Digital Transformation & Thriving in the Digital Economy
How small and midsize enterprises are adapting to digital transformation
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is directly related to the changing digital economy with individuals, businesses, and society becoming interconnected in real-time, supported by technology. Think of the advanced capabilities that are changing the nature of business:
- Hyper-connectivity — the result of anytime/anywhere communications
- Unlimited computing power available through diverse software platforms
- Cloud computing, with easy access to hosted software and services
- The proliferation of sensors and mobile devices, providing new and continuous streams of information as well as ways of accessing them
- Advances in cybersecurity that support reliable access and use of key information, minimizing internal and external vulnerability
Almost all small businesses (firms with 10-99 employees) and midsize firms (with 100-999 employees) have some of these digital transformation resources in place: collaboration software, powerful computing and communications resources, cloud computing. But effective deployment and integration are needed to bring your firm to the next level of business performance.
You are Already on the Path to Digital Transformation
You may not realize it, but your company is already on the path towards digital transformation. Your attitudes, use of critical data, and refining of business process will all be part of your transformation. The pace and direction of your progress will help determine your business success in the coming years. In order to understand more about the pace and nature of digital transformation, IDC conducted a survey of 3,210 small and midsize firms from 11 different countries. The goal was also to identify the different benefits and opportunities associated with digital transformation. We wanted to find out:
- How do attitudes and actions of companies set the stage for business success? Small and midsize firms agree that advanced technology can help improve performance and outcomes, but do business results support this view?
- How are successful firms leveraging advanced technology in the new digital economy? What can we learn?
- Where is digital transformation making a difference in different size firms and what steps should companies take to ensure success moving forward?
Embrace Digital Transformation & Grow Faster
There is a clear connection between digital transformation and revenue growth. Fast growing small and midsize firms with 10%+ annual revenue are significantly more likely to indicate major progress towards transformation than slower growing firms. Over half of fast growing small and midsize firms are actively engaged with digital transformation. Using technology to automate functions and optimize processes is clearly associated with performance gains.
Digital Transformation – Ahead, behind or in-between?
There is also a company size element to the digital transformation progress. Many companies, especially smaller ones, underestimate their digital transformation progress because they don’t realize that collaboration software, e-commerce, and other resources are important components of that journey. Other companies, notably midsize ones, may overestimate how far along they are in adding and aligning digital capabilities. Most firms, when looked at by company size or revenue growth, are actually in between. Successful firms continually invest in improving their use of digital technology. The key is to remember that there is always more work to be done.
Guidance Towards Digital Transformation
Compare your resources with those used by others. Are you in step with industry standard practices or are you falling behind? Are you providing the kind of experiences your customers expect? Where can processes be improved? Where can the addition of new software and other resources make a difference? Think about improved coordination between resources you have and those you could be adding. Tap into IT partners who can identify ways to help your business run simpler. Removing complexity is a great way to delight customers and staff alike. Areas like e-commerce engagement (especially with mobile access) when combined with account management and information (with front office and back office coordination) can transform your business.