Business-minded technologists have always hatched grand plans for global business empires. It used to take decades before they could grow their businesses on the international stage. Today, it can be more or less instantaneous – and this creates a host of new threats and opportunities.
Digital platforms from Google Play to Salesforce and a host of cloud-based on-demand services allow companies to build $100s of millions in revenue using teams based anywhere in the world. As a result, tech companies are going global from day one. Canva, a web-based graphic design tool, was available internationally from its launch day. It had over 2.5m users within two years. Spotify took a similar approach and amassed 10 million users in the same period.
A new wave of support services is also helping tech firms expand across borders. In order to manage the complexity of operating across borders, tech companies are increasingly outsourcing back office functions. This can include tax, compliance, legal, HR and book keeping. Customers can simply ‘switch on’ a back-office team as they enter new jurisdictions. Language barriers are also falling as cloud-based support services mature.
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