Why Every Small and Medium Business Needs to be Digital
‘Digital transformation’ can be perceived as being mainly for large enterprises however this isn’t the case at all. Digital transformation has become more important than ever – for any business, large or small. In fact, small and medium businesses (SMBs) can make huge progress towards their successful future by using technology, particularly as competition increases and becomes more advanced. Today, in many countries including Kenya, SMEs play a vital role in driving growth of the economy. According to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers there are about 7.41 million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kenya and they contribute approximately 40% of the country’s GDP.
Charting the digital future Going digital won’t just help your business remain competitive, it will also improve your customer offerings, and attract and retain a new audience. But that’s not all – enhancing your digital infrastructure has a range of benefits for you and your customers. It means that you can connect to your business at any time, provide a stronger customer service experience through insights from data, and can change the way your customers talk to you and about you online, and on social media. It can even help you better forecast your future earnings and profitability.
If you’re not thinking about your digital future, you run the risk of being left behind. The good news is that technologies like cloud-based services, IoT and AI are becoming more affordable, intuitive, and portable, making going digital a much simpler prospect than ever before. And they can be implemented without a team of IT experts and large budgets.
The technology of today is for everyone – and support for those looking to implement technology solutions is easily accessible. With managed service providers opening the door to small businesses wanting to experiment with new technology, they now have ability to focus on both digital transformation and business growth.
Businesses are making huge progress along their journey to their digital future, but challenges remain, and the next disruption could be around the corner. In fact, according to the Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index , 94% of businesses globally, are facing entrenched barriers to transformation. Now is the time to change, and there are plenty of opportunities for small businesses to start their digital transformation.
So, what does being a digital business mean? Digital transformation is simpler than it sounds. This process is all about putting digital at the heart of everything you do – here’s how your business can achieve this goal.
Payment solutions that help stretch your budget The availability of flexible financing options can help extend your budget and help you quickly get the hardware, software, services and support your needs. Options such as PC as a service (PCaaS) or payment flexibility choices can help pay for the technology you use, freeing budget for strategic investments and business operations.
Streamline the admin There are many apps, programs, and services already available to you that can help with managing payroll, invoicing and other routine tasks. They might be relatively simple tasks, but they take up time – and even saving yourself the pain of constantly switching between spreadsheets can mean more time and money for what really matters in your business.
Get on board the AI train Artificial Intelligence has come a long way in the last decade and is now more accessible and more affordable than ever – even for small businesses! Increasingly, we’re seeing small businesses using AI on a smaller scale to improve customer service and make better informed business decisions. AI-powered chat bots can provide a personal touch to your online customer service and help your audience find exactly what they need, any time of the day. Meanwhile, AI data analytics can reveal powerful insights about your audience allowing you to make better business decisions. Investing in this technology will help grow your business potential.
The importance of a balanced security strategy It is imperative for businesses of any size to have a resilient security strategy, across the data center to the cloud. With purpose-built secure infrastructure, you will be confident that customer data is always secure and that your workforce is running with maximum efficiency.
Empower your workforce to work remotely Now that we have accepted the fact that this is our new reality, the question is: how do we ensure that our hybrid work models are sustainable and set up for long-term success? Work today is no longer anchored to a single place and moment in time. Instead, it is focused on outcomes – and organisations must be ready to help their employees realise both their professional and personal roles effectively regardless of where they work. While employees are moving between locations to get work done, creating a productive experience is the priority. Therefore, businesses must continue to put collaboration, intelligence, and security at the forefront, to meet the diverse needs of people both today and in the future.
Embracing the digital future is essential to overcoming the future challenges your business will face, from increased competition to attracting new audiences. With the technology currently available, all Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises can embrace the opportunity to adopt a digital-first approach and strengthen their offering, creating better service, experiences and excitement for their customers, partners, and team members.