With the digital revolution well underway, businesses of all sizes are increasingly witnessing the need to transform and optimise their operations to stay ahead of the curve. As per the India SME Forum, 68% of Indian small and medium businesses (SMBs) have already adopted some level of tech products and services.
Though this is a significant level of adoption, not all are at the desired stage of digital maturity. SMB owners and new-age entrepreneurs need to view technology as part of the foundation in effective business management to sustain and grow their business. Technology can help businesses across sectors to streamline business, analyse data, enhance productivity and accelerate growth. Hence, it is critical to shift the perception of technology from a short-term solution to long-term investment.
SME owners that resist adopting technology are mostly those who are not exposed to new technology solutions, due to lack of awareness. According to the India SME forum, this disparity has resulted in only 34 per cent of Indian MSMEs adopting digital tools for collaboration. Technology is perceived as a costly, complex and difficult component in business. This resistance is mainly due to the notion that one has to acquire new skills and additional qualifications to utilise automated solutions.
With a clear understanding of these gaps, it becomes imperative for tech and software companies to provide agile solutions that are simple, allowing business owners to overcome their apprehensions of implementing technology within their organisation. Simplicity in implementation and ease of usage should be the driving criterion during this transformation.
Tech-applications that are adaptive to the requirements of businesses across sectors, will secure long-term usage and provide the desired flexibility for changing requirements. Simultaneously, when technology applications are uncomplicated, users can effortlessly operate and use it to execute their daily work. Even the first time users can be more efficient during work as they can carry out tasks faster. Such applications should provide all the information one needs right at their fingertips, in a matter of seconds.
Technology has been designed to make our lives easier and it should indeed fulfil this need. When users think of getting their business processes automated, it should be so seamless that the business owners should only require to be aware of how to run their business and the software should be able to take care of the rest.
Let’s say, you are viewing an outstanding report of your customer which contains 50-100 transactions, and among those transactions, only a couple of bills are overdue. These bills are exceptions and requires your attention. Your business management software must be so intuitive, flexible and adaptive that it calls out these anomalies and allow you to handle the exceptions, without learning the intricacies of the tool or change the business model. An innate software should have the ability to do things your way and not make you change the way you operate.
Absence of digital acumen in employees can also result in reluctance in embracing technology. Therefore, the key aim for technology should be to eliminate the need for prerequisite knowledge, ensuring all can handle the functions effortlessly. Added to that, the fear of something going wrong and not able to recover from that is another mental hurdle which users face. Hence the tech should be aiding to prevent potential errors or identify potential errors easily and also provide to easily recover those. This will immensely reduce the reluctance in usage. By providing a more robust, intuitive, and simpler solution to businesses, technology providers can enable them to manage business more efficiently.
Easy discoverability of the in-built features to navigating between them should also be a seamless activity. It is quite common to refer certain business reports with different names. For example, bills payable and accounts payable are inter-changeably used, but it refers to the same thing. While the names may differ, their purpose remains the same. And so, your business management software must be intelligent enough to understand which report you are referring to, even when you search with the different terms. Thus, focusing on simple tech solutions will help you pivot your focus and resources onto business growth and business transformation.
In today’s time, the entire business landscape is highly volatile. With economic slowdowns, extreme environmental conditions and changing business dynamics that impacts all, businesses must be prepared more than ever to overcome any adversities that come their way. Hence, adopting digital solutions must factor in the early stages of development for all businesses, taking precedence as a key business objective.
Businesses cannot wait until a crisis arises to make this transition. Through these solutions, SMBs can become more resilient and better equipped to handle disruption and also enhance their global competitiveness. Simplified tech-enabled services can help level the playing field for new age entrepreneurs and smaller businesses, providing them with the resources and opportunities to adapt to changing dynamics and focus on business growth.