Key to Unlocking External Workforce Management for SMB - SAP Fieldglass and SIG

The world economy today is being driven by the growth in small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). To compete in the increasingly dynamic digital world, small and medium-sized businesses must innovate and operate with agility, speed and efficiency. The use of contingent talent is a key lever for SMBs to remain agile and successfully compete in a tight talent market and an unpredictable economy.

According to Gartner:

“A small and midsize business (SMB) is a business which, due to its size, has different IT requirements—the attribute used most often is number of employees; small businesses are usually defined as organizations with fewer than 100 employees; midsize enterprises are those organizations with 100 to 999 employees. The second most popular attribute used to define the SMB market is annual revenue: small business is usually defined as organizations with less than $50 million in annual revenue; midsize enterprise is defined as organizations that make more than $50 million, but less than $1 billion in annual revenue.”1

The World Bank Group claims that SMBs employ half of the world’s workforce.2 Why then have the widely-used technology solutions for external workforce management eluded SMBs? Leading, global enterprises have operated external workforce management technology solutions, often referred to as vendor management systems or contingent workforce management platforms, for over a decade.

SMBs have surely embraced the use of temporary workers, consultants and freelancers. Most depend on their contingent workforce or, as we will refer to this category from hereon, their external workforce. Their dependency is growing with the flexibility and accessibility that using external talent offers, but its use comes with a risk and cost if not managed properly.

In this report, we will address the reasons external workforce management solutions have eluded the SMB market and why it is important for SMBs to explore the solutions available now. Unlocking these keys to managing an external workforce will enable SMBs to reap the benefits of a new, more agile and efficient model benefits that larger enterprises have enjoyed for some time now.


1 Gartner IT Glossary, Small and midsize business definition, 
2 World Bank Group report, “Small and Medium Enterprise Finance,” September 2015 by Simon Bell, Global Leader for SME Financing


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