The Future Is Bright for SMBs: Thoughts from the British Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference 2011

There are 20 million SMBs in Europe today and they remain a key driver of economic growth and innovation. While many may believe the latest technology is deployed by large enterprises, global organisations and governments with big IT budgets, in reality many SMBs are embracing the most cutting-edge technology and can teach us a great deal about staying competitive.

On Thursday 7th April, our Global President of Consumer and Small Business, Steve Felice participated in a panel session at the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) Annual Conference 2011 on the prospects for the UK economy in 2011, speaking alongside senior representatives from RBS, FTI and BT Local Business.

British Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference - 2011

With an audience of more than 350 business leaders, opinion formers, and government representatives from across the UK, Steve emphasized the vital role technology plays in fuelling economic recovery as it removes barriers to business growth and global trade. Ricky Ricketts, General Manager, BT Local Business echoed Steve’s thoughts saying there is a real need to invest and develop infrastructure to provide ultra-high speed broadband access to everyone in the UK. Investment in the backbone will fundamentally allow consumers and businesses to make better use of the technology that exists today. Chris Sullivan, Chief Executive, UK Corporate Banking Division, RBS discussed the role banking must play in supporting business investment on the front line at a local level across the United Kingdom.

In the following video interview with the British Chamber of Commerce, Steve highlights some of the obstacles SMBs are facing today, how Dell is helping to overcome them and what the business landscape will look like in the future:

Our experience and intimacy with our customers tells us purchase behaviour of technology by SMBs is a great leading indicator of economic health. In early 2008, we saw technology spending slow down, but SMB spending has been resilient for the past two years which makes us optimistic for the future. While small and medium sized businesses are not traditionally early adopters of technology, innovative SMBs are using IT to level the playing field against larger competitors through integration of virtual supply chains, implementation of 24/7 operations and ease of access to export markets.

At Dell we are dedicated to assisting SMB growth and development through our expansion of Dell infrastructure and services specialists, financial Services options and in programmes such as Take Your Own Path and the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN). We remain highly committed to the SMB market which has such a strong impact on our UK and EMEA’s economy.

The government and business communities need to continue to take an active role in nurturing innovation and mentoring the entrepreneurs whose new ideas will be the genesis of future businesses. 

After all, it is these entrepreneurs that will emerge as the next decade’s economic heroes.

About the Author: Kevin Peesker