4 Jun 2018, 10:10 — 5 min read
Summary: Embracing digital transformation is fast becoming essential for businesses to remain competitive and survive in a changing world. Read further to find out how Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) stand to gain by adopting digital transformation.
Change is the only constant. The father of the evolutionary theory, Charles Darwin famously said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
Indeed, this insight has never been truer than in the present times when firms stand at the cusp of the traditional ways of doing business versus the new. Analogue versus digital. Offline versus online. The question is no longer of merely making profit, it is the larger issue of survival in the long run.
So, what is that bridge that will ensure the survival of the fittest in a competitive and ever-changing business world. The answer is simple. Digital transformation.
Simply put, digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, thereby changing how they operate and deliver value to customers. At another level, it is also a change in mindset that requires organisations to persistently question the status quo, experiment, and embrace new technology.
There are several reasons why a business may undergo digital transformation, but by far, the most likely reason is that they have no other choice. It is a matter of staying relevant or becoming obsolete.
According to a study by Mircrosoft, 80% of Asia’s business leaders believe they need to be a digital business to succeed. Ralph Haupter, President, Microsoft Asia said: “The Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study has shown that business leaders have started to act on the need for digital transformation to address the challenges and opportunities of the 4th Industrial Revolution in the region. Lessons from past industrial revolutions have taught us that organisations that do not evolve fast enough will be less competitive or even obsolete as they face disruptions in every industry.”
Why should SMEs adopt digital transformation?
SMEs, in particular, stand to gain tremendously by embracing digital transformation.
1. Level-playing field with larger corporates
Embracing digital opens up a host of opportunities to compete against larger organisations – an undertaking often perceived as challenging by these smaller businesses due to limited budgets and resources and fewer staff members. In his book, The New Small, Phil Simon explores how technology levels the playing field for small businesses versus the bigger players. SMEs that are agile and nimble are quicker to embrace technology than their larger counterparts and this gives them an early-mover advantage.
2. Stay ahead of the competition
SMEs can no longer afford to be complacent when it comes to adopting new technology, else they risk being overtaken by their competitors. As per a Forrester Research report, executives predict that by 2020 nearly 47% of their revenue will be influenced by digital.
3. Optimise operations
Digital technology makes SMEs more efficient. Technology such as IoT enables SMEs to gather vast data and draw actionable insights through analytics, and then apply those learnings to introduce enhancements on an ongoing basis. Organisations in the manufacture, retail, and healthcare can respond in real time, or even pre-emptively solve customer issues. SMEs can benefit from quicker internal processes and fewer errors when collecting information, which in turn will equate to greater efficiency and accuracy.
4. Empower workforce
Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) enable the automation of time-consuming tasks. This allows employees to focus on more skilled and strategic tasks that increases revenue and reduces operating costs. Automating tasks also boost employee morale, as team members won’t be consumed by repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
5. Engage customers
Technology offers several opportunities to attract, engage and retain customers. From online stores where customers can conveniently shop, robust feedback mechanism and customised loyalty programmes – technology can make the user-experience seamless and engaging.
6. Increase profits
Embracing digital technology makes SMEs more profitable. According to a survey by Gartner, 56% of the CEOs interviewed said that their digital investments have already improved profits.
The bottomline remains that those who ignore digital transformation, do so at the cost of their very survival.
Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
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