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Business digital transformation for SMEs – How to succeed in the market

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Business digital transformation is on the rise. As it is a high road to automate workflows, engage the audience, and boost staff productivity, we’re seeing quick growth of enterprise apps, connected devices, RPA, big data, etc.

Analysts at Forrester say the most prosperous organizations are employing tech-driven innovation (TDI) to succeed in the market. Weaving cutting-edge technologies into your processes, you will resolve industrial challenges and increase revenue.

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In this post for SMEs, you will learn how to develop a digital transformation strategy. You will also receive a checklist for a successful digital transformation. Let’s start our journey.

What is the business digital transformation?

Business digital transformation is the use of advanced digital technologies to address the company’s problems, for instance, relieve employees from doing repetitive tasks or migrate from paper-based workflows to electronic document management.

With innovative software solutions, you move away from offline or manual to digital processes rather than support traditional methods. In most cases, this transformation means fundamental changes in how an organization operates and delivers value to customers.

“In the current competitive business world, digital transformation is the topmost strategic priority for every organization. Nevertheless, the concept is confusing and intricate. Digital transformation involves managing the existing business and building for the future at the same time, something like changing the engine of the plane while in flight.” —Ashutosh Bisht, senior research manager for IDC’s Customer Insights & Analysis Group.

Why do you need business digital transformation?

There are many advantages of digital transformation for SMEs. You will be able to achieve tremendous results such as:

  • automate working processes, from sales and marketing to inventory management
  • remove human errors
  • reduce costs: operating, labor, infrastructure maintenance costs, etc.
  • raise staff productivity
  • centralize and automate document management
  • increase the overall efficiency
  • and a lot more — everything depends on your business-specific needs.

Examples of problems you can solve through business digital transformation

Explore what challenges you can solve with a successful digital transformation strategy.

1. Analyzing large amounts of data

Problem

Your company works with large volumes of data but your employees have to manually collect and process it, including data extraction from online channels, feedback forms, polls, surveys, etc. This consumes a lot of time while accuracy suffers.

How can I solve it?

You can build a web analytics system that will help you gather data from various sources. Big data solutions, for example, can automatically capture and process raw unstructured data, transforming it into valuable information.

Note

Software systems can analyze large amounts of data 25 times faster in comparison with the human brain (“The evolution of process automation” report by IBM Institute).

2. Boost sales and increase revenue

Problem

The sales conversion rate in your company has been decreasing lately. You see that employees are well-trained, work hard but recent sales and marketing reports make you sad. How can you improve this situation?

How can I address it?

There can be multiple ways to boost sales, actually. Have a look at a few examples:

  • Make an e-commerce website or/and launch an online delivery service — The COVID-19 outbreak forced retailers to move physical stores to the internet. If you don’t have a modern site, consider this option. You will reach a larger audience and engage customers. Also, provide users with the ability to order goods via a mobile app.

Learn how to build an e-commerce website and how much it costs.

  • Develop a CRM software system — Using a CRM, you will be able to automate sales and marketing processes. Here you can track leads, manage tasks, segment the audience, and much more.

Find out more about resolving business-specific needs with CRM systems.

  • Create a customer loyalty application — Another great way is to build a mobile application with various perks. Customers will be automatically notified about the best offers, shares, discounts. Analyzing shopping behavior, you will send personalized messages to delight users and increase the conversion rate.

Note

With CRM software solutions, companies can boost sales by 29%, improve productivity by 34%, and increase the accuracy of sales forecasting by 42% (Salesforce).

3. Automate manual, rule-based, and repetitive tasks

Problem

The high number of manual, data-intense, and rule-based activities in a certain department negatively affects staff productivity. Your employees have to fill out numerous spreadsheets every week, each time opening a document (e.g., an invoice) and enter data in rows, save it, open another, and repeat this cycle again and again.

Then, they verify everything is correct. As a consequence, a specialist spends a few working days (16-24 hours) on a monthly basis. It would be wonderful to automate all such tasks.

How can I resolve it?

RPA software allows easily automating a wide range of tasks, for instance, data entry, search, vetting, price comparison, calculations. RPA bots automatically perform them based on instructions. With his technology, you will streamline workflows, relieve the time of employees for more creative revenue-focused activities, and reduce costs.

Note

The Deloitte Global RPA Survey found robotic process automation (RPA) software enables businesses to raise productivity (86%) and reduce costs (59%).

A $20 million investment in adopting RPA software can lead to a $100 million increase in revenue (Deloitte). This means that using RPA technology, you can expect result improvement by 5 times.

Have a business challenge and want to address it? Request a consultation from a trusted IT service vendor, it is for free!

Practical examples of business digital transformation

You’ve seen amazing results that you can achieve with digital business transformation. But how does it look in practice? Learn how different companies took advantage of innovative software solutions.

1. Automating investment management and boosting staff productivity

The Vanguard Group, the world’s leading provider of investment management services, developed predictive analytics software—Personal Advisor Services (PAS)—to automate investment portfolio management with specific algorithms.

One of the primary goals was to use technology to interact with 20 million clients across its businesses. Pairing “roboadvisors” with humans, the organization was able to help people with tailored investment plans and recommendations.

This predictive analytics tool runs 10,000 simulations in less than a second, forecasts future returns and possible results for different periods. In a web portal, roboadvisors prepare individual financial plans. Customers monitor asset performance and progress toward their objectives while employees review portfolios to ensure they align with those objectives.

“We were able to bring down the methodology for managing large portfolios and create fully automated investment advice.” —John Marcante, CIO at Vanguard.

2. Improving customer service

KLM, a Dutch airline company, aimed to simplify communications between customers and agents without compromising privacy. The organization was looking for the best way to improve client service and boost user engagement.

By incorporating a chatbot, KLM managed to accomplish these goals. Customer interactions were increased by 40%. As a result, KLM’s Messenger services received the highest Net Promoter Score (NPS), compared to other social channels.

Note

Employing chatbots, organizations can save $23 billion from their annual wages, according to BI Intelligence.

3. Lead generation and payment tracking

A Belarusian leading programming school wanted to digitize manual and human-based operations associated with payment control, lead and student tracking. Document maintenance in Google spreadsheets was inconvenient and sometimes consumed a lot of time.

To resolve these challenges, the company turned to Arateg. We built a CRM software system that allowed the organization to boost sales by 60% and increase ROMI (Return On Marketing Investment) by 3 times. Thanks to analytics, sales managers were able to monitor various indicators such as LTV, CAP, ROI, etc.

Learn how our team developed a full-featured CRM system, including the creation of a microservices architecture and progressive web app (PWA).

Why do you need to transform your business NOW?

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted almost all industries and continues having it now. Production downtime, business closures, decreased sales, and performance slowdown are typical problems SMEs are facing. An economic recession widens the gap between successful and loss-making companies.

Those players that have well-established automated processes, well-trained staff, and quality service manage to outrun competitors and win the game.

Top 4 predictions for the worldwide digital transformation by IDC FutureScape:

  • By 2023, 50% of companies will lose market share to those competitors that invested in market-driven operations and digital transformation initiatives.
  • In 2021, new FoW (future of work) practices will increase the effectiveness of the digital workforce by 35%. This will allow businesses to significantly improve productivity and accelerate innovation.
  • By 2024, leaders in 50% of G2000 companies will create “future-of-culture” traits, including empathy, innovation, customer- and data-centric approaches to become market leaders.
  • Encouraged by a growing number of cyber threats and increased need for new functionality, 65% of businesses will aggressively modernize their legacy systems, investing in new technologies through 2023.

“Digital transformation marks a radical rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people and processes to fundamentally change business performance,” —says George Westerman, MIT principal research scientist and author of “Leading Digital: Turning Technology Into Business Transformation”.

A checklist for a digital transformation strategy for SMEs

Here is an ultimate checklist for a successful digital transformation. See what you miss:

  • migrate from on-premises systems to hybrid clouds
  • use cloud computing for remote access and reduced infrastructure costs
  • integrate a CRM system to enhance customer loyalty, automate sales and marketing processes
  • develop an online delivery service to add value to your customers
  • employ innovative software solutions to process large amounts of data
  • replace humans with robots or RPA programs where it is possible
  • add an e-commerce website to your physical store or move to it completely
  • use digital solutions to improve customer experience, for instance, chatbots
  • migrate from paper-based workflows to electronic document management
  • integrate an asset management system to monitor and manage the company’s resources
  • migrate from legacy systems to advanced technologies
  • manage tasks and projects in software systems
  • hold virtual consultations and meeting instead of physical visits to save time and raise productivity
  • automate and increase interactions with customers via push notifications and chatbots
  • move away from paper-based reporting to a web system with digital signatures, pre-built templates, upload/download functionality, and role-based access control

Important rules you should remember:

  • people are the key resource in any organization
  • speed to market is essential
  • flexibility is critical to quickly adapt to the new market conditions

If you want to receive personalized recommendations to transform your business or have a project idea, contact Arateg software development company or a.volchek@arateg.com directly. They’ll get back to you within 1 working day.

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