According to new research, SMEs that embrace digital technology grow faster than those that don’t.
The 2016 International Data Corporation report
is a global study of 3,210 SMEs. 39% said that actively participating in the digital economy is essential for the survival of their business over the next three to five years.
Using technology creatively can allow even the smallest startups to be competitive on both the regional and global stages. But businesses need to be proactive when it comes to keeping up with the latest trends, and digitally-aware of how technology can drive growth.
There are now more options than ever when it comes to technology that can help grow your business. The difficulty is in finding the right software and hardware to truly move the needle based on your company’s unique needs.
Here’s how some of the latest technology can help SMEs grow in 2018 and beyond:
Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence
Collective intelligence and artificial intelligence technologies have been developed to help businesses of all sizes better optimise customer-facing and back office processes and systems.
SMEs, in particular, need to take advantage of this opportunity to analyse and use their data. AI is a great way to do this, and artificial intelligence is able to automate this entire process and provide SMEs with actionable insights they can immediately use.
Chatbots and other autonomous interfaces are designed to simulate how humans have conversations. These add simplicity and convenience to the customer experience by making tasks like making a purchase or asking a question as fast as sending a text message. While these admin-heavy and time-consuming tasks traditionally required continual monitoring and were expensive to outsource, SMEs can now use technology to get ahead.
When SMEs are equipped with time-saving and convenient automated solutions which can help with customer-facing and back-end activities, they have more time and energy for the tasks that actually grow their businesses.
Cloud-based platforms allow SMEs to access innovative software services and solutions without needing dedicated IT support. These types of solutions can cover everything from finance, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, accounting, and cloud-based mobile apps.
Basically, platform-based infrastructure allows SMEs to access scalable technologies and up-to-date applications that larger businesses have already been using for years. This can make it much easier for SMEs to reduce costs while growing their businesses, and accommodate fluctuations in customer demand. It also enables them to improve data accuracy and ensure customers and staff members can immediately access information from anywhere, including everything from outstanding invoices to account balances.
One of the biggest benefits of embracing the new and latest technology? Talent acquisition. These days, employees are looking for meaningful work. Younger generations, in particular, want to feel like the work they’re doing matters. By removing boring, time-consuming tasks like data entry, employees are free to work on the tasks that actually matter.
This is great news for business owners since it means their talent is being used effectively and the smartest minds are being used for innovative thinking and solving business problems. It also makes it easier to attract top talent since employees are increasingly looking for work that makes them feel like they’re contributing to the overall success of an organisation.