3 Strategies to Boost SMEs in their Digital Transformation


Three areas of expertise revaluated by companies to improve their digital transformation

In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it

– Frank D’Souza, Cognizant CEO

Digital transformation, considered as an open-ended technological revolution, enables enterprises to better their overall performances along with their economic development. It therefore constitutes but a necessity for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to digitally develop various facets of their company in order to rethink their own business.

Going digital does not solely imply that enterprises are selling their products online. It also entails solutions that are implemented in multiple internal structures of enterprises. Several of the following steps can be undertaken by SMEs in order to succeed their digital transformation:

1. A Customer-Related Transformation

SMEs need primarily to put the customers at the heart of their professional concerns. By becoming digital, companies will gather customers in more distant geographical areas expanding thus their public visibility with online video consumptions, for example.

A wider digital transformation further allows enterprises to perceive the customers’ detailed comments and experience with respect to the commercialized brands. By implementing multiple channels, such as websites, print ads or promotional events, companies can explore social media in order to comprehend customers’ needs as well as dissatisfaction.

This improved customer intelligence endorses the implementation of a top-line growth within several brand-new co-systems by means of personalised and in-person sales conversations. By responding to the continuous reviews, SMEs will therefore be able to provide digital advances.

In a report made by Deloitte, it is stated that McDonald has improved its restaurant experience by adopting the Apple Pay mobile payments solution. It represents thus another significant step towards digital transformation for the giant company, as it had previously installed new kiosks that enabled customers to order customized hamburgers. The company is also seeking brand-new partnerships with specialized start-ups. (Source: http://www2.deloitte.com)

2. An Operational Processes Transformation

Corporate decisional processes are digitally rethought allowing three main inherent areas to be improved: the company’s strategy, organisation and corporate culture.

More strategic and specific tasks need to be established for each and every employee by means of a digitalization process to consciously focus on both creativity and innovation rather than monotonous tasks.

As a result, there is a need to digitally adapt every infrastructure of an enterprise expanding the so-called worker enablement. Separating the work practice from its very location enables workers to do business everywhere through a continued knowledge sharing and collaboration with both colleagues and customers. This operational efficiency facilitates cooperation with potential partners along with avoiding disruptions.

3. Re-thinking the Business Model

SMEs need to become bi-modal by means of two diverse processes: a business-to-consumer one and a business-to-business one. Digitally modified businesses such as e-commerce can therefore be implemented to reach a wider audience. Nonetheless, new digital businesses like smart-embedded devices are designed to go hand-in-hand with more traditional products promoting therefore brands more adequately.

In a MIT Sloan Management Review, it is put forward that a grocery company wants to hold its traditional business even though it also seeks to transform its business through a digital transformation. According to an executive, immediate results would have been noticed, such as an increase by 20% of the clients thanks to an e-commerce platform. (Source: http://sloanreview.mit.edu)

A case in point can be uncovered in the cloud-based solution SAP Anywhere, a SaaS (software as a service) from SAP, which was developed as a mobile-first public cloud. It therefore enables enterprises to easily manage day-to-day businesses, as employees are given a mobile device that includes easy-to-use intuitive applications run with very little training. (Source: https://news.sap.com)

The Take-Away:

Thanks to a successful digital transformation, SMEs will:

  • Improve their customer intelligence in order to lead to a complete change of the sales experience;
  • Reach digital maturity through the combination between digital activities and strong leadership;
  • Generate further changes thanks to the various means by which business processes can be dealt with.