The Current Scenario And Understanding The Need Gap
The Covid-19 pandemic has compelled small and medium businesses (SMBs) to relook their business models worldwide. While some companies are sailing through or remaining stagnant, a few are struggling to stay afloat or are on the verge of dissolving. What is the solution to overcome this crisis, you ask?
Rethinking business models in order to emerge smarter and resilient, is the key. A step to digitally transform the business needs to be undertaken, to bridge the gap between the workforce that is working remotely, to improve disrupted supply chains to enhance customer experience and more. Although the crisis differs from industry to industry, re-balancing and aligning for the new normal is necessary to be able to thrive in this situation.
Digital revolution : A boon for B2B and B2C operations
The core focus of SMBs have been to build remote collaboration solutions that will enable their employees to continue working without much hassle. While a few may have adjusted themselves to digitalisation and a few who are taking their initial steps, SMBs gradually need to learn to adapt to Public cloud to improve their tech infrastructure to support their businesses. Technology-based solutions like distributed work, virtual engagement environments, data and analytics, cloud, AI and machine learning now need to be used to a higher degree. Moreover, security measures need to be undertaken for unified endpoint management for electronic devices, for building identity and managing access to protect applications, users and sensitive information from risks.
What paves a way for a business to take a leap? It’s customers. The capabilities of a business is known for the experience it offers. With the world at everyone’s fingertips, it becomes mandatory to set the standards higher to win customers’ hearts and wallets. With digital IT operations, businesses can relook their customer experiences in a different perspective to serve better and reach a wider audience.
Here are some possibilities if digitally led operations are embraced:
- Small businesses will continue emerging in the digital space leading to more growth
- More small-town businesses will tap into digital to expand their reach
- There will be changes in virtual experiences led by digital innovation.
- The ethos of small business will be stronger
- More home-based small businesses will mark their beginnings
Adapting to change in consumption patterns, leading to change in business models
With the changing lifestyle and change in consumer demand, and being bound to rules inflicted by the pandemic, there has been a rapid rise in consumption of products and services online. Almost everyone is morphing fast into digital customers over time.
A need for speed and alignment from the SMB industry is crucial given the situation and its impact. The unprecedented nature of Covid-19 has forced several SMBs to put the digital transformation and infrastructure narrative in place to ensure that businesses are revived and the economy springs back to action. Not only for employment creation and economic growth, but also to drive innovation and competition in markets.
However, many SMBs lack the resources and adequate skills to seize this opportunity. Therefore adapting to technological development can be a mammoth task for these businesses. The future will be bleak if SMBs do not have support to unlock their full potential.
Reviving the economy with SMBs going digital
SMBs are the backbone of any economy, contributing to 30% – 50% of its GDP. The disruptive pandemic has lowered the operational margins and increased resource struggles in terms of raising capitals, accessing new markets. As we’re adapting to the new normal, SMBs need to rethink their approach towards IT in terms of business models, organization structures, growth trajectories and technology. The dynamics of IT is ever evolving, if put to correct use it can enable SMBs to grow by leaps and bounds.
When adapting to Information Technology, here’s what needs to be kept in mind:
- Embrace it: IT is potentially a strong enabler that drives growth for SMBs, apart from providing efficiency and cost benefits. Instead of treating technology as a subset, IT needs to be considered as an integral part of the overall business planning and development process.
- Focus on what’s right for your business: The possibilities are beyond limits but the real challenge is to leverage upon what strikes the right chord for your business to grow exponentially and therefore it becomes important to ensure having the right expertise.
- IT roadmap and digital blueprint for long term vision: Develop a 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year plan to ensure technology decisions derive the desired result. It is of utmost importance to let business priorities drive technology decisions.
- Crisp and clear execution: IT Strategy and Planning, Architecture, Processes, Tools, Systems and Data, Analytics/BI/Reporting are strong pillars of any SMBs that help it set a strong foot in the market without much hassle
- Take a look at your IT roadmap every 3-6 months: IT Roadmap needs to adapt to the ever evolving business needs as well as the overall market landscape. Hence an analytical approach is necessary to derive conclusions and make business decisions.
- Understand and accept new technologies: Cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented /virtual reality can transform the business. It is vital for any business to adapt to newer technologies and experiment to improve the standards of the business.
Conclusion: Digital Operations being the need of the hour
There is a need for SMBs to build a platform that allows themselves to access the best of Information Technology and use it to its fullest potential. The pandemic has made it possible for everyone to get accustomed to technology, irrespective of there being a few who refrained from it over these years. Creating a sustainable digital operations strategy calls for extreme diligence and dedication to continuous improvement. It demands motivation and focuses on data-driven and customer-centric outlook for understanding the demand for the business better.