Doing Business In The Moment by Forbes Insights
Digital Economy – How SMB’s Run Live in the Digital Economy
OUR LIVES ARE INCREASINGLY DRIVEN BY REAL-TIME DIGITAL ACTIVITIES. Customers no longer tolerate long order processing times, inconsistent information across channels or service glitches. And yet, business is increasingly global and complex.
Instant Access to Data
To meet these demands, businesses of all types— not just digital giants and deep-pocketed competitors—certainly need instantaneous access to relevant data. They also, however, need the ability to respond immediately to the insights that data reveals.
Responding to What the Data Reveals
In other words, organizations need to do business “in the moment.” This is as true for small to midsize businesses (SMBs) as it is for any other size company today. All businesses—and especially the fast-growing ones—need operational, supply chain, sales and inventory insights at their fingertips to make the best decisions, seize hidden opportunities, anticipate problems and delight customers.
Ability to Predict the Future
Armed with a full view of all the relevant data, companies can also be proactive. If a business knows its cost of materials is going to rise in six months, for example, it can phase in small price increases to avoid a large increase all at once. With data and analytics, “you can view trends and historical data and extrapolate to the future—it’s very powerful,” says Ray Boggs, vice president of SMB research at global market intelligence firm IDC. Bottom-line business success, especially for SMBs, depends on the ability to respond to events as they unfold and even take action in anticipation of what lies ahead.
Affordability in the Cloud
It is no wonder that companies increasingly see advanced technologies as key to their success. Whereas sophisticated “real-time” systems historically were outside the boundaries of most SMB budgets, their agility renders them better able to take advantage of new and emerging technologies— particularly those delivered through the cloud. Because software-as-a-service (SaaS) and the cloud reduce computing infrastructure cost and maintenance requirements, SMBs are viewing technology investments with less trepidation.
Cost Effective Analytics, Increase in Competitivity
Compared with large enterprises, “smaller organizations tend to be amongst the earliest technology adopters in the marketplace,” says Howard Dresner, chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services, an independent industry research firm. Increasingly, this even includes analytics systems. “The barrier to entry for capabilities like analytics has dropped precipitously over the last decade,” he adds. The result, Dresner says, will be game-changing. “The competitiveness of just about every imaginable industry has been enhanced.”
Easy to Understand Cloud & Analytics Tools
Cloud-delivered capabilities, in particular, are becoming integral to the success of small to midsize businesses. According to SMB Group, just 19% of small businesses in the United States employ full-time, dedicated IT staff and although 86% of midsize businesses have internal IT staff, they are typically IT generalists who lack expertise in newer technology areas.2 As SMBs increasingly require fast, easy, lower cost access to capabilities such as analytics, more compute power and other services, cloud adoption has boomed, the firm says. Such affordable capabilities, Dresner adds, can level the playing field, allowing SMBs to compete with large enterprises.
Essential Integrated Business Management Software
With the cloud, SMBs are increasingly able to operate using live data, delivered by sophisticated tools. It is essential, however, that these tools gather data without the company having to cobble together a set of disparate applications. “Smaller organizations don’t have the expertise or budget to manage a plethora of different solutions. What appeals to them is when everything is embedded in one solution,” says Cindy Jutras, president of Mint Jutras, a research firm that focuses on the impact of enterprise applications on business performance. “They want it all to be in one place—one stop for all the information they need.”
Building Your Analytics Capabilities
A challenge with using analytics is knowing which questions to ask first. As IDC’s Boggs points out, most SMBs can tell you who is 60 days in arrears, but they tend not to know who their most profitable customer is. “Wherever you shine the lamp, you see amazing results,” he says.
Becoming Data Driven
With advanced capabilities available to SMBs, it is no wonder that both cloud computing and analytics now top their list of IT priorities, according to Techaisle, a global SMB IT market research and industry analyst organization. Such capabilities hold much promise for resolving the top business challenges that SMBs also reported in the Techaisle study, including improving process quality and workforce productivity, attracting customers, increasing profits and supporting business growth.
“Many small business owners still believe their gut is their best tool for decision making. But the world is changing too quickly today to rely on that.” — CINDY JUTRAS, PRESIDENT, MINT JUTRAS
Control & Clarity for Growth
GROWING A BUSINESS in the digital economy isn’t easy. Getting control and clarity across your whole company can make growth much less challenging and far more likely. When a company uses live system technology, it can tune its decision-making, operations, supply chain, people, products and network of partners to create business value and satisfy customers in the moment.
Make Better Business Decisions
Small to midsize companies have the same need as large enterprises to make better business decisions, seize opportunities and serve customers in the moment. “It’s critical for small to midsize companies to run live; they can’t afford the luxury of time,” according to Hernan Marino, senior vice president and chief operating officer at SAP Marketing. “There is a close connection between their response to market changes and their financial statement. To them, it’s really about how they maneuver their business in real time. They have to make the most of the year, the month, the day, the hour, the moment.”
SAP for All Sizes of Organisation
As the market leader in enterprise application software, SAP is at the center of today’s business and technology revolution. Innovations from SAP enable customers worldwide to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively. SAP helps organizations of all sizes and industries overcome the complexities that plague our businesses, our jobs and our lives.
Take the Complexity Out – Run Simple, Run in the Moment
With SAP, you can easily run everything from finances and analytics to employee, customer and supplier relationships. You’ll have instant information on-premises or in the cloud. You’ll also have simple solutions and apps from a single provider. We’re a partner who already helps more than 250,000 small and midsize companies serve their customers better. One who takes the complexity out of running your business, so you can focus on growing your business. SAP is a partner you’ll never outgrow, no matter where your business takes you.
Source: [Download] Forbes Report Doing Business In The Moment How SMB’s Run Live in the Digital Economy
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