Starting in 2021, we will see a major shift in small businesses starting to use advanced cloud technology to reach customers and an explosion of high-level technologies and service providers that will serve these organizations. This will help them do everything from activating a chatbot to help answer frequently asked questions from customers to implementing an extremely simple CRM system in minutes. Small businesses will reap the rewards of sophisticated architectures and applications without having to invest the time and financial resources to build them from scratch.
The cloud ubiquity trend described above is what makes this possible. But the driving force behind this change is the experience that most small businesses have had in the past year, when, in many cases, being able to use technology was a matter of survival. With the expansion of this trend, nations in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, and in Africa, such as Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, are expected to lead this adoption.
Before 2020, I used to spend a lot of time in these parts of the planet, always talking to customers and listening to their stories of how they were using technology to overcome local challenges. During that time, I saw a lot of potential for small and medium-sized businesses, and I always found their stories inspiring. In sub-Saharan Africa, 90% of companies are small, and they represent 40% of GDP and are responsible for US $ 700 billion in the region's economy. In the countries of Southeast Asia, small and micro-enterprises are 99% of the companies in several essential sectors, mainly in tourism and handicrafts. These countries' online penetration is already among the highest in the world,
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When these small businesses start to bring their unique perspectives and, often, their handcrafted products to the world, they are likely to start making leaps with many of the business practices we see in more established countries. These countries are not tied to legacy technology or obsolete thinking about what is possible for them, so the sky is the limit.