5 Ways Midsize Businesses Can Embrace Digital Transformation

October 29, 2021 by Stefanini

 

If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, it is this reality: digital transformation is essential for the survival of midsize businesses.

Why?

Digital transformation focuses on delivering value to customers while acknowledging and supporting their shifting behaviors and needs. For midsize enterprises just getting started on this process, the road ahead can seem difficult and unclear. That’s why we’re exploring the best ways to approach digital transformation in today’s Trends post.

 

Why Should Midsize Businesses Care About Digital Transformation?

 

Customer engagement behaviors and expectations continue to evolve. At the same time, businesses around the world have adapted to new working norms and using data to propel performance and reinforce business resiliency.

Here are several reasons behind the push for digital transformation:

  • Respond to changing consumer behavior and expectations – In 2020, U.S. retail ecommerce sales grew more than 33 percent, generating $799.18 billion in sales. With the pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, consumers have also gotten used to the convenience of online shopping and will likely continue to choose ecommerce over in-store purchases. Add in consumers’ newfound preference for contactless payment options, and you’re dealing with a retail landscape that has been forever changed. To support contactless options, midsize businesses need to consider digitizing customer-loyalty programs and back-office functions like accounting to efficiently manage their finances.
  • New working norms – Remote work is here to stay, with recent studies predicting that the U.S. mobile worker population will increase from 78.5 million in 2020 to 93.5 million mobile workers in 2024. In other words? 60 percent of the U.S. workforce will soon be remote. To support a distributed workforce, businesses need to implement digital tools into cloud technology that allows workers to access real-time data from anywhere. This move supports productivity and keeps businesses running efficiently wherever the work is done.
  • Rely on data to drive performance – Central to the concept of digital transformation is streamlined access to data and insights that can optimize business performance. Some of the insights companies are using data to gather include understanding customer buying habits, increasing customer acquisition and retention, driving innovations in products and services offered, and automating repetitive business processes. And this approach is getting results, with McKinsey revealing that data combined with analytics can yield a 15 to 20 percent growth in revenue. Once again, businesses are digitizing functions like accounting to grab figures that can drive business performance and strategy. Through tools like cloud-based accounting platforms, business owners gain visibility into expenses and cash flow, which helps inform their digital transformation strategies.
  • Reinforce business resiliency – When it comes to navigating uncertainty, businesses that are in the mature stages of their digital transformation journey have the best chance of recovering, responding quickly to market conditions, and revenue growth. One of the most important technologies for businesses to invest in? Cloud technology. Overall, business resilience depends on an investment in digital transformation that keep the company quickly innovating and keeping pace with industry change and technological trends. Digital transformation will help midsize businesses get there.

 

Successfully Implementing Midsize Business Digital Transformation

 

Midsize and small businesses looking to create a digital transformation journey might feel overwhelmed by all of the things that will need to change to ensure a successful digitalization.

To build an effective strategy that gives your business a competitive advantage, try focusing on these key areas:

  1. Break Down Silos – one of the goals of digital transformation calls for businesses operationally improving their efficiency. To achieve this aim, businesses can begin to encourage collaboration across internal departments. By involving all stakeholders across the organization so they can contribute to objectives, organizations will begin the long journey that is changing business structure and culture. After all, business goals don’t often impact just one department. By recognizing this reality and reorganizing around it, midsize businesses can improve meaningful collaboration.
  2. Use Data to Empower Employees – accurate business decisions start with data-driven decisions. Therefore, midsize businesses should focus on investing in technologies that will help them quickly and efficiently extract insights from various datasets, thus supporting employee productivity and, ultimately, business growth. Further, the right digital technology will help companies effectively manage datasets as they get larger and more complex. By leveraging a variety of data collection and processing tools, companies can share analytics across departments to support real-time decision-making. Further, bringing in artificial intelligence and machine learning can expedite data processing and analysis, so will certainly be an investment midsize companies may want to consider.
  3. Integrating Digital Business Systems – to streamline operations, midsize businesses should look into which workflows they can automate and other opportunities that can improve customer experience. After all, a successful digital transformation ensures that all business systems are consistently communicating with one another. Again, cloud computing is an important digital tool to utilize here. By providing the means to sync data between two platforms, the cloud makes it easy for midsize businesses to eliminate manual information transfer, minimizing errors and boosting efficiency in the process.
  4. Prioritize the Right Technologies – when investing in new digital tools, companies should resist the temptation to invest in expensive technologies that aren’t right for their budget and business. To choose the right digital initiatives, businesses should have a clear vision of their business objectives. From there, they can identify which investments will maximize their ROI. One way to approach this conversation is to consider how digital transformation will make existing processes cost effective and easier. From there, businesses can choose which simple tools will have a high impact on their business.
  5. Find the Right Technology Partner – midsize businesses may lack the resources and budget to hire a large IT team. By outsourcing IT tasks, businesses can make the most of their budget and hire a technology partner, vendor, or consultant who has experience advising midsize businesses on circumventing the unique challenges they face. Some of the areas a partner can advise on include:

a.     Recommending in-budget solutions that are compatible with your existing IT infrastructure.

b.     Identifying areas that can generate the highest ROI.

c.     Providing the needed onboarding and training so your employees can productively use new-to-them technologies.

 

Stefanini Gets Digital Transformation for Midsize Enterprises

 

Located in the Midwest with offices in Michigan and Iowa, Stefanini is a midsize enterprise that understands the unique needs of companies working toward digital transformation. With a customer-centric focus on our clients, we draw from a global presence that includes partnerships with entities like Servicenow, IBM, Microsoft, and SAP.

We can help guide you in your journey to adopt artificial intelligence, help you provide adequate support for remote workers, and more. We are here to serve as your trusted partner in innovation and agility. Reach out to us for more details about how we can assist your digital transformation journey!

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