How do we Achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals? Entrepreneurs with the Right Technology

One year ago this week, the United Nations formally adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) to create an action plan for the next 15 years to balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.

Dell, alongside our partners, championed for the passing of SDG No. 8 to ensure decent work for all. Why? Because the world needs 600 million new jobs in the next decade to employ our fast-growing, global workforce. Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of today’s global economy and have been the engine creating new jobs, revenue, innovation and productivity around the globe.

However, in order to provide “fair and decent work for all” small businesses must implement the proper IT. Technology is the great equalizer that will drive entrepreneurial innovation, spur job creation. It is dramatically driving down the costs to start a business, and businesses cannot scale without it. According to the Technology CEO Council, small businesses that use tech effectively create twice as many jobs, are more profitable than those that don’t.

With the explosion of big data, the accelerated adoption of the cloud and digital apps, small businesses must look at technology as a strategic advantage to scaling. In order to address top priorities, they need to be agile and have the flexibility to scale up and down depending on customer demand. This enables smaller businesses to solve for short term needs while simultaneously keeping an eye on long term challenges - without paying for more than what is needed.

That said, not all founders are technology experts and that’s not a bad thing. It is a bad thing to let your business stagnate as a result of not putting the proper technology in place. The role of a founder and CEO is to assure the success and continued growth of your company. When it comes to tech, the best way of doing this is by partnering with organizations who are technology experts and who can guide you to make the most informed, logical decisions that allow your venture to appropriately scale. Here are a few trends that Dell Technologies are helping small business capitalize on:

Embrace the cloud and convergence

It is no secret that cloud computing is quickly revolutionizing IT. Small businesses are looking at the cloud to accelerate growth as it grants them access to enterprise-class technology and enables them to act faster than big, established competitors. More efficient disaster recovery, increased efficiency, automatic software and security updates and increased collaboration are among some of the many benefits of converting to the cloud.

Organizations can now deploy applications and storage more quickly, while increasing reliability flexibility and efficiency. But to gain a real edge, organizations need to focus on how to best manage these services to securely integrate diverse software, platforms and infrastructure that are held both privately and publicly. For example, in the data center, convergence of networking, servers, storage and management, as well as virtualized infrastructure, helps to improve operational efficiency and responsiveness.

Capitalize on the social world we live in, and turn data into insights

There is no more accessible and immediate platform today than the internet and social media. Businesses can communicate and connect with their customers instantly. This hyper-connectivity is redefining relationships between individuals, consumers and businesses, as well as citizens and governments. While this force introduces more opportunities for collaboration and connection, it also presents new behavioral challenges and risks in terms of privacy, security and access to information.

Because of this hyper-connectivity, organizations are awash in data, and small businesses should plan for exponential growth. IDC predicts revenue from the sales of big data and business analytics applications, tools, and services will increase more than 50%, from nearly $122 billion in 2015 to more than $187 billion in 2019.

We recommend small businesses deploy solutions that empower more individuals with insights by culling data from across the organization, whether from on or off premise applications for faster insights delivery, and decision making.

Overcome the emerging security threat

A common theme between cloud computing, social media and big data is the added importance of security. The severity of high-risk security problems inside organizations is soaring with the proliferation of devices, social networking and virtual workforces opening new avenues for security threats. But, this is by no means a reason to turn away from embedding today’s technology into your business.

Sophisticated cybercriminals who attack the integrity of data and privacy are part of the problem, but many times, the everyday behaviors of employees that unknowingly allow hackers to infiltrate the system pose the biggest risk. Today’s small business needs a comprehensive and proactive approach to security to avoid tomorrow’s disaster.

Now is the time to put security measures in place and to make security a top priority. Once these efforts are underway, it is much easier to focus on adopting new technologies comfortably.

Conclusion

We live in an exciting time for small businesses and technology. There is a great deal of innovative, new technology available that promises to make companies more efficient, more profitable and more competitive. Business can do more with less, simply by adopting technology solutions that are more intuitive and flexible.

By arming small businesses with the right technology I am confident in their ability to help achieve the SDGs by 2030, creating more and better jobs and breakthrough innovations that will impact the three dimensions of sustainable development for good.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post to mark the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs, or, officially, “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”). The SDGs represent an historic agreement — a wide-ranging roadmap to sustainability covering 17 goals and 169 targets — but stakeholders must also be held accountable for their commitments. To see all the posts in the series, visit here.

Follow Erik Day on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Erik_M_Day