PART 3: Come on IT Companies – Let’s be disruptive! Why use small companies?

In last week’s blog I proposed greater collaboration between large and small companies so that each can benefit from the other. The end result would be spreading a workload by utilising resources more efficiently across companies. Large and small companies are fundamentally different, and those differences are well documented.  This week we are going to look at the potential benefit of a large company engaging with smaller companies. The ‘issues’ we will consider in a later blog.

 

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What drives people to start their own company? It’s not easy. It often involves a steep learning curve, certainly huge amounts of effort, high energy levels and probably being way out of your comfort zone? So why do it? Freedom? Doing something differently, more efficiently? Experimenting with new ideas and technologies? Perhaps all of these. No matter what the reason you can be certain it will not be an easy journey. This means that most small company owners are not scared of either adversity or a bit of risk, and they understand hard work and its rewards. Wouldn’t such a person and their team be a great asset to a larger company?

Some huge companies are working at replicating the innovation created by small companies. Fortune published an interesting article back in May on the efforts of  companies like GE, IBM and Coke to create a small / start up environment within their own companies (http://fortune.com/2015/04/26/startups-inside-giant-companies/ ) trying to replicate the small, innovative company within their own larger companies. Would it not be easier and more efficient to find the small companies experimenting with technologies and particular skill sets, and find a way of engaging with them? Two immediate issues come to mind 1) How do you find these companies and 2) How do you work with them?

Company Connecting helps to address the first point. There are hidden gems of companies out there. It’s just that many IT people are not that great at letting others know what they are doing and how good they are. The second point of how does a large company work with a smaller company is a conundrum. Small and large companies are inherently different. The people who work for these companies are different. However this is a reason to work together – to create great teams, delivering great technology which consists of people cross companies. This is collaboration and it’s not easy. Technology seems to be exploding all around us just now. Things are changing rapidly and we need to adapt our use of technology quickly too. Large companies do not find this an easy thing to do – so all the more reason to find a way to work with smaller agile companies. Constantly recruiting more people is not the answer – it’s expensive and it takes time. Why not get in bed with a small fully formed, great tech team and find a way of working with them?

Next week we are going to consider recruitment versus working with a small company further. Can we afford to continue doing things the same way?

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First published on Company Connecting November 2015

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