Everybody talks of SMBs need to undertake digital transformation in their ecosystem but it’s equally important to understand what digital transformation looks like and what are its benefits to SMB
Culturally, SMBs have resistance to digital transformation as they have limited budgets and time span to address .But this reticence is a mistake as with the right approach and the right technologies and partner your business can achieve digitalisation with and without blowing your budget.
So what do Small businesses need to do to achieve digital transformation
Create a more connected customer experience
Redesign their digital experiences without ripping or replacing any of your current technology or business applications. IoStar enables organisations struggling with legacy platforms to move into digital experiences rapidly and cost effectively.
Its important for owners to decouple deployment architecture and let organizations keep what’s working and replace what’s not, while creating a useful add on that reimagines the user experience for today’s customer. The Small business guy needs
- Attract new customers and retain existing ones by personalizing experiences based on ambient, behavioral, form submission or third-party data.
- Not to rip and replace their legacy applications. If you’re still getting value from business applications you’ve been using for years, why rewrite them?
- Create content that can be pushed to any channel including websites, email, mobile apps, ATMs, kiosks, and more, without writing custom code or relying on a specific connector.
Simplifying Digital Transformation for your Small Business
Digital transformation offers something for every company — although that something may be different in every case.
Every company can benefit from digital transformation, but that doesn’t mean every company should change in the same way. Digital transformation means different things to different people. The right path depends on the needs and opportunities of the business asking.
According to the “2017 U.S. Small and Medium Business Digital Transformation Study” from SMB Group, 48 percent of small and medium businesses plan to transform their businesses to operate in a digital future. The same study found that around three-fourths of companies surveyed agree that digital tech is changing how they do business.
Fortunately, digital transformation doesn’t require businesses to move every process to the cloud, nor does it require them to invest millions of dollars in brand-new tech — a critical note, since more than half of SMBs plan to use current IT budgets to fund their digital efforts. The most effective digital transformations leverage existing infrastructure and find maximum value in the most sensible improvements.
What is ‘digital transformation’?
Digital transformation is a catchall term that includes a wide variety of goals. For some companies, digital transformation means leveraging cloud capabilities. For others, artificial intelligence and machine learning are more important. Increased analytics capabilities and Internet of Things implementations play roles as well.
The point of digital transformation is not to take companies from paper processes to hyper-advanced and complex digitized alternatives. On the contrary, many components of digital transformation are subtle. Even the most technologically challenged business owners, given a bit of time, can lead an effective digital transformation with the right mindset.
Some Digital Transformation Examples
- Company goals and challenges dictate the type of digital transformation to pursue. A company that seeks more customers, for instance, might consider how to implement new tech to improve the customer experience. An online chatbot or a user-friendly app might do the trick, or perhaps a business’s first step is to create store listings on Google and Apple Maps.
- A company struggling to optimize its partner network, on the other hand, might invest in more analytics tools to make better choices about shipping and vendors. It doesn’t matter whether the company sells software or gravel: Digital transformation is for everyone.
Businesses considering digital transformation should ask themselves where their threats and opportunities lie. Have comparable industry players already made moves toward digital transformation? Don’t be afraid of digital transformation — get excited. Done right, a digital shift can lead to increased savings, happier customers and better prospects in both the short and long term.
Why Change is So Hard
Clinging to the old way of doing things is always tempting, but can cost thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours over the long run.
- The fact is that many of these workflows are highly manual, paper-based, and labour-intensive which
- Normally spreadsheets, email, and forms are used to track, and store information such as time sheets, payroll costs, and contracts , But these process are time-consuming, error-prone, and vulnerable to lost data.
- With paper forms, employees have free rein to collect information as they please. Required fields can be skipped, miscalculations are made, and accuracy can be questionable.
Digitize Data Workflows for Greater Insights
Each of these applications can be accessed from a single platform and customized to your specific needs, so there’s no need to purchase point solutions from multiple vendors for different functions of your business – mobile processes can be created in minutes. Plus, advanced integrations let you import your data into other systems, so you can slice and dice it for valuable insights.
For example, if you perform regular safety inspections and an inspector flags an issue the problem is automatically entered into another connected application for work and sent to a technician for repair. All of this happens behind the scenes and instantaneously, through cloud integrations.
Digitize at Your Own Pace
Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. The great thing about using mobile applications to automate how work is done, is that they support an iterative approach. Start with a single process that you use daily that could benefit from digitization, such as invoice template forms or a merchandise contract. Make a list of the information you need to capture – optional and mandatory – including photos, signatures, pricing, GPS information, time stamps, etc. and you’re ready to create your application using an existing template or customize it to your needs with easy-to-use drag and drop functionality.
If you’re struggling to embrace digital transformation mobile platforms and applications offer a simple way to automate workflow and modernize your business while integrating with your existing technology stack without complexity or cultural resistance, so you can do so much more for your customers, your company, and your top and bottom line.
Handling the transformation process inhouse !
- Plan a strategy that will save you some coin.
Pennies saved are pennies earned, even for companies with growth goals. Before taking on new debt to tackle grand opportunities, consider how digital transformation could make existing processes cheaper and easier.
Experts recommend that SMBs can take advantage of simple tools with high potential impacts under Digital Transformation like predictive analytics can be used for ad spend planning such that they donot . sink money into suboptimal campaigns like other may be doing.
Similarly, implementing customer relationship management technology is a digital step that can grow your business. As per sales force SMBs are twice as likely to be utilizing a CRM than their struggling counterparts. .
- Work with someone who has been there, done that.
In their 2017 survey SMB Group reports that 33 percent of SMBs don’t have digital transformation strategies because they need some help. Please find a technology partner with experience in the right areas.
Bigger companies can afford to staff robust IT departments, but smaller companies don’t have that kind of cash. By outsourcing, small companies can maximize their resource pools and only pay for the aspects of digital transformation with the greatest impact.
A good expert/ partner will normally recommend solutions that are compatible with a business’s infrastructure. .
- Confront employees’ concerns head-on.
Most employees are set in their ways: In SMB Group’s study, 27 percent of leaders cited their team’s resistance to change as a top challenge. To make the change go as smoothly as possible, talk to employees about why the company is moving in a digital direction.
Some employees worry that digital transformation will eventually cost them their jobs. Business Wire reports that 35 percent of millennials share that concern. Speak honestly with employees about how the company envisions its future and what role employees play in that future.
Digital transformation isn’t some vague buzzword. For small businesses, digital transformation includes all the little steps forward that add up to massive cost savings, happier customers and improved prospects. Look for areas with easy opportunities for big improvements, and then use these tips to turn those potential gains into reality.