Planning a Digital Transformation Strategy for Small Businesses
For businesses to thrive in today’s digital world, it is important that employees are digitally literate. Today’s technology-dominated marketplace requires workers to be able to use computers easily and understand how technology can be used in the workplace. In order to achieve these goals, companies need to focus on both technological investments and a change in corporate culture. The latest research indicates that small businesses that digitize processes could increase GDP growth by an additional 5.6% ($2.3 trillion U.S. currency) by 2024.
Smaller companies must make their websites mobile-friendly so that customers can access information on any device they wish, while larger enterprises might want to consider investing in big data tools so that they can share more information with customers. It is also important for businesses to engage in social media conversation with potential customers—for example, by sharing interesting articles from popular news sites—so as not to miss out on any potential sales opportunities. Opting for strategic Managed IT Services can also help businesses stay on track with budgets and goals of their digital transformation initiatives.
5 Key Strategies for Effective Digital Transformation of Your Small Business
Small and medium businesses are no longer a footnote in the digital transformation story. We’ve entered an era where every business, regardless of size or industry, has to become digital to stay relevant. Given the stakes, SMBs have more pressure than ever to adapt their operating models, processes and technologies. With so much change happening at once, it can be easy to lose focus on what really matters – delivering sustainable value for your organization and its customers while staying nimble enough to respond quickly when opportunities arise. Here are some key strategies for SMBs to follow:
Focus on Collaboration and Breaking Down Silos
As you make the shift to a more digitally-focused company, encourage collaboration and break down silos through data access and transparency. This is important because it allows employees across all departments to access data and tools they need to do their jobs. By giving employees access to information that helps them solve problems, you’re improving productivity—and you’re also encouraging communication between departments. Collaboration between employees can help keep everyone on track when it comes to achieving goals or solving problems for customers as well.
Empower Employees with Data
Employee trained in data analytics will be able to take advantage of the information that is being presented to them and make decisions based on this. This is an extremely important skill for any business because it allows employees to take ownership over their work and make decisions that are best for the company.
Employee empowerment allows companies to push forward digital transformation initiatives, because they can rely on their employees’ expertise instead of needing someone from management or upper levels of leadership.
Integrate Business Systems
Your small business is likely to rely on a number of different types of software and hardware systems, from accounting software to point-of-sale (POS) systems. If you’re looking to transform your business, it’s important that these different systems work together seamlessly.
Integration is the process of making separate things work together as one. Integration can be achieved by using various technologies—for example, integrating your existing POS system with your accounting software so that they exchange data automatically without any human intervention. It’s important therefore to choose the right technology for each stage of integration. This may involve using APIs (application programming interfaces), databases or even cloud computing platforms like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Your choice will depend upon factors such as budget and complexity levels required by each phase. There are free options available if you want basic integration between two systems. But if more complex functionality is required then paid solutions may be more appropriate when considering costs over time.
Involve Every Level of the Organization
As a business leader, your role is to ensure that your employees are engaged and included in the digital transformation process. In order to do this, it will be important for you to recognize that each level of your organization has unique perspectives and insights into the best strategies for success. Each department has its own challenges and opportunities, skills and expertise that could benefit from being applied towards implementing digital transformation initiatives.
By involving every level of your company in your digital transformation efforts—from top management down through middle management, front-line employees and even interns—you will gain better insight into how best to implement change across all areas of your business.
Seek Out Technology Partners with SMB Experience
When it comes to digital transformation, you want to find technology partners that have the expertise to help your small business succeed. The best way to do this is by looking for companies who have experience working with other SMBs and know how to adapt their solutions for the unique needs of your business.
Look for Partners with Experience in Your Industry
Think about what type of work your company does and what industry you’re in. Is there one specific industry you serve? Are there any particular trends that could affect how well you operate? Asking these questions will help narrow down the list of vendors who may be able to provide valuable insights into how they can assist with achieving success through technology implementation.
Look for Partners Who Have Worked with Other Small Businesses Like Yours
If possible, look for a partner like Managed IT Services that has worked with businesses similar in size and scope to yours before. This automatically allows them to have an understanding of what kind of issues small businesses like yours face on a regular basis. This makes them better equipped at providing recommendations tailored specifically toward helping address those problems without wasting time or resources trying products/services that aren’t exactly right for you.
Digital transformation can make your small business more competitive
The digital transformation of your small business is a great opportunity to make your company more competitive. It can help you improve customer service, increase productivity, reduce costs and be better prepared for the unexpected through Business Continuity Planning. It can also help attract and retain talent, improve your brand and even increase sales.
However, as many businesses have learned the hard way, digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight—or even over a short period of time. The process takes time and effort from everyone on the team involved with it—and sometimes that means people leave because they don’t see the benefits immediately or believe they’re not getting enough support from leadership. This is why it is crucial for companies to have the right IT consulting services partner from the start so they have the right information and tools for creating their long-term Digital Transformation Strategy.