Get new posts in your inbox

Building a small to medium sized business today has changed dramatically thanks to the “Amazon effect,” said Brent Leary, Partner of CRM Essentials in an interview at the CRM Evolution 2012 conference in New York City.

Before Amazon started offering web services, companies had to concern themselves with so many company-building issues that were not core to the company’s offering, such as software, hardware, capacity, and people who could manage all these technologies. Once Amazon started offering web and order fulfillment services that small businesses can take advantage of, it freed business owners from thinking about all this technology, said Leary.

While Amazon was one of the pioneers, there is now a slew of other companies offering these “in the cloud” and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. As a result, small businesses are building businesses and services much faster than ever before, Leary continued.

I’ve heard of this issue from IT people. They refer to it as the “consumerization of IT.” There was a time IT used to hold all the cards when it came to employees’ capability of doing anything on computers. Now that employees can access services outside of the company network, it can actually sometimes be troublesome especially for IT if workers are circumventing normal company protocol.

For small to medium sized businesses that are struggling with what IT infrastructure they have, if anything, consumerization of IT can actually be a relief. With access to these “pay as you go” services, businesses can launch quicker, operate faster, and be more agile. To easily meet customer demand and behavioral changes, it’s critical to have flexible business models. The “Amazon effect” is changing how businesses are operating and dealing with customers, said Leary.