Change the culture of SMEs regarding technology and its contribution to competitiveness, efficiency, and productivity, acquire the necessary training and skills – well through the formation of internal talent, or through the recruitment of new talents – and improve conventional financing channels, as well as finding new sources of financing, are the three recommendations that I can think of to promote the digital transformation of SMEs.
Although small and medium-sized companies continue to be clear about the multiple advantages of the digitalization of their processes and operations, the truth is that these types of organizations continue to present a significant delay in this regard, compared to larger companies.
Although I recognize that we have experienced significant progress, especially with regard to the use of process-oriented technology, the truth is that the pace at which progress is still too slow and, worse, not very efficient.
To try to compensate for the gap that still exists between technology, people and processes, I propose three recommendations to keep in mind:
Change The Culture of SMEs Regarding Technology
Although small and medium-sized companies have, more or less clear, what they want, they have not just identified which solutions are best suited to achieve the proposed objectives. This means that what many SMEs understand by implementing technology to boost the digitalization of their processes has nothing to do with making digital to optimize their business models, let alone develop new models that help them identify new opportunities. That is, modernizing a website or being more active in social networks – although it can be very beneficial – does not mean that the organization has a clear digital strategy.
SMEs are becoming aware that replicating the operation and methodologies of the world off to the online environment, does not make sense, especially because the consumer does not behave the same, does not have the same level of demand or has the same options to compare or decide.
Training To Acquire or Improve The Digital Skills & Abilities Necessary
Training to acquire or improve the digital skills and abilities necessary to make the pace of change greater. It went through the Internet and continues to happen – albeit to a lesser extent – with the Cloud, that many organizations were reluctant to use this technology, especially due to ignorance of their security or even loss of control. However, the information campaigns that have been launched from the different agents that make up the value chain, the intense training that has been implemented and the practical verification of the advantages they provide, have been the levers that have driven its internalization, not only in the SME ecosystem.
In this regard, it is important to note that the change in corporate culture that is needed to modify conventional work models must always be accompanied by a change in the human resources environment. The idea is to encourage collaboration and exchange, not only of information but of knowledge between employees with more digital skills and those who show a greater need for training in this regard. Of course, organizations must also be open to hiring new talent, whose digital knowledge can easily permeate all areas of the business. Therefore, making all employees move towards digital will be one of the keys to making the company, in itself, drive its own digitalization process.
Search For New Sources Of Financing
To stop relying on both conventional sources of financing. In this sense, optimizing the financial management of the business with specific technological solutions will allow the construction of a “financial” system around the data and, thereby, improve performance by minimizing risks and improving control over liquidity and treasury.
Planning, disaggregating, analyzing and controlling costs also helps to make smarter decisions, either regarding prices or regarding suppliers. But, in addition, it allows us to determine the profitability of the products and/or services and make decisions in real-time to accelerate or stop their commercialization as appropriate. On the other hand, establishing an efficient collection and payment system will also allow the organization to obtain financing from its suppliers and thereby establish a more profitable, more flexible and adapted system.