ITU suggests ways for survival and internationalization of tech MSMEs

houlin-zhao-secretary-general-of-the-ituInformation 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.

The above was the findings from Emerge Publication launched at ITU Telecom World in Bangkok, Thailand.

“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.”

Having a dynamic ecosystem of tech MSMEs 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.

Though mobile is approaching ubiquity, there are still gaps particularly among the poor. This should be remedied particularly since low-income segments stand to benefit so much from social entrepreneurship and start-up services using mobile money.

In addition to broadband and mobile networks, young tech MSMEs need other critical Internet infrastructure such as data centers and mobile payment solutions.

Ensuring the survival and internationalization of tech MSMEs requires strong, interconnected and outward-looking ecosystems, according to Emerge Publication.