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Small and medium enterprises are drivers of innovation in any industry. Such companies are motivated by the latest developments and actively put them into practice. Is there anything more relevant now than digital transformation for SMEs?
Small and medium-sized businesses are well aware of how critical it is to be technologically competitive. Microsoft proved it by surveying the CEOs of various companies. 71% of them are ready to personally lead the digital and organizational transformation.
Yet, despite the willingness of companies to go digital, they often do not understand where to start. As a result, many SMEs are still lagging in technology, especially companies with less than 50 employees.
Today, Softermii will shed some light on SME digital adoption since we have already done it for our numerous clients. We will discuss the main benefits of implementing technology in business and share handy strategies.
We have also compiled a list of the top 10 innovations transforming SMEs. Read on.
Digital Transformation Benefits for SMEs
The benefits of digital transformation for small and medium-sized enterprises are significant. With the introduction of technology, SMEs will be able to compete with real market sharks.
We have collected only the most noticeable advantages for you, while there are many more.
Increasing Productivity and Revenue
SME digitalization simplifies and streamlines many routine processes in the company. As a result, your employees will be able to focus on critical tasks and show better results.
Such work process optimization is also profitable for businesses in financial terms. For example, 61% of SMEs that have undergone digital transformation see increased profits compared to companies that do not use digital tech.
Data and its careful analysis are essential components of any modern company. Thanks to digital technology, SMEs can gather valuable information and use it to make business and strategic decisions.
Better Customer Experience
SMEs can achieve an impeccable customer experience through competent digital transformation, professional IT support, and user data analysis. In addition, today’s customers are well versed in technology. Thus, their online experience with your business is critical.
SMEs can become more agile through digital transformation. It becomes possible since businesses can integrate all processes into a single platform. This platform will include all data, financial management, marketing, and other business operations management tools.
Due to digital transformation, small and medium businesses can compete with large, established organizations. It is made feasible because of one of the latest technology trends for SME — cloud-based solutions.
SMEs that go digital don’t just improve business matters, customer experience, or profits. Companies constantly seeking methods to optimize and simplify processes also contribute to various innovations.
Digital Strategy for SMEs Businesses
Every business is unique and therefore needs a particular SME digital transformation strategy. A decent plan considers all the company’s needs, anticipates, and solves potential problems. To develop your own, you need to go through the following steps:
Step 1. Idea
At this stage, you need to answer the question, “Why digital transformation in the first place?” Here you determine the needs and goals of your business and, based on them, start building a strategy.
Step 2. Team Involvement
The digital transformation for small and medium enterprises directly affects the work of your employees. Your team will need to get used to new technologies. Keep your staff informed about the tech adoption process to make it go more smoothly.
Step 3. Choosing Technology and Implementation
It would help if you thought about what technologies and how exactly you will implement them at this stage. Perhaps, you already use some tech, but it is outdated. Or maybe you want to digitize your business from scratch.
The main thing here is that you have already set the goals of your strategy. Based on them, you can choose the technologies that will meet the needs of your business.
Step 4. Testing
Once you have chosen the technologies to transform your SME, start testing them. Do not rush to implement everything at once:
- Introduce technology gradually.
- Collect feedback from customers, employees, stakeholders, etc., that is, from anyone who uses your technology.
- Based on the gathered data, improve or change digital services.
Step 5. Being Ready for Everyday Changes
After testing all the technologies you have implemented, be prepared that the business environment is ever-changing. Some techs fade away, while others take their place. Some tools even become irrelevant. Your company’s demands may also alter, so be ready to innovate and change.
Top 10 Emerging Technologies for SMEs
Let’s look at the main technological trends for digital transformation in SME. We have compiled a list of ten relevant innovations worth your investment.
Electronic invoicing is essential for businesses in any field, from eCommerce to healthcare. This technology is not a new idea, but it is critical for speeding up and facilitating the payment process.
Personalized Customer Experience
Every consumer’s interaction with your company impacts whether they make a purchase or become your regular customer. Ensure a flawless experience by incorporating an entire customer support platform.
85% of all investments in cloud infrastructure come from SMEs. Doesn’t that tell you anything?
Small and medium-sized enterprises are now actively using cloud solutions, as these technologies offer many benefits. It is an opportunity to scale while being a startup with limited financial resources. Thus, cloud solutions effectively bridge the gap between SMEs and large corporations.
Radiofrequency identification technologies are needed to recognize products or people, control access, monitor production, etc. They are used by SMEs that want to boost the efficiency of production and logistics.
Resource Planning Systems & CRM
Resource planning systems are responsible for managing workflows in the back office. It can be, for example, inventory, accounting, or human resources administration.
The customer relationship management system will help your front office serve your customers. For example, CRM systems are one of the trends in real estate software development.
Big Data and Business Analytics (BDA)
Big data was previously exclusively available to leading organizations as such companies had the resources to process significant amounts of information. With cloud-based apps, business intelligence is now available for SMEs.
Implement such technologies to make data-driven strategic decisions. Big data has benefited 73% of organizations that use it, and it will benefit you as well.
Compliant Security Solutions
Remember that cybersecurity should be a priority for SMEs. By implementing reliable data protection tools, you will avoid breaches and losses and build trust with your customers.
Such SMEs technology helps speed up the bureaucratic process between small and medium-sized businesses and the government. Thus, when there is no fuss with hundreds of documents, SMEs will be more active in implementing technology.
Supply chain management is another technology for SMEs to implement. Logistics and supply-chain companies are undergoing various processes automation thanks to the introduction of such software.
Biometrics is one more technology for SMEs. It can increase cybersecurity by identifying the user by physical characteristics, such as fingerprint or face recognition.
Digital SMEs Transformation Roadmap
The digital transformation of the SME process consists of three fundamental stages. Let’s look at them in more detail.
As an SME owner, the first thing you need to do is evaluate your goals and the scope of the tasks. This stage includes the development of the implementation strategy we talked about earlier.
Here’s what you need to do at this stage:
- Make sure that the company’s top management is committed to your idea of technology adoption.
- Set clear goals. It can be saving money, improving the customer experience, or enhancing the efficiency of frontline employees.
- Set a budget for SME digital transformation for small businesses.
Launching and Maintaining
It is crucial to ensure the smoothest and step-by-step start of the digital transformation at this stage. It is necessary to immediately test the technologies you launched and determine whether your company needs them.
We offer you to organize the process of SMEs digital transformation launching and maintenance as follows:
- Implement potentially successful projects first.
- Assign a team to launch the processes.
- Think of agile working approaches that would promote digital transformation.
- Foster the culture of digital technology in your company.
After launching digital processes within your company, you will see some progress. But that doesn’t mean you have to dwell on it. It’s time to scale your company’s digital processes.
Here you can do the following:
- Sequence initiatives to get quick returns.
- Build your digital capacities.
- Introduce a new operating model.
Final Thoughts on Digital Transformation for SMEs
The transition of small and medium enterprises to the digital environment is inevitable. It is a process that marks progress and innovation and has significant benefits for SMEs.
Through SME digitalisation, businesses can improve their profits and increase the productivity of their employees. Furthermore, with the introduction of technology, company owners can make data-driven decisions, increase competitiveness and improve their customer experience. However, the implementation of new technologies requires experienced specialists.
Frequently Asked Questions
You need to take three fundamental steps to move your startup into the digital realm. First, define value, then launch and maintain technology implementation, and scale up your SME.
We will first create an SME digital strategy based on the needs and characteristics of your business. Next, we will identify the technologies that your company needs. Then our development team will proceed with the digital transformation directly. Our staff will help you with IT support and company scaling if necessary.
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