Going digital for SMEs is just a click away
Implementation of digital technologies is a priority investment and a pressing task for companies worldwide. In fact, digitalization has become a precondition for successful market performance of most businesses, regardless of their size. At first glance SMEs seem to face different digitalization challenges but a detailed study shows that these businesses in fact need the same solutions as their larger peers but often lack the resources, both human and financial, to put them in place. On the other hand, SMEs are highly flexible by definition which means they can be quicker and more agile when implementing change.
According to Slovenia’s Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, SMEs represent 99.8% of all businesses in Slovenia. They employ nearly 70% of the workforce and generate 65% of revenue. Indeed, SMEs are the backbone of Slovenia's economy.
Similarly, the European Commission reports that SMEs employ 100 million people in the EU, which accounts for 99% of all entrepreneurship and more than a half of Europe's GDP.
Grand View Research states that between the years 2022 and 2030 the SME segment in the US is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.6%. The growth of this segment can be attributed to several variables, including lower total cost of ownership and the rise of cloud computing, which has helped small businesses to simplify their business operations. Similar trends are also expected in Europe.
Do SMEs approach digitalization differently than large companies?
Salesforce, having partnered with the market research house The Harris Poll to conduct a survey of over 2,300 small and medium-sized businesses worldwide, reports that these firms had to adapt really quickly in the past few years to initiate or accelerate their digital transformation process. For many, ensuring workplace safety and complying with health regulations was the top priority. The survey shows that SMEs expect their future challenges to be mainly about ensuring their business growth and acquiring new customers. For businesses that have yet to undergo digital transformation, connecting with these customers can be a hurdle, but it’s one that they need to overcome.
Normally, business growth is impacted by the growing volume of information and business documentation. In the digital landscape, effective management of data and documents requires the use of state-of-the-art document management solutions and cloud services. The latter have been identified as a key driver of success for businesses that have already started along the path to digital transformation. Digitally enabled companies have pivoted to provide customers with personalized omnichannel experiences that are not reliant on brick-and-mortar shops and physical interactions.
If in the past small and medium enterprises seemed to be lagging behind their larger counterparts in digitalization efforts, the COVID-19 situation has accelerated the process and made businesses reconsider their future business models. The OECD digitalization report points up to 70% of SMEs having intensified their use of digital technologies due to the pandemic. 75% of British firms have moved to remote working over the period and 55% of SMEs surveyed in Brazil acknowledged improvements in customer relationships, as well as process agility and customer acquisition.
Clearly, digitalization brings multiple benefits. The 2019 Economic Survey of Singapore shows that with the use of additional digital tools, small and medium-sized businesses increased their value-added and productivity by 25% and 16%, respectively. Despite the encouraging news, however, we need to point out that for many firms digital is still a thing of the future.
With a versatile offering of solutions and services available on the market, SMEs are likely to focus on good practice cases and time-efficient implementation.
The greatest digitalization obstacles for SMEs
Many SMEs are still held back by their fear of the digital, which normally strengthens during crises when funds are limited and digital implementation is viewed as a major financing package. At the same time, such business upgrades may seem overwhelming for firms already dealing with staffing issues. Admittedly, a large part of these beliefs come from the assumption that most digital solutions are designed with large businesses in mind.
The main questions raised by SMEs are: how long will the digitalization process take, how much it will eat into the employees' working time, what will be the overall cost, when the firm will be mature enough to use the solution or service independently, and so on.
Different challenges, different answers!
All of these questions can be addressed and resolved with suitable solutions and services. It is these challenges that are pushing firms to actively search for ways that would facilitate and accelerate their digital journey and push up the value-added of their investment. One of the key conclusions drawn from years of experience is that SMEs do not really need personalized solutions or services to successfully complete their digital transformation. What they are primarily looking for is good, well-tested practice.
So what is the answer to digitalization of SMEs? Standard solutions and/or services for document management and cloud-based storage with a full suite of functionalities that an average firm needs to transition to digital.
Standard cloud solutions and services deliver everything that the big ones have
When starting the digitalization process, most companies are convinced that their needs are specific but during the process it often turns out that their requirements closely resemble the needs and expectations of many other organizations. So why would a company waste precious time and funds to put in place personalized tools when it can integrate ready-to-go cloud solutions and services and, by getting on the digitalization train quickly, effectively safeguard its competitive edge?
Preconfigured digital solutions and services use best practice and meet the most common needs identified by companies on their digital transformation journeys. A company that takes this path to digital will not need to engage in time-consuming implementation projects but will instead be able to focus on its business and on strengthening its competitive advantage.
Key strengths and benefits of preconfigured cloud solutions and services
It is important that an organization draws up a strategic digital transformation plan and learns about the functionalities and benefits of standard cloud solutions and services. These include:
The company saves up on time and money it would otherwise have to invest into developing complex personalized services and solutions.
#2 Quick implementation
Simple use and implementation (in a matter of days) deliver added value.
#3 Best practice
Preconfigured solutions and services are a product of careful consideration, extensive experience, and many good practice cases. They cater to the needs and practices of companies, are reliably tested, and leave no room for anomalies.
InDoc EDGE Office – Going digital is just a click away
To help the companies that are unnecessarily delaying their transition to digital because of high costs and lack of time, qualified staff and suitable solutions, Mikrocop has designed a cloud-based digitalization tool – InDoc EDGE Office – that sums up its 45 years of experience in the field. When a company decides to start its digitalization journey, it can make the first steps in just 2 weeks.
In developing this solution, which is primarily designed for SMEs but can also be adopted by large businesses, we put the user at center stage. We have learned from our extensive experience that certain processes, needs and documents are identical in practically all businesses, regardless of their size and industry. The InDoc EDGE Office turn-key solution incorporates all functionalities that users need to establish their electronic operations quickly, easily and efficiently.
Main advantages of InDoc EDGE Office:
With you from the start. Most companies keep putting off their digital transformation because they simply don't know where to start. To start using InDoc EDGE Office, you do not need any special software at all – just a PC and an Internet connection. InDoc EDGE Office has a preset structure that allows you to organize and store documents and enables you to set the retention period for specific document types. Access rights and document modification rights can be customized to fit each employee or team. Moreover, employees can personalize their profiles to best suit their wishes, needs and preferences.
Sets up a comprehensive document management system. A comprehensive document management system accelerates and simplifies the processes considerably. It ensures quick and simple access to the needed information and data. By recording what changes were made to a document and when, InDoc EDGE Office provides a high level of security. User rights are easily managed, granted or withdrawn at any time.
With InDoc EDGE Office, your documents will be stored securely in the certified e-storage system, which means that as of the moment of capture you will no longer need your paper-based originals. The system is designed to keep the documents in storage for the required retention period in full compliance with the applicable personal data protection regulations. As a further benefit, your documents will be available for a longer period of time (unaffected by any change in technology and accessibility of document formats)
Promotes digital among employees. With cloud-based InDoc EDGE Office, the employees can start collaborating easily and quickly, which has many positive long-term effects on the efficiency of business processes.
Did you know that every employee spends 30 minutes of their working time trying to find the documents they need? For a team of 5, this means a total of 40 to 50 hours 'lost' per month. Quite alarming, isn't it? If this sounds anything like your company, it's perhaps time to start thinking about a quick, effortless and financially-friendly digitalization solution.
Want to know more? Contact us!