Beat these 7 Technology Challenges and Grow your Business
Taking the initiative to adapt to technology trends can help to future-proof your business while ensuring you’re not running behind your competitors. For growing, ambitious businesses, ‘digital transformation’ is especially important as technology has rapidly become a key definer of success.
Technology can help businesses to remain innovative, competitive, and match the current challenges that many organisations are struggling to overcome. Most importantly, digital transformation can have significant growth outcomes. So what technology should businesses utilise so that they can transform? We’ve identified the 7 key areas businesses should tackle with technology in order to help their business grow.
1. Workforce Productivity
It is no secret that productivity and performance are two aspects of business that come hand in hand. The more successful and motivated your workforce is, the better performing and profitable your business becomes. In this case, it is rightly so that workforce productivity has become a priority for many ambitious mid-sized businesses (MSBs) looking to give their business a boost. Attracting top talent has become more important for MSB’s as it gives them a competitive edge, and providing prospective employees with the opportunity to access cutting-edge technology is proven to have an effect on employee satisfaction.
In a study conducted by Dell, 42% of employees said they would quit a job over poor technology, highlighting the importance of access to innovative tech to keep employees happy and attract the newest talent. This is typically a struggle for ambitious mid-sized businesses, as key recruits are naturally drawn to larger companies instead, and over half of mid-sized businesses think they are limited in their ability to recruit talented graduates because they do not use the latest digital technology. Tackling this challenge can help businesses to grow their talent.
2. Reducing Operational Costs
Operationally, digital transformation can streamline processes, cut waste, and speed up ‘time to market’. These are benefits that no business can ignore- no matter how big or how small they are- but especially future-thinking mid-sized businesses who can only stand to excel and grow with these benefits. In a report by McKinsey, the benefits of digitisation (and digitalisation) are found to be huge, with some businesses experiencing cost cuts up to 90% and turnaround times improved significantly. This marks the urgency that forward-thinking businesses should be embracing to digitally transform. Businesses who do not take actions to assess their current business processes are less likely to grow, and are at risk of spending more with less efficiency in comparison to their competitors. For the mid-sized, this is critically important due to competition from large enterprises or more digitally-savvy competitors.
3. Increasing Profitability
Profitability is key to a successful business. The ways in which businesses can achieve this in 2018 is intrinsically tied to implementing digital transformation initiatives. This is because digital transformation can become a virtuous circle, with each transformation becoming a stepping stone for further transformation and growth. By selecting technology that will enhance business processes and achieve business objectives, your business will gradually become more efficient. This will help you identify and eliminate processes that are not profitable. For instance, as desktops and workplaces have been digitised to save on space and paper, new opportunities to share information and collaborate have arisen, in turn helping business to grow by streamlining processes and encouraging productivity.
4. Improving Quality of Products and Processes
A huge challenge that businesses currently need to tackle is their ability to provide quality products and handle processes efficiently. Mid-sized organisations sit in a position where they are not small enough to have amateur processes, yet not big enough to match the exceedingly fast-paced efficiency of an enterprise organisation. Likewise, their product offering can exceed that of smaller organisations, but struggle to keep up with the larger offerings often displayed by their bigger competitors.
Despite this, the mid-market is placed in a position where their customers expect more than what they are capable of, leading to higher expectations. If ambitious businesses do not utilise technology to streamline their processes or improve the quality of their product offering, they may struggle to grow and meet expectations for their customers and lose out to their competitors.
5. Increasing Business Growth
With no surprise, business growth is a priority for ambitious businesses. If we all knew how to naturally grow a business with simplicity and efficiency, all businesses would be flourishing. Obviously, this is not the case, and one of the key disrupters for mid-sized businesses is their ability to grow.
Practically all enterprises use IT to some extent, however, systems and processes that work for a £25 million company may no longer be suitable for a £250 million company. IT often needs to be retaught and architected to support and encourage growth, instead of holding it back. In a mid-sized business, the skills and resources may not be available in right quantities to drive the digital transformation desired, and a business may not always have enough of either. In this case, a suitable third-party service provider can bring what is missing.
6. Managing Uncertainty
Mid-sized businesses are currently forecasted to do well, with insights from Accountancy age suggesting that ambitious and growth focused mid-sized businesses saw 11% growth turnover in the months since the June 2016 EU referendum, but there is still the important issue of managing uncertainty. With the current uncertain financial climate, mid-sized businesses need to continuously assess risks and strategically make digital transformation choices that will have tangible effects on their business objectives.
For the mid-sized business, uncertainty can be hard to tackle as they are often too big to benefit from incentives aimed at smaller businesses, and too small to grab the attention like FTSE companies. This places them in a tricky position, but the right technology choices can help to boost and grow these businesses over the bridge of uncertainty. For example, digital transformation is the right time to single out processes, products, equipment, and customers who have zero or negative impact on profitability.
7. Attracting and Retaining New Customers
Extending the customer experience is critical, as customer loyalty can give a boost over competitors. For large enterprises, this is not as much of a problem as their reputation builds stronger loyalty- but leaves the mid-market at a disadvantage. In order to attract, retain, and grow customer-base, businesses need to invest in technology that extends customer relationships.
Whether this is technology that reinforces customer omni-channel touch-points, customer experience enhancing technology, or marketing-enabling tech – investing technology that can help to attract and retain new customers will propel mid-market businesses forward towards increasing customer loyalty and growing their business.