capitalism for those born here, and it seems there is a little bit of this in everyone of us which make us the more ingenious in a lot of situations and areas.

What is clear to anyone who looks at the business model of any SMB company is the fact that it must deal with most of the same issues that any bigger corporation has to deal with. Thus it means that people working in a small firm have almost the same IT needs of the enterprise information workers that my past projects had addressed.

In such an environment, the primary weakness of a small firm seems to be the limited resource availability, and therefore small-sized players find it more difficult to work in the global economy because of their inability to tolerate any work disruption. But in the same time the root of their vulnerability is also a weapon which permits a lot of many little “Davids” to be able to fight on the field of their market share and to win the competition against a few bigger “Goliath”, who don’t see those market areas as profitable for their business.

After all, the biggest real obstacle I see in a small company expanding its business is not a matter of money, but the lack of professional services tailored to them. That is: like any other employee in the world, people working at a small firm needs to communicate, to store, to search and to exchange information between his or her colleagues, partners, suppliers and customers. But an investment in the right IT infrastructure to accomplish these needs can be too expensive to have a return in a timely fashion.

Until now, the offering of IT services to SMBs in Italy have been influenced by a inadequate “small vision”, of selling software and hardware to “keep it inexpensive”, instead of delivering professional services that meets the real needs of customers.

Such a vision needs to be changed both in the customer’s mind and in the supplier’s business plan!

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