Key Success Factors in Digital Transformation Strategy for Small & Medium Businesses

By Ha Bui   |   March 4, 2021

To remain relevant and competitive in today’s economy, companies of all sizes must embrace a digital transformation strategy. The advantages of implementing the appropriate technologies in your business will assist you in increasing performance, lowering prices, improving customer service, and eventually raising revenue. However, for SMEs with a minimal budget, it can seem to be a daunting task.

In reality, 42% of SMBs now consider digital transformation to be a critical part of their overall strategy. Digital pioneers are outperforming as twice as digital laggards. Meanwhile, 82 percent of small and medium-sized businesses have already introduced some kind of digital transformation in their businesses.

A well-designed implementation plan will help you get the most out of your digital transformation investment, whether you’re just getting started or want to fine-tune it.

To be successful, digital transformation does not have to be complicated. You will make implementation easier by concentrating on projects with the highest return on investment. It’s also crucial to make sure all workers are on the same page as the company’s goals. In your business’s digital transformation strategy, there are six main areas to concentrate on:

1. Break-down Silos and Encourage Collaboration

Many digital transformation strategies are aimed at increasing overall organizational performance and/or transforming the enterprise into a customer-centric organization. As a result, the secret to success is breaking down silos and ensuring that internal teams can work together seamlessly.

There are several methods for ensuring that all internal departments are involved in the effort. A digital transformation program, for example, should not be funded solely from the IT budget. Business parts who stand to profit from the initiative should also pitch in.

Let’s say an eCommerce website has a bad user interface that is causing sales to suffer. A better eCommerce experience benefits marketing and sales teams directly. They should also be in charge of a portion of the budget and be active in the website’s growth.

2. Use Data to Empower Employees

Data is important for making informed business decisions. You should concentrate on implementing technologies that allow your team to derive value and insights from a variety of datasets. Employees will put the information to good use to help the company expand.

Accurate insights will help you better understand what your clients, stakeholders, and workers want and need, allowing you to create the most important products and processes to boost productivity and revenue.

However, as databases grow in size and complexity, it becomes more difficult for small and medium-sized companies to efficiently use them. Fortunately, there are a number of low-cost data collection and processing tools available. They mine data for insights and distribute analytics around the organization to help in real-time decision-making.

Furthermore, AI-driven technologies like machine learning will be commonly used to process and analyze large amounts of data. Strategically investing in these resources will assist you in making successful data-driven business decisions.

3. Integrate Business Systems Seamlessly 

The majority of digital transformation programs seek to enhance the customer experience by streamlining processes, automating workflows, and increasing performance. It’s important that all of the business processes communicate with one another in a seamless manner.

As business applications (such as finance, eCommerce, and customer service) are linked, they become interoperable platforms. It enables you to break down internal silos, improve cross-departmental coordination, and create a customer-centric organization.

Small and medium-sized companies are finding it much easier to incorporate different software systems thanks to cloud computing. As a result, it’s much easier to streamline workflow and handle various business functions in a streamlined manner.

The ability to sync data between two systems, for example, removes the need for manual data transfer. As a result, you’ll be able to maximize productivity while reducing errors.

4. Every level of the organization should be involved.

An effective digital transition necessitates laying a solid base by cultivating the appropriate corporate culture. Employees should unite around a strong vision that is converted into a simple collection of digital initiatives.

“Obtaining employee buy-in necessitates a concerted effort at all levels, including top-down alignment, middle-level agility, and front-line mobilization.”

Many people feel threatened by the implementation of technology and automation, so it’s also necessary to answer their concerns. In reality, when introducing digital transformation strategy, 27% of SMB owners cited their team’s resistance to change as a top challenge.

Educate your staff on the opportunities of digital transformation to gain internal buy-in. Demonstrate, for example, how an online tool can assist them in increasing their productivity. Additionally, ensure that your staff receives the requisite training. They’ll feel confident in their ability to use technology to achieve their career objectives.

5. Look for technology partners with hand-in experience

You certainly don’t have the money to employ a big IT team as a SME. Instead, to make the most of your time, you should outsource the majority of your IT activities. It allows you to concentrate your budget on the areas that have the most effects.

Furthermore, SMBs face specific obstacles that necessitate a different IT approach than larger companies. Look for technology partners, suppliers, and consultants who have worked with small and medium-sized businesses previously.

A service provider should suggest cost-effective solutions that work with your current IT infrastructure. They should be able to assist you in identifying places where you can get the best return on your investment. It should also provide the requisite onboarding and training so that the workers can get the most out of the technology.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or costly to be game-changing technology. Vendors who advocate for expensive solutions without explaining how they can help you achieve your particular business goals should be avoided.

6. Don’t be a victim of “Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.”

It’s all too easy to get on board with any new invention that promises the stars. The truth is that making the wrong decision would waste your IT budget and leave you with nothing to show for it.

Get clear on your vision and business goals before deciding which digital strategies to introduce. Determine which areas can produce the most significant results. Customer experience, employee engagement, data analytics, business processes, and cloud computing were all addressed in a previous article as key areas in which small and medium-sized businesses should concentrate.

Many SMBs may maximize their return on investment by using simple technology to automate time-consuming and repetitive manual tasks. Complex technologies designed for larger organizations, on the other hand, could cause more uncertainty and have a negative impact on productivity.

As a result, concentrate on how digital transformation will make current processes more cost-effective and easy. SMEs benefit from simple resources that have a big effect. Predictive analytics software that optimizes online ad spend, for example, can extend your ad dollars, generate high-quality leads, and increase revenue without requiring you to change key business processes.

The Final Thoughts,

It can be difficult to get started with a digital transformation project. You, too, can harness the power of technology through careful preparation, prioritization, collaboration, and employee education. Workflow software for small and medium-sized businesses can help you maximize productivity, cut costs, enhance customer service, and expand your company at a low cost.

Setting KPIs that reflect your company’s priorities will assist you in aligning your digital transformation strategy with your company’s vision. Then you can keep track of the important metrics and fine-tune your strategies to maximize your ROI.

fram^ is a Swedish-Vietnamese IT engineering company that builds products, teams and managed services of top IT talent in Vietnam. Over the last few years, we’ve helped many businesses around the world consult and implement their digital transformation strategy. Contact us to get started with digital transformation for your business! 

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