The Big Challenge for SMEs – Enabling Technology
Navigating complex times…
Technology innovation is accelerating at a very fast pace. In order to compete organisations need a technology infrastructure that supports and helps drive their business strategy. Typically most SMEs struggle to:
- Understand how technology solutions can help their business and springboard accelerated growth
Contain technology costs
- Implement new solutions (e.g. mobile applications, ERP etc.)
- Integrate applications (e.g. CRM, Accounting, HR, Website, Inventory, Procurement systems)
- Get better insights from their data and management information
The clock is ticking….
As a direct result of the above challenges, SME growth is commonly stifled. In fact, the harsh reality for SMEs in most sectors is that becoming technology enabled is now a do or die scenario – if they fail to modernise they will soon find themselves out of business.
The situation is exacerbated because affordable IT delivery consultancy services are not readily accessible. The major technology consultancies are expensive and their services are not available to SMEs due to their size.
- Technology Enablement
- ACS specialise in delivering expert business, technology and data solutions for SMEs.
- We are addressing a gap in the market for accessible, end to end technology delivery capability at affordable prices.
- Expertise harnessed from complex IT deliveries in some of the world’s largest global organisations, and now made available to the SME.
- A unique business model that creates bespoke delivery teams for each SME assignment, including:
- “CTO-as-a-Service” – cost-effective, on-demand access to an experienced Chief Technology
Officer to advise on your IT strategy and oversee your technology enablement.
- “GlobalSmartSource” – globalised resource pool that accelerates technology change at lower cost.
- Taking SMEs on a journey of practical and appropriate IT change, delivering quick wins and a positive Return on Investment (ROI) at each step of the way.
Practical and appropriate IT change enables accelerated SME growth to be achieved.
Our Key Offerings
- CTO as a Service
- CTO as a Service – Focus
Our “CTO as a Service” aims to provide our clients with the IT leadership skills that are often lacking in small and medium enterprises, but in many cases are critical to both business survival and accelerated growth.
The subscription service provides you with on demand, cost effective experience that focuses on early return on investment, and forges long term, trusted relationships with your senior management in the process.
What you get
- An acting, experienced CTO, available on a completely flexible basis, from as little as £1,000 a month
- Access to our Offshore Development Centre, providing SMEs with the ability to harness low cost IT resources for Business As Usual (BAU) and IT change delivery
- Access to our SME Centre of Expertise and Delivery Academy, including Client IT Environments and Knowledge Library to further reduce the overall cost of IT ownership
- CTO expertise, on tap, on demand and on your side, without the price tag of a full time CTO
- Enhanced IT Strategy – help in identifying how technology can help your business, managing the planning and oversight of an agreed, practical IT roadmap
- Focus on increasing profit and growth – enhancing revenues through appropriate IT enablement and reducing operational cost through simplification and eradicating operational / technological waste
- Ad hoc leadership and advice on existing IT operations including talent acquisition and structure
- Independent advice and support on vendor selection, operational support and system implementation / integration
- Significantly increased business performance, efficiency & agility
- Reduced risk across the business
As part of our CIO as a service offering, we take on the role of managing technology use within your organisation; strategically, tactically and operationally. Our potential areas of focus for this service are outlined below.
- IT Strategy & Roadmap
- IT Simplification/Cost Reduction
- IT Governance/Risk and Compliance
- IT Due Diligence
- Change Management
- IT Organsiational Model
- Business Engagement
- IT Appointments/Placements/Contracts
- Ongoing coaching & Mentoring
- IT Insourcing/Outsourcing
- Contract Planning and Negotiation
- Vendor Sourcing & Placement
- Performance Management
- Industry/Competitor Reviews
- Cost/Benefits Analysis
- IT Reviews/SWOT Analysis
- IT Financials
- Transition to Cloud
- Project Management
- Mobilisation, Migration and Integration
- Automation Implementation
- Independent IT Audits
- Architecture & Standards
- IT Policy/Process Development
- System Selection (Legacy > Future Proof)
- Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity
ACS have an established SME Centre of Expertise (CoE) that is proven to accelerate IT delivery, reduce cost and allow clients to explore the ‘art of the possible’.
SME Centre of Expertise
- The knowledge library that captures our thought leadership, best practice, unique SME toolkits and delivery accelerators to maximise delivery value and create tailored solutions for each SME.
- The relevant experience to manage the complete end-to-end delivery.
- Client dedicated IT environments and integrated SME solutions that facilitate client understanding of the ‘art of the possible’.
- SME Technology Capability
We are committed to providing our SME clients with the best applications and solutions tailored to their individual needs. Our approach involves collaboration through partnership, providing an iterative development process and deploying agile methodologies to ensure successful delivery. Our technology delivery centre is at the forefront of state of the art SME technology delivery supporting multiple technologies, a sample of which are outlined below.
- Case Study 1: UK National Charity
- Case Study 2: Established Recruitment Firm
Our client, a national charity offering support to vulnerable migrants across the UK, is the UK government’s primary supplier of migrant and asylum seeker support and the first point of contact when entering the UK. Last year they supported approximately 180,000 migrants and asylum seekers. In 2016 the Home Office launched an initiative to improve Government systems and now require all case information to be submitted electronically to a new centralised IPT platform. Failure to integrate seamlessly to the Home Office platform within the deadline would result in losing this government contract (an earlier attempt had failed to deliver).
- Review existing systems that record all case information
- Understand the business processes used to gather information
- Redesign their CRM system to record the information required by the Home Office
- Design and build interface to Home Office IPT system, meeting the requirements of the Home Office XSD
- Deliver a cloud based CRM solution
- Secure communications service between the cloud and Home Office
- Minimise disruption and staff training time
- Ensure all historical data remained available in the new system
- Allowed our client to become the sole provider of Migrant and Asylum support for the UK government
- Improve the productivity of support staff allowing more time to deal with individual cases
- Provide a system capable of scaling in line with government requirements
Our client, a well established, specialist sector contingency recruitment firm had a need to review its out dated technology stack knowing that at a minimum, there is a need to move away from hard drive server to cloud based solutions. The client was also acutely aware that the business was stagnating and the industry is becoming increasingly technology enabled and wanted to understand how it could maximise the value from any technology investment.
- Review existing technology infrastructure and applications (including CRM and Accounting systems) and client interfaces
- Understand organisation wide client business processes, bottlenecks and duplications
- Redesign business and IT process, agree this along with proposed costings with the client
- Build, test and implement new technology in practical, appropriate steps, that minimise disruption, provide early
- payback and accelerate client growth
- Replace existing CRM with leading edge CRM package
- Design and build new website and integrate with new CRM
- Design and build new mobile application that integrates candidate, client, CRM and social media feeds
- Migrate all data and applications to the cloud
- Phase 2 (now underway) to proof of concept BOT and AI technology to automate multiple organisational processes
- ROI achieved in 8 months – new industry sectors entered successfully and multiple new clients achieved
- Advanced technologies identified to drive further efficiencies and growth
Our SME Solutions Practice
SME Technology Solutions
Simon is a successful CTO and director of programmes who consistently delivers
business transformation, IT infrastructure and application development projects to high levels of customer satisfaction, in multiple fast-paced, deadline driven environments. With over 15 years’ experience in technology, SMEs and also the financial services industry, Simon has proven experience in helping multiple SMEs accelerate growth through technology enablement. A successful programme delivery manager, Simon is very hands in making change happen.
SME Growth Strategy Solutions
Alan has over 30 years’ experience in business strategy, corporate finance and venture capital fund management. He has worked with multiple early stage businesses across a number of industries, taking them from concept to global leadership.
Alan has led teams to deliver substantial improvements in revenue, profits and enterprise value. Alan focuses on the application of SME solutions to create competitive advantage and deliver outcomes that drive the implementation of business and technology strategy.
SME Technology Solutions
Steve has 25 years of experience managing and delivering complex Information Delivery systems and running international Professional Services operations. Steve bridges the gap between the business and technology functions ensuring that expected outcomes are delivered. Steve specialises in Risk Management solutions, MI, Big Data and Systems Integration and has the background to ensure organisations receive the solutions they require to maintain their competitive advantage.
SME Technology Solutions
Dave has extensive experience of architecting and running large complex technology transformation programs and also working across a breadth of SME companies at various stages of growth and in multiple sectors. Dave is an accomplished technologist who works at CTO level and has advised a large number of the UK FTSE100 organisations on business and technology strategy. Dave has a vested interest in the cloud technology arena and plays an active role in developing emerging market solutions.
Global IT Delivery Solutions
Rohit is an accomplished technology leader with over 20 years of international experience in managing portfolios of multi-million dollar technology initiatives for many Fortune 100 organisations including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and NBC. He has an extremely strong track record in the set up and execution of global technical operations (onsite-offshore). Rohit is the managing director of ACAP India Pvt Ltd, our offshore development centre in Gurgaon, India.