Smart Digital Adoption is key to unlocking SMEs
By Sumana Iyengar
The pandemic has accelerated digital adoption across sectors, helping businesses evolve in the face of the crisis. While companies with a well-established digital ecosystem have managed to smoothly tide over the crisis, several others have woken up to the significance of technology enabled solutions and its role in not just surviving but growing in the post COVID market scenario. As the world wakes up to the new normal, digitisation has become imperative. From healthcare, banking, retail, beauty and lifestyle, F&B and logistics to even education and consulting have gone digital. With alternative platforms to interact, engage, and carry out sale/ purchase transactions online, the digital transformation of business processes have tremendously helped unlock the potential of both small scale as well as larger businesses, including MNC’s.
However, factors like investment in IT infrastructure, recruitment of skilled talent, re-structuring operations etc., are some concerns plaguing businesses, especially the SME/SMB sector, who have been one of the most hit by the pandemic and the economic slowdown. Although relevant, these concerns can be easily addressed through partnering with efficient IT solution/ service providers who can help create a robust digital infrastructure for smaller businesses, at a fraction of the cost.
Listed here are key IT solutions that SME’s/SMB’s can adopt to create a tech-enabled business ecosystem which can help them unlock the real potential of their business.
- Pay per use Cloud services: With the advent of Software as a Service (SaaS) and Pay per use cloud services, several SME’s/SMB’s can leverage efficient and effective cloud infrastructure, that is suited to their needs, and pay for just what they use. These models not only help in effective migration of processes to robust cloud infrastructure, they also provide the customised solutions, timely resolution of technical glitches/ downtime, offer well documented reports and help train/ educate employees on how best to manage these, resulting in enhanced business performance, all at reduced costs.
- Data Analytics: Data is the new currency today, and collecting, analysing and using the data intelligence to understand and engage with the consumers is the new business edge. Third party service providers can help not only in data collection and analytics but can help create relevant insights based on the business sector and the specific needs of the client. These third party solutions can make a huge difference in helping SME/SMB’s to transform and grow to their full potential
- Enterprise Mobility: Even as work-from-home and remote desktops are becoming the new norm, companies are struggling with achieving secure and efficient solutions that can help create seamless employee and consumer interaction. Through third party services that can help build customised mobile applications, businesses can rely on agile, secure and connected virtual workplaces, that offer seamless communication and connectivity that is vital for ensuring growth.
- CMS solutions: Customer satisfaction is key to sustaining and growing in any business. An automated, customised, and well-designed CMS software solution can be the key to boost business. Effective third party collaborations can help create an efficient CMS system that can help easy data capture and storage, automate certain operations, assist in creating effective marketing, and provide a digital platform to stay connected with consumers.
- Cyber Security: Last but not the lease, cyber security is the need of the hour. With massive digital transformations across sectors, coupled with the current norm of work from home, has left business and personal data exposed, making users vulnerable. The increasing instances of cyber-attacks, especially in the form of ransom ware and malware etc., have cost organisations huge losses. Cyber-security, in the age of rapid digital adoption, is a vital aspect that needs to considered by all those looking for digital adoption
While the above 5 factors are the basic first steps to create a digital infrastructure for businesses, SME’s/SMB’s can benefit tremendously from these, as they resume operations and grow in the post COVID scenario. As much as we are coming to terms with the new normal, it is important to learn, understand, and adopt relevant tools and support services to make the most of this to not just survive but also grow.
(The author is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Goavega)