There is a strong belief that the gap between the large and small companies is growing and the small organizations are doomed to taking a second seat forever. The numbers and history are on the side of the giants. They are large and strong financially, so they can spend more financially on research and development (R&D). The reality is that they won't because they are too busy boosting their stock price or lining the executive's pockets. Even if they were committed to spending a goodly amount on R&D, will they invest in the right research? Like the David of the bible facing Goliath, SMBs can count on 5 smooth digital stones that they can launch at the giants.
Most organizations are self-delusional thinking their products and services are just plain excellent. They create surveys that increase scores for bonuses for such delusion. Customers are not wanting standard and time-consuming customer journeys aimed at corporate outcomes and results. Customers have choices and are taking them these days. Newer generations are not brand loyal forever. They measure and switch. Better customer journeys are the most lethal stone that SMBs have to close the size gap.
AI & Analytics:
Most of the interactions that people have with organizations make organizations look dumb. By making the interactions smart by optimizing each touchpoint a business moment of for winning them again over an over. This means that AI should be assisting customers to get their outcomes easily. This may mean focusing on the relationship over short term profitability. AI and the leverage of data in a real-time fashion in a historical context aiming towards a "win-win" set of outcomes in the future.
Process & Emergence:
Processes need to be intelligent and able to adapt as it progresses toward goals. This means processes emerge instead of being a fixed set of sequences. While some task sequences make sense, they don't always apply to every situation and customer. Processes, workflows and task sequences(snippets) are important, but they need to be smart in their behavior in context. The best way is to sequence them synchronizing the emerging to the journey, be it customer, product, service or partner.
Let's get rid of the dumb work for both clients and associates. Nobody wants to do mindless work or be irritated by systems limitations and fractures. Why make people take care of integration and translation? This is why RPA is taking off in a rapid fashion. Intelligently automate to beat the competition. Give those bots intelligence, so they can adapt along with journeys and processes.
The software just takes too long to create. While you can make it cheaper by outsourcing it to cheaper resources, that only solves the cost part of the equation. Often the quality isn't there because the emphasis costs not great outcomes. Recent headlines about software failures make this point with emphasis. Just ask Boeing. What about easy to code techniques such as reuse, drop-down code creation or code generation?
David only needed one stone to get his giant down, but SMBs might not be that fortunate. If I was a betting man, I'd pick the combination of customer journeys, AI and processes. I look forward to watching the battle and hoping someone will be popping me some popcorn soon. I'm rooting for the underdogs as the giants have beat me up in the past with experiences that don't match my desired journey and outcomes. Some Giants will fall. Some SMBs will become as powerful as giants.