Why Are Some Small & Medium Enterprises Averse to The Idea of Digitization?

The impact of the internet on businesses needs no explanation. It has opened up new horizons for businesses thus, enabling them to reach out to countless prospective online customers across the globe. However, many small businesses shy away from digitization due to various misapprehensions.

Here are few myths that are preventing some small and midsize businesses from going digital:

1. Digitization is a fad that will soon fade out.

2. Digitization is a costly affair that suits big brands.

3. Small companies do not require undergoing digitization.

4. Digitization is quite convoluted; we need a simplified process.

5. We are short of resources.

6. We do not cater to young tech-savvy customers.

These are some of the myths that are standing as obstacles in the path of digital transformation, thus, preventing few enterprises from realizing the potential of digitization in creating long-lasting business value.

Facts about Digitization:

1. Digitization is certainly not a fad and holds all the aces in the present time.

2. Digitization is not as expensive as you think; in fact, it is cost-effective.

3. Digitization is not meant to be implemented only by the big brands; small and midsize companies are equally reaping the benefits of going global by means of digitization.

4. Small companies need to digitize themselves as much as the giant industry players. The internet is rampant with stories of how small businesses have been transforming themselves via digitization.

5. Digitization is a simple and innovative way to streamline any business– big or small. It saves your time as well as money.

6. Digitization is not meant for catering only to the younger generation of customers. The bug of digitization has bitten the young and the old alike.

The ever-increasing popularity of smartphones in every nook and corner of the world is motivating more and more businesses to go digital. Cloud-based technology, real-time mobility, data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and social media platforms are helping small and midsize enterprises significantly to digitize their businesses. Thus, considering the current global scenario, it is not sensible to pay no heed to the power of digital transformation as it has kindled many positive developments by bringing incredible business opportunities to countless small and midsize businesses.

How Digitization Helps Small/ Midsize Companies?

1. It increases the opportunities of boosting the number of potential customers in digital space.

2. Offers flawless user experience to prospective customers worldwide.

3. Helps businesses sustain a long-lasting relationship with global customers by developing an emotional connection.

4. Helps businesses cater to customers’ needs by providing a comprehensive picture of the target market with the help of data analytics.

Way Forward: Don’t get left behind

The 21st-century consumers expect every small and big business to provide them with a seamless digital experience, and failure to meet the expectations of the consumers can spell disaster for businesses. Digitization offers multiple benefits to businesses– from new marketing opportunities to greater productivity and efficiency, besides enabling you to eliminate the unwanted and cumbersome business processes. Thus, it is imperative for small and medium businesses to break out of their comfort zone by leaping into the digital era.

Why Digital Transformation Is Private Equity’s Sharpest Tool

Private equity groups are always looking for the sure thing – it’s part of their culture. It’s not surprising they’ve been so slow to embrace Digital Transformation, but money is usually pretty conservative. So here’s a wake-up call for anyone in private equity – you need to take Digital Transformation seriously and make it one of the tools of your trade.

Private equity has to create value in its acquisitions. That’s pretty obvious and we know the common strategies. In the past, a private equity firm would acquire a business with the intent of growing it and hopefully acquiring another, putting them together and building greater value for both companies. Part of that process would involve creating efficiencies within the new company through economies of scale and instituting better practices for sales, marketing, supply chain and operations.

That’s what Digital Transformation is all about – creating greater efficiencies and best practices – but for the digital age – not the steam age. Private equity has to realize scale is not the only efficiency – from customer management systems (CMS), to building out robust e-commerce engines, to exploding a brand, Digital Transformation can turn around an undervalued company and absolutely smash competition with just a bit of digital vision.

Digital Transformation affects all aspects of a company – and each aspect represents another potential growth point for private equity. Think about this: private equity firms always worry about losing key employees after an acquisition. A well executed Digital Transformation always includes a clear digital vision delivered to the company first – and always considers how to improve its employee’s work experience by utilizing every chance to supercharge internal processes and efficiencies. Think how that will affect morale during a take-over – and help improve ROI.

In fact, private equity firms would all be wise to initiate a Digital Transformation within their four walls. You can’t just pound your chest like a gorilla – you have to rip the antiquated doors off your own walls. Sure, hedge funds are computerized out the yin/yang but private equity firms struggle. In addition, how well do they manage their own digital presence and their public digital profile – their leadership casting? Are they active on the social media front? Are they providing opportunities for top talent to share their vision – and build their digital profile? Everyone in PE firms know a sharp suit is important for first impressions – so help your firm, and your people, look sharp on the web.

These are just a couple of examples of how Digital Transformation can affect both the efficiency and culture of a company – before it even addresses creating greater revenues and new markets. Every PE firm in the world should be making Digital Transformation part of their tool set before they are the ones that get out transformed!

Digital Transformation – What It Means for Global Enterprises

Fundamentally, a business enterprise would exist in a ‘going concern’ to make profits and maximize the shareholders’ value. To be able to deliver business results consistently then becomes most important objective. There could be a number of strategies, programs and policies that an enterprise would practice to deliver business results. Digital transformation is one such innovative strategy that an enterprise could look to practice in a structured and time bound manner.

Here is an important dimension that I would like to highlight, and to put it simply, digital transformation would bridge the gap that always existed when Digital (in business parlance this would mean Information and Communication Technologies) became necessity for efficiency, but remained a huge cost center and avenue of change inertia for a majority of times. It is all about getting closer to transforming this cost center to a revenue center, by consistently and selectively applying Digital to get closer to customers and stakeholders alike to make difference to the way they live, or do business, or collaborate.

For global enterprises what this means is that when its digital interests are driven by keeping its customers at large in focus they can be construed as making significant strides in their digital transformation strategy. Depending on what stage of technology adoption they are into (1st, 2nd or 3rd generation) the DT intensity would vary. For instance, recently I wrote an article on how GRC solutions can be revenue enablers – GRC then becomes a part of a broader digital transformation strategy.

A majority of new age business enterprises would have made substantial investments in implementation of most grass root enterprise systems. That is a whole reasons why from the technology provider ecosystem do we get to hear about mobile, analytics, social and cloud most of the times when it comes to digital transformation, which is a contemporary articulation. The fact remains that it is up to the CIO and other CxO executive team members to figure out what would be a right beginning of their digital transformation program and what would its life cycle look like in their company. In other words, an enterprise could really be ready for digital even if they aren’t talking about social, analytics and mobility, similarly, even if a relatively new enterprise (such as a start-up) can still be talking of massive investments into DT even if they do not use large enterprise systems, for instance an ERP. As we said, the key to remember, and hence to derive most benefits of amazing digital transformation program, is to know how and if digital investments made by an enterprise are taking it closer to a customer to make difference to the way they live, or do business, or collaborate.

Digital Transformation – Digitalization: High Tech or Human Touch?

There is a fact that is quite understood and realized among leaders in the majority of the main industries around the world and this is: How the digital technology is disrupting all the models we know so far.

Digitalization happens to be at the moment the main source of tremendous transformations in different aspects of our lives. Digitalization is the new connectivity for citizens, policy makers, societies and governments. It presents unlimited chances to the creation of more value to businesses, although if not undertaken carefully, it also represents risk.

Much has been discussed and analyzed, very specifically the economic or societal implications of the digitalization phenomenon, questions are rising and contest widening, while important questions are just appearing while the process of the digital transformation is taking place.

However, throughout all this processes, I want to point out as an urgent matter and the most important factor in all this boom: Who is the operator behind a machine? To whom are companies targeting their augmented or virtual reality gadgets? Who is behind all this digital transformation show? Is what some economists from the EU business school name: the unitary cost of production, say, the human being, say, you and me.

Some great personalities around the world from various cultures, I am talking about supermen who undertook time to scrutinize our inner and outer nature. Those great philosophers agree that the present mankind’s evolutionary state is that of the mere intellect, nothing else nothing much. Intellect has enabled us to go beyond the unexpected in the material world. It has enabled us to progress in many fields of thoughts from the materialistic point of view, say, what our senses experiment as a stimulation that comes from the outside: object and subject. However, paradoxical as it seems we are perpetuating our dependence to devices and decreases the natural abilities we have been born with, making us in many cases mentally lazy and acting like slaves of those devices. Otherwise, can anyone explain if they know how are thoughts are formed or how can we undergo profound changes in our deep personality and have an integrated life? Statistics show a very bad projection in this so far.

Exponential growth which defines most of the scenarios we are actually living can help us understand all this material phenomenon. Universal laws from a physical point of view limit our senses and way of existing. Exponential growth therefore releases unlimited possibilities in graphics, virtual realities, holographic realities or astral realities. When a computer’s speed continuously increases its rate the more fantastic or even science fiction like computers or devices comes up. Processor chips- “Computer’s main component is called the Central Processing Unit, or CPU for short. The CPU is a very small piece of silicon and is often referred to as the silicon chip or the processor chip. This tiny little piece is the brain of the computer, equivalent to the engine of a car”-double in speed every eighteen months according to Moore’s Law, the rule of thumb in the technology industry. Therefore, computers as we know, up to 2025 will tend to be more than 70 times faster than it is now in 2016. Photonics (“the branch of technology concerned with the properties and transmission of photons, for example in fibre optics”), says the more data coming out of fiber-optic cables, faster connectivity, this increase at more than double rates every nine months.

Meanwhile as an exercise analysis, changing customer expectations, cultural transformation, outdated regulation, and identifying and accessing the right skills – to name just a few. These challenges need to be addressed by industry and government leaders to unlock the substantial benefits digital offers society and industry. Machines increase efficiency, provides lots of tools to deal with ailments, health problems among others, in the other hand also decreases our intellectual coefficient not allowing to use discernment or analytical abilities, it also disintegrate our personality making us sometimes too much ego or selfie (The Internet of Me) driven making us loose vision of a holistic life view.

After placing a debate above on the real meaning of the human being behind the devices, we want to always emphasize very clearly that technology is useful. Technology is beautiful. Nothing more than that: “The word technology comes from two Greek words, transliterated techne and logos. Techne means art, skill, craft, or the way, manner, or means by which a thing is gained… So, literally, technology means words or discourse about the way things are gained.”

Bearing these premises in mind, quite many recommendations can be given out but as a set information to aid incumbent industry leaders in their efforts to achieve a proper digital transformation this can apply not only in companies but in any groups such as families, students, social organisms, etc.:

Place the human factor above everything and anything. This include a solid ground human resource philosophy in the company.

Have moments of silent, periodical moments of conscious silence (this is far different from sleeping), away from all type of technological devices. Turn them all off while you are into these systematic moments of silent. If in group, the better although is strongly advised to do it individual as individual mental peace brings forth collective peace. It all starts with each one of us! Regularity is advised, hopefully twice a day, 30 mns.

Start practicing meditation twice a day. 30 mns. in the morning, 30 mns. in the afternoon. Meditation create new neurons, increase the brain’s gray matter, widen brain connection. It makes us more intelligent. Intelligence doesn’t mean just having a high IQ. Meditation increases immune function and decreases pain. Meditation decreases inflammation from the cellular aspect. Meditation decrease stress, depression and anxiety.

Training to each one of the members on how to breath properly (a vast majority of people don’t know how to breathe even though they have noses!).

Start training on what you eat. Yes, you are what you eat. The purer the food the more intelligent is our mind. Food goes to the blood. The blood nourishes our brain and overall system.

The creation of a new digital culture consist on involving everybody, shareholders, stakeholders, etc

Start searching and identifying, developing and later on launching new, digital business models.

Setting up successful corporate venturing businesses inside the company is a must.

Every aspect of operations must be re-examined.

Leveraging data and the right digital traction metrics must be part of the new culture. This also includes investments in security.

Build a high-quotient digital workforce

The company that want to thrive into the digital enterprise must go beyond the mere implementation of new technologies just for the sake of it. What gives a digital enterprise that long cherished competitive advantage is its culture, strategy and way of operating, never forgetting that in your new digital business models, always ensure these two things: The employees as unitary costs of production and customers as the center of everything you do. All the lights should spot on them!