High-growth small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) have the opportunity to transform in ways that large corporations can’t. Large enterprises are burdened with complex, sprawling legacy systems, while SMBs have one significant advantage: the agility and nimbleness to get ahead. They are like a fleet of tugboats in a harbor full of cargo ships. SMBs can easily begin their digital conversion from the inside out by combining the connective capabilities of cloud applications with transformative technologies built in from the very beginning.
But what is a digital transformation, and why should SMBs care? Digital transformation is merely a business transformation; it changes every aspect of your processes, customer interactions, and innovation. “Transformation” is a scary term for many; it indicates a lot of sweat, blood, and tears. But it doesn’t have to be. As with anything, if you have the right partner and the right tools, your SMB can easily transform, combining what makes you different with new digital connections and platforms to build seamless, interconnected experiences (for both customers and employees).
That status quo in business has changed, and it will continue to change again and again. In 1958, the lifespan of a typical company was approximately 60 years. That number has dropped to just under 20 years. Blockbuster celebrated their 25th anniversary in bankruptcy. Compaq only existed for 20 years before being bought by HP. Like most things, there is no single reason for this shift, but technology has played a significant role. Instant gratification is the norm. The power has shifted from business to customer, and disruption is now the new normal.
But there are ways SMBs can keep up (and even pull ahead) through the powerful combination of cloud and transformative technologies by economizing, enabling, and equalizing.
Only 23 percent of SMB leaders strongly agree that their company has a well-defined digital business strategy. And that is the first step on the path to transformation. Here are 5 areas to look at as you start the process of digitally transforming your growth company:
1. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Carefully managing your financial resources is vital for businesses of any size, but especially for smaller, high-growth companies.
2. Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)
Accurately (and quickly) budget, plan, and forecast to ensure that work is getting done as efficiently and profitably as possible.
3. Customer Experience (CX)
Deliver consistent, personalized customer experiences, and set the bar very high for your competitors.
4. Human Capital Management (HCM)
Driven, talented people got the business this far, but to continue growing and innovating, you’ll need to attract, hire, and retain the talent needed for every growth stage.
5. Supply Chain Management (SCM)
Today’s logistics and procurement processes require more―detailed data, integrated systems, automated workflows, and end-to-end visibility for all parties involved.
Moving your foundational business to the cloud will set the stage for continuous innovation as you will be ready to take advantage of the most significant and promising new technologies. So what are you waiting for?