Almost a decade back, Mark Andreessen famously wrote: “software is eating the world”. While we assumed that by now, perhaps software would be done eating the world but it continues in on this journey.
Almost every company today is a software company. No matter what the business, organizations have to reimagine themselves as software companies so that they are not caught off guard in this world where software is not only an enabler of work but the harbinger of competitive differentiation. We all remember how Amazon, once the world’s largest bookseller, evolved to become a software company while its competitor, Borders, went into the throes of an impending bankruptcy?
Many organizations look at building partnerships to meet their technology requirements and power their business. And while most organizations want to choose the large, more established organizations to meet their tech needs in software development, testing, QA, BA, and the like, big may not always be the most appropriate one. Small, in this case, is not only beautiful but is right as well. Here is why –
Most large organizations are driven by complex, bureaucratic processes. While these are essential owing to the size of the organization, the multiple layers of management impede agility. Smaller organizations fare better in this regard as they are more flexible.
The smaller organizations become noticeably more proactive since they can take decisions faster, work more collaboratively with their clients, and consequently execute work faster. The small structure makes communication easier. It is also easier to change or implement new processes to meet project requirements. This agility helps in executing work faster and ensuring that projects are delivered within timelines.
Smaller organizations are driven to do more impactful work and go that extra mile for their clients. This is so because every piece of business matters to them and contributes significantly to their bottom line.
Thus, smaller organizations are more open to customizations even if it means stepping outside the scope of the project. Whether it is changing one part of a process, extending a feature, or adjusting the project scope to account for software evolution, a smaller organization will be more agile and accommodating towards customizations.
The larger the organization, the higher the cost of the resources. This can be a significant hurdle for organizations looking at technology solutions at a lower cost. Unlike large organizations that charge top dollar for their services, working with smaller organizations is more cost-effective since delivering the same service at a lower cost.
A smaller organization gives access to high-quality and experienced technical resources at a lower cost since the charges are for the actual job and not for the ‘brand value’.Smaller organizations want to build their brand and their work is the best advertisement for them. Hence, not only are the costs lower but these organizations are also willing to work harder and be more committed to their clients.
Smaller organizations are also more dynamic and flexible with resource allocations. If the project demands, they are willing to transition resources from other projects to address the need. This also becomes possible since smaller organizations are not tied down by the shackles of hierarchy and bureaucracy. Enabling this in a large organization is quite a challenge since these organizations are bound by rigid, hierarchical structures.
Along with delivery managers and product leaders, smaller organizations give you access to the top management as well. This can prove to be extremely beneficial since they can then leverage this executive experience to gain useful insights and valuable tips from the business, as well as a technical perspective.
Top management in most small companies is highly experienced in both business and technology. They also are more willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty if their team or the client needs to leverage their experience. In case of a problem, you can connect with the managing partner or the CEO of the company, who will be willing to extend their support in whichever way possible. In larger organizations, access to top management is not democratized and is limited only to select clients.
Smaller organizations are in a better place to empathize and understand the challenges of organizations since they operate from a small business perspective. A larger company can be disconnected from the realities of a startup or a company operating on a tight budget since they do not have to operate within constraints. With abundant resources at hand, being thrifty is not a necessity.
Smaller organizations, on the contrary, know how hard things can be, and, hence, they can come up with creative ways to stretch resources to get more value. They also have a higher sense of responsibility towards a project since every project is a significant account for a small business.Greater attention to detail, higher levels of availability, and higher degrees of commitment remain the hallmark of most small businesses.
However, not all small companies are created equal. It makes sense to look at their track record, existing processes, commitment towards communication, and timeliness, along with assessing the quality of resources and the experience of the top management. But small companies are built on passion, usually by specialists who want to make a difference by delivering extensive value. This is why the brownie points go to smaller organizations when compared to their larger counterparts.