Today, due to rapid expansion of data sources, businesses are turning to digital transformation to solve most business problems by processing data and making predictions based on patterns and other factors that are valuable for the business. The digital transformation process is ramped up by implementing advanced technologies to build more sustainable relationships and better understand the needs of customers. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) also should consider digital transformation even if they have a limited budget because it would help them have proper control over their business and also deliver value to customers by supporting their changing behaviors and needs. SMBs can partner with a professional document scanning company to convert their paper-based assets into digital format before implementing any advanced technologies like ML, NLP, AI, Data Analytics etc.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, almost all SMBs could adjust to the new normal due to the digital transformation and Information Technology (IT). It helps rethink how to operate business and improve efficiency, lower costs, increase productivity, improve customer experience, and ultimately, boost profits. In IT there are a set of guidelines that SMBs should know in 2021.
- Switch to the Latest Technology: Embracing the latest technology allows SMBs not only to minimize cost and improve efficiency, but also provides the potential to be a strong enabler and increases the growth driver for SMBs.
- Look for the Right Talent: Earlier, finding the right talent for SMB was a challenge. But today, with advanced technology resources, SMBs can ensure that they have the right expertise
- Keep an IT Road Map and Digital Blueprint Ready: Prepare a detailed a three- or five- year plan for your digital transformation process to ensure that you use the right technology to automate and simplify processes to produce much greater results.
- Set up a Good Technology Architecture: Having a solid IT foundation is essential instead of having disparate systems or software. The technology planning and business strategy should be done together; and individual department approach to IT is not good.
- Stay Focused on Execution: Execution becomes successful only if you understand the true value of technology investments. The main pillars for execution include architecture, processes, tools, system and data, IT strategy and planning, and data analytics or business intelligence.
- Revise your Roadmap Regularly: It is important to keep your IT system and technology up to date to meet the ever-changing business needs and customer requirements.
- Evaluate new Technologies: Advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Machine Learning etc. can make a huge impact on small and medium businesses and this will help businesses to grow faster cost-effectively.
Some of the advanced technologies that SMBs should have in 2021 are:
- Automation: Automation is the first and basic step towards digital transformation. A Salesforce study found that businesses automating their processes are 1.6-times more likely to be growing rapidly than those that don’t. So, apart from improving efficiency, automation helps SMBs to simplify repetitive back office functions.
- Cloud Technologies: Cloud technology is a software infrastructure that allows SMBs to securely store any amount of data. As a business grows, the inflow of data increases and online cloud storage of data is a practical option. It makes it easier for users to access data from anywhere in the world, store huge volumes of data, collaborate on a single document in real time and perform backups automatically.
- Cyber Security: With increasing exposure through various entry points in the digital world, cyber threats pose an imminent risk. It is important to ensure that your business has a comprehensive cybersecurity plan that includes all digital touchpoints across employees, vendors, customers, and any other partners.
- Social Media: Social media helps businesses to spread out to a wider audience quickly. It allows observing the buying behavior of consumers and finding potential customers more easily and efficiently.
- Virtual Workspace Enablement: With the outbreak of COVID 19, most of the businesses are working remotely. SMBs are adapting this virtual working system to continue their work without interruption and meet the needs of customers.
For small businesses to survive in the current competitive scenario, it is important to streamline their business operations and enhance efficiency and commitment. The above mentioned are some of the latest trends expected that can help small businesses to improve their workflow and improve productivity and efficiency. So SMBs can consider document scanning solutions to first convert their data into digital format and implement the latest advanced technologies to ensure reliable data analytics and informed business decision making.