Expert Advice for High-Growth Businesses

Where Do SMBs Start with a Digital Vision?

In a recent SMB Group study, 57 percent of small-to-medium business (SMB) leaders, with revenues of $50 million to $1 billion, stated they think their revenues will increase in the next 12 months.1 Furthermore, 76 percent believe that digital technologies are ‘reshaping’ their industry.  From these stats, we can see that growing businesses understand the impact of digital technologies on their success.

Yet, only 23 percent of SMB leaders ‘strongly agree’ that their company has a well-defined digital business strategy. Now is the opportunity, while the economy is favorable, for SMBs to introduce digital products, to establish a vision for how new technology—like cloud, analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence—will secure long-term market growth.

Embracing a Digital Business Vision

The report found that SMBs without a digital business vision have not embraced one for various reasons. Leaders say:

  1. Digital technologies are too difficult to integrate with existing systems (34%)
  2. We don’t have enough money to adequately fund it (34%)
  3. Top decision-makers have not set specific goals (33%)
  4. We don’t have adequate IT skills/staff to support new technology (33%)
  5. It’s difficult to determine which solutions will best help us (31%)

So, where to start?

The responses from SMB leaders regarding their top drivers for investing in digital technologies to support their business are key:

  1. Attract new customers (35%)
  2. Improve employee productivity (33%)
  3. Streamline operations (33%)
  4. Reduce costs (32%)

An SMB does not have to start ramping up digital business to simply attract new customers. Rather, by deploying cloud-based solutions internally, companies can enhance organizational capabilities that then transfer to customer-facing goals in the future.

For example, Neil Martucci, Senior Vice President and Controller at ConnectOne Bank, explained that because they implemented cloud-based financials, they now operate in a more flexible and scalable environment that allows them to make business decisions that reduce risk, cut costs, and drive increased profitability as the company continues to grow. But perhaps most importantly, their customers benefit from their more tailored, personalized services.”

If your SMB does not have a complete vision for digital transformation, there are multiple onramps to choose from. Cloud-based applications allow for digital technologies to drive scale and speed. In turn, positioning an organization to adapt and take on future growth-oriented digital transformation projects.

Learn how to drive business growth by digitally transforming your customer experience. Don’t miss Entrepreneur and Oracle’s upcoming webinar, 3 Ways to Supercharge Business Growth with Customer Experience, on May 21st at 12 pm ET. Register now!

1 SMB Group, 2017 Digital Transformation Study: Executive Summary, November 2017

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