Digital transformation, in the context of small and medium businesses (SMBs), is more about opportunities than challenges. The smaller footprint and simpler processes make transition easier at SMBs than at big enterprises. This doesn’t mean that digital transformation in SMBs comes without any challenges. Yes, they too face challenges while making that big leap to thrive in the digital economy. To enable a sustainable growth, SMBs should devise a strategy that addresses the key challenges they face today and are likely to emerge in the future.
Let’s discuss the Dos and Don’ts involved in the digital transformation efforts of SMBs.
Adopt technology for ‘now and the future’
Digital transformation in SMBs must address the present-day requirements, but at the same time, have scope for future expansion. In other words, the technology investment should aim at future growth, but should not be redundant in the current set-up. Cloud technologies gain relevance in this context as they allow small firms to scale their resources as they grow. The pay-as-you-use model presents a thrifty investment opportunity for firms struggling with financial constraints. Public Cloud may be the cheapest option, but if you are planning to host sensitive data on Cloud, Hybrid Cloud may be a wiser choice.
Be open to innovation
Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) is the key enabler of innovation in enterprises. With the appropriate use of ICT, SMBs can transform key business processes to gain competitive advantage in the industry. Virtualisation, storage consolidation, infrastructure optimisation and collaboration are a few among the most popular technologies that transform today’s SMB landscape. They primarily aim at reducing SMBs’ reliance on hardware and associated expenses. Meanwhile they also provide SMBs with the best-in-class ICT solutions which otherwise are affordable to big enterprises only.
Adopt cost-efficient measures
Cost concerns prevent many SMBs from adopting the right digital strategy at the right time. At some point during the transition, they tend to compromise their goals in order to fit the process within the budget. This is a blunder; SMBs have better ways to manage the digital fund, even if it is miniscule. The Managed IT services, for example, provide SMBs with a tailor-made IT management strategy that can suit any budget. The service also addresses the key concerns around network and end-point security, so it’s the perfect fit for firms adopting modern digital trends like Mobility (BYOD) and Social Media.
Boost ‘Soft’ investments
The word ‘Digital’ also reflects the transition to paperless technologies. Modern age businesses are on a mission to eliminate cupboards and cabinets. They don’t want the spacious printer/fax/copier rooms either. Thanks to modern office technologies, the task of preparing and storing documents has become easier than ever. With solutions like Hosted Docs, you get all documents stored securely in the Cloud, ready for access anytime anywhere. On-the-go printing, another ‘soft’ innovation in office automation, lets you perform printing tasks remotely, with the help of an integrated Cloud environment. What more, you can get the printed docs scanned or faxed while in office, or on-the-go.
Don’t go too far on technologies
This is the area where SMBs commit major mistakes. Remember, digital transformation is not all about technologies, but it’s about how you implement them. Businesses that boast of owning the best and the costliest technology in the market may not be the winners always. As you know, there is no one-size-fits-all technology in the market, so it is important that you identify the right technology that suits your requirements and can be adopted across the entire processes and people without much complexity. A professional IT services provider may be of great help in this scenario.
Don’t wait till things get out of control
A natural tendency among businesses is to wait till the real need arises. But, they forget the fact that the need is right here, now! The sooner you adopt Digital, the smarter you become – in terms of competition, agility and go-to-market capabilities. Your sales and marketing team become empowered to tap the opportunities brought by the latest digital trends like Social Media and Big Data. Experts say it’s easier to go Digital when you are small and growing. Smaller footprint supports transition faster. So why wait?
If you are facing difficulty in devising a digital transformation strategy that works best for your business, seek the help of an IT expert right now.