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Big Tech's Big Problem

There’s this idea that when an enterprise company's business technology puzzle doesn’t quite go together, the likes of IBM, Accenture, Cisco, and others giants are the first to call. These tech behemoths have name recognition, huge reputations, and all the best ideas, right? Increasingly, companies are finding when they step into Big Tech’s sand box, they aren’t finding any new toys.

The bulky, immobile, and expensive technology products these tech giants offer mirror the corporations that created them. Big Tech’s solutions try to solve multiple problems with one piece of technology, generally some clunky software that’s been updated year over year and is struggling to keep all the tech bits together. With businesses moving in a mobile direction, both as a platform and as an ethos, clients want creative, custom solutions, and Big Tech’s old ways are proving ineffective and expensive.

This expensive ineffectiveness is evidenced by the quarterly earnings reports from technology’s heavy hitters. IBM, though profitable, did not meet its quarterly earnings projections in the first quarter of 2013 for the first time since 2007. Other tech giants such as, Accenture, Oracle, and Microsoft, while not showing losses, also failed to meet their projected earnings and saw a slide in their share prices. This has made investors very unhappy and put the world tech audience on the edge of their seat. In a 21st century landscape, are these 20th century powerhouses starting to show their age?

Small Tech's Big Solution

More and more companies in need of a creative technology solution are turning to agile developers who don’t share the ridiculous bulk or stale ideas that the legacy tech giants bring. They can fully adapt to a changing world through empowered employees, creative ideas, and an eclectic experience.

Primarily, agile developers are… agile. They have a wide depth of knowledge from multiple projects and a plethora of skills to call upon when faced with seemingly impossible problems. Like parachutes, their minds work best when open, and they want to create a perfect, custom solution.

They do this by creating a close relationship with their client so that they can fully understand the problems at hand. Then, rather than going to a brochure and asking the client to pick the product that fits best, a progressive developer goes to the drawing board and pulls together a brain trust of brilliant, creative, and experienced people to come up with the perfect solution. Generally, the finished product is a one-off, unique to the problem at hand, and probably includes technology or ideas that have never existed before.

Will Tech Giants Adapt

As more business clients expect a collaborative process resulting in a tailored solution, smaller, agile technology companies become better and better at giving clients an experience that makes their problems go away. Accordingly, the next Big Tech project feels further behind the steepening curve as they continue to sell one product for all solutions.

IBM, Accenture, and their ilk will likely never go away. Stock markets hinge on Big Tech’s earnings, and to keep those up, they'll either adapt to the change that’s already here, or they will continue to slide into irrelevance.