November 16, 2016
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) — including cloud computing and the rise of software-as-a-service — has reduced the cost of innovation and market access, allowing small tech businesses to compete with established industries.
This was one of the key findings of the Emerge Publication which was launched today at ITU Telecom World in Bangkok, Thailand.
The publication provides a review of micro, small and medium sized-enterprises in the ICT sector (tech MSMEs), as well as the environment and stakeholders which support these firms to grow and create jobs.
“The future of SMEs will be enabled by ICTs,” said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General. “Cloud computing, smart grids, smart metering, reducing energy consumption and much more will be key to the environments that allow SMEs to grow and that, in turn, will be transformed by SMEs.”
The report is the result of an engagement and discussion with a ministries of ICT, trade and industry, national innovation agencies, large multinational companies, academic institutions, business and technology schools, incubators, accelerators, financiers, business mentors, industry associations and MSMEs themselves.
Having a dynamic ecosystem of tech MSMEs, the report notes, can create a positive feedback loop in a country’s national ICT sector, and supports acceleration of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“The existence of young tech MSMEs can create a critical mass of professionals who produce demand for ICT services, creates a pool of skilled ICT professionals, and can introduce innovative solutions that could be adopted or acquired by larger ICT companies and development agencies.
“ICT networks are critical enablers of the tech start-up ecosystem. Emerging economies are recommended to adopt strategies to boost broadband speeds and enhance access.”