Dropbox Business Blog UK — The future of technology according to Xero

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4th Apr, 2017 — 4 min read

The future of technology according to Xero

“If you’re not considering cloud, you may not be in business in 10 years,” Gary Turner, UK Co-founder and Managing Director, Xero

They say time never stands still – and if there’s one thing we’ve learned during our time writing this blog, when it comes to technology, that’s especially true.

For business especially, it can feel like we’re in a phase of constant transition in technology – a battle to keep up. So how do you know which trends are worth investing in?

The cloud for instance? When does that stop becoming a ‘thing to think about tomorrow’ and start becoming a must-have in business?

We’ve uncovered so many success stories of companies who’ve embraced the cloud; from the small start-ups like Ugly Drinks, Physee or Campos Coffee – who tell us the cloud helps them budget, scale and grow a small business more quickly – to the more established organisations like Manchester University who are using Dropbox as the building block of their global research team.

According to Xero's UK Co-founder and Managing Director, Gary Turner the momentum is so great it's no longer a question of asking 'should we', but rather 'how quickly can we transition to the cloud?"

We recently shared the story of how New Zealand born Xero became game changers in the digital world – way back in 2006 when the idea of a digital workplace was still just a concept - we sat down with Gary to get his thoughts on what the future holds.

It’s cloud or bust.  Many businesses are getting their digital approach all wrong – it’s not a question of whether to move to cloud, but a question of how quickly companies can catch up.

"The brutal truth is that if you build your business on legacy tech, within five years, it simply won’t be supported any more, and then where will you be?  Some companies haven’t made new software for a while, for instance, because the focus is on cloud services so are you really going to be the last business in your sector to make the switch?”

It’s tough talk but Gary’s got a good CV for making a compelling argument – after all, Xero’s vision of creating a service which gave users back control of their business finances paid off – and like Dropbox, they’re helping small businesses globally, increase productivity and grow.

A decade ago, Xero launched with a heavy reliance on tech. “We’re a cloud company that has used other cloud services to grow our business to where we are today,” continues Gary. “We have created an ecosystem of third party apps - such as PayPal and Harvest - which help make the Xero offering bespoke for each of the businesses we work with.  We just couldn’t have opened in the UK without this ecosystem; it helps support and solve our customer’s needs.”

And as we’ve found in our interviews with almost all successful new businesses, the concept of “doing things properly” has been a key ethos. Gary says, “Think big and think global from day one and the way to do this is by harnessing the power of cloud technology.  Cloud allows you to do that, no matter how small you are.  And the other key factor is to get the right funding – it’s hard to scale a global business on a credit card!”

So if you’ve not taken the digital step yet, we’ll leave you with Gary’s closing words: “You have to ask yourself: do I want to be the last analogue business in a digital world?  If you’re still considering cloud, you may not be in business in 10 years.  Just look at the advantages – the speed of execution, the ability to be reactive and agile – cloud is such a compelling competitive weapon.”

To find out how other businesses are using the cloud to grow, click here.

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