Back in the day, small business meant low tech. You were the Rolodex, the Filofax, the floppy disk. While the big businesses with their deep pockets had all the systems, servers, software and cool equipment, you were buried somewhere behind a pile of paperwork.
Today, things are different; small to medium-sized businesses have the upper hand when it comes to technology. Thanks to the cloud, there’s no need for businesses to own costly infrastructure – or employ the human resources necessary to maintain it.
Powerful storage, automation, and analytics capabilities are simple to access, easy to scale up and down as well as low cost (sometimes even free) to subscribe. It’s now the enterprises who are on the back foot, stuck with legacy system investments like millstones round their neck: too slow to adapt and too expensive to update.
‘Digital transformation’ might be the latest piece of corporate jargon to come out of Tech Town but despite the overblown name, it’s 100% relevant to SMBs. Digital transformation is simply the process of bringing digital strategies and technologies into your business. Why would you do it? For the same reasons you do everything else: to increase operational efficiency, delight customers, and reduce costs. Why should you do it? Because you have a great chance to gain some ground in your marketplace.
David and Goliath
Digital transformation can be anything from going fully paperless, introducing mobile tablets so staff can work remotely or automating repetitive tasks to allow employees focus their attention on more skilled, value-generating tasks. Whatever it is, technology has the power to level the playing field between small firms and their larger competitors. Your size becomes your advantage because you can adopt digital innovations more nimbly. A smart business owner can have the digital age nailed before the clunky enterprises have even scheduled their first of many strategy meetings.
Where to start?
The concept of digital transformation is not rocket science, but deciding where to start is not always obvious. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution because what you implement depends entirely on what you want to achieve. Tech will only deliver real benefits if it suits your needs – there’s a graveyard brimming with businesses that bought tech for the sake of it.
So your first move is to develop a clear strategy with digital at the heart of your operating model. Include all the key questions. What digital capabilities do you already have? Are you maximizing your use of them? How can you make digital tools work together for overall compound gain? In what sequence? What gaps remain? How much can you afford? Finally, how to bring your employees with you on your digital journey?
To take a first step toward digital transformation, contact IndustryMojo at (973) 446-6058 for a free 30-minute consultation.