August 17, 2014

Web-based productivity tools for the cash strapped SMEs

SMEs are always cash strapped, with the owners multitasking and on the lookout to manage their time better. Although a number of non-IT SMEs have incorporated IT in some areas, they are yet to cash-in on web-based tools, which can be used to to better manage their businesses, with minimum investment.

Indian SMEs prefer to invest in something which their peers in the industry have bought. They are hesitant to go in for anything that is relatively new, even if it is more beneficial to them if their network hasn’t got it," states Arvind Kumar, partner, of an IT solutions company and an Open Source advocate. "The reason for this is simply the fear of the unknown. Not many SMEs are ready to adopt the Open Source route or even a licensed web-based tool even today.”

Although awareness of Cloud computing is relatively high among the business owners, interestingly enough not many have switched to it.

Greater awareness of web-based Productivity Tools can be of great help, in equipping SMEs ramp up their processes without heavy investments. There are some very popular tools that provide multiple usage including in sales & marketing, accounting, documenting and even HR, that are available at almost no cost.

Evernote,  iBackup,  Dropbox, Remember the Milk, Microsoft's SharePoint and Slideshare are some of the tools that this segment can benefit from. They provide task and time management, data storage, backups and enterprise-wide web requirements.

“There are plenty of tools available free of cost on the net which can be of great use to this segment, in streamlining their processes and bringing in greater track-ability,’’ states Suresh Kumar, MD,  Deucom Plastics. With increased awareness this market should really catch on. What is required is the critical mass of users in the ecosystem.”

With greater awareness and familiarity of the advantages they bring to the table, web-based tools are probably the next big thing the small and mid-segment entrepreneurs will incorporate in their day-to-day workings
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