Monday, 5 December 2011

Where are the IT Companies in the Virgin Fast Track 100?

There was a time when Hi Tech companies dominated the Virgin Fast Track 100 - I worked for Eyretel for a while when they won it on the back of their growth in the digital voice recording business sold in the City.

This Sunday, the list published by the Sunday Times shows a very different landscape with only online retailers qualifying as Hi Tech and there are barely a half a dozen of those in the Top 60 while there are a couple of phone retailers and just one Telco reseller scraping in at 60th in the Top 60.

No software companies, no computer maintenance companies, no online computer vendor, no computer resellers, no accessories companies, no Apple App producers - in fact, the first computer associated company comes in at 62 and it's an ink cartridge recycling company.

Refreshingly, there are plenty of recruitment companies in there although I understand the Hi Tech recruiters are suffering while Telecom resellers starts to sprout up with growing frequency after 60th place. 

After Robert Peston's program last night, it was chilling to see that one of the fastest growing companies in Britain is an Equity Release broker as we all struggle to manage debt and provide for our retirement somehow.

It is perhaps a sign of the times that Hi Tech companies are missing from the Fast Track 100. Amongst computer resellers, insolvencies are up, gross margins are getting tighter and competition remains fierce. The PC market is dropping like a stone as the client device markets change, server shipments are static if lowering - what can a struggling reseller do to change its fortunes?

On page 8 is a small article by a very good friend, former colleague and business partner of mine, Scott Dodds who is now GM of business strategy and marketing at Microsoft UK. Scott points out how smaller companies are embracing the Cloud to help them grow faster and he highlights one of the Fast Track Companies called Gritit who unsurprisingly are making hay while we experience harder winters.

What Scott points out is that small companies can save on IT costs and scale their business faster by effectively outsourcing their IT to the Cloud so that small companies can focus on what brings in sales rather than back office issues like IT.

I think there is a step further to go. Companies like independenceIT go beyond just putting a few applications like email, back up and CRM into the Cloud but allow SME businesses to push the management of their entire IT infrastructure and applications into the Cloud and have it served back to them at a single monthly cost per desktop. As traditional hosters like Rackspace or Fasthosts really offer just the renting of resource, independenceIT offers a true managed service that allows SME companies to scale not just their resources but their applications for as single monthly charge.

There are no capital outlays, just single monthly fee per desktop - all the rest is taken care of using Tier 1 datacenters and giving the highest availability and support.

Scott and I agree, the Cloud is definitely the best way a small business can grow its IT base and I think independenceIT has a unique and compelling proposition for this. For resellers who want to get back into growth mode and be able to offer a true managed service to customers without all the massive outlay, independenceIT have a fantastic solution to help get growth back in your business - profitably.

Please get in touch with me for more information on +44 (0) 207 193 2356.

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