How small businesses can reduce reliance on Big Tech
Reducing reliance on big tech can be beneficial for small businesses in terms of cost savings, data security, and maintaining independence. Supporting open source, smaller tech companies and local business can also remove support for tax dodging and privacy invasion that most Big Tech companies are unfortunately involved in.
Here are some strategies to help reduce reliance on big tech:
Prioritise data privacy & security
Big tech companies often collect and store vast amounts of user data. By keeping control of your data and business systems, you can reduce the risk of data breaches and protect yours and your customers’ information.
Big Tech often get hacked, send out “Ooopsie” emails when forced to admit it, and face almost zero consequences for our data ending up in the hands of hackers and scammers.
- Dropbox can read all of your files, and use Amazon technology behind the scenes.
- Gmail scan all of your emails to help them sell you things
- Lastpass got hacked – TWICE
- Adobe, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Facebook have all had massive data breaches
Support local & small tech businesses
Look for local and/or smaller tech businesses that provide services or products you need. By supporting them, you contribute to the growth of the small business community and reduce commercial support for big tech. Many smaller tech companies focus on privacy and security too, such as Proton, Tresorit and Plausible analytics.
Your local IT company or web hosting provider will provide better service than some faceless global corporation as well.
Save money with self-hosted solutions
Instead of relying on cloud-based services provided by big tech, consider self-hosted solutions. This involves hosting your own servers and software applications, giving you greater control and reducing dependence on external providers. This can be on-premises or with a green hosting provider that runs your emails, file sharing etc
The monthly costs for all the Big Tech services we’ve come to depend on soon add up and lock us into long term spend for things that often aren’t worth it.
Fere, open source Fedora Linux running on a laptop
Embrace open-source software
Open-source software is developed by a community of volunteers and can be a cost-effective alternative to proprietary software. It allows businesses to have more control and customisation options. Open office suites, image editing software and email clients offer well developed and tested alternatives to the usual Big Tech suspects.
Even our operating system can be open source in the case of Linux, which can easily replace Windows or MacOS for a lot of people.
Diversify software & service providers
Explore alternative software and service providers that offer similar functionalities to those provided by big tech companies. Research and consider options that align with your business needs and budget.
There are well known email, design and office software companies that have moved to a monthly subscription – and in a lot of cases you don’t need to be paying those fees. Free plans from smaller companies are often enough to avoid lock-in to companies double dipping by making us pay, but then selling our data to advertisers as well.
Some companies are renowned for buying up competitors in order to kill them off and retiring software apps with short notice. When our businesses can depend on certain pieces of software, we can’t trust profit hungry corporations to keep these apps running.
Reducing reliance on big tech may not be feasible in all areas, but implementing some of these strategies can help small businesses save money, improve security and privacy and support smaller, local businesses that pay their taxes and value our support.