Opinion: Growth & digital transformation

A fast-growing infrastructure and the introduction of conducive policies by the government and regulators have established digital transformation as an extremely potent tool for enterprises to boost their productivity. In an increasingly digital business landscape, strategic organisational planning and capacity building are imperative, and necessitate having the right digital strategy in place. However, developing a digital approach and reinventing business processes requires capabilities which traditional information technologies are not equipped to deliver. In order to unlock the vast potential of modern technologies and offer customers true differentiation in comparison to competitors, entrepreneurs and enterprises need to look beyond just digitising certain processes to a holistic digital transformation.

That’s where advanced modern technologies like AI, automation and cloud come in which are not only capable of simplifying business processes but also making them more cost-efficient.

Today, businesses need to be more agile, innovative, customer-oriented, and vastly more efficient in order to keep up with a changing business landscape and consumer preferences. Through enterprise-wide digital transformation, then, organisations can effectively optimise business processes as well as costs. Further, integrating technology into the key business processes can also enable businesses to enhance the value-proposition and delivery of products and services to customers.

The influence of tools like social media, big data and cloud computing in the business landscape will only continue to grow. This is why it is imperative for entrepreneurs to invest in their business’ digital transformation, and particularly so for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs), in order to secure a firm footing in an ever-evolving market. Most SMEs have cited the capital expenditure involved in such an upgrade as a factor deterring them from adoption IT so far. The rise in the number of software-as-a-service (SaaS) based enterprise management products has consequently helped more and more entrepreneurs build digitised enterprises through the use of simple and efficient products.

SaaS-based cloud application services do not require any storage, servers, databases, but offer greater capabilities such as inter-operability and easier customisation. This allows service providers to integrate advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining and analytics, etc. into their enterprise systems and business processes to unlock higher levels of productivity like never before. Moreover, through these digital technologies and SaaS-based platforms that are equipped with them, organisations can integrate their legacy systems with a digitised enterprise management system, thus harmonising a large volume of data and allowing businesses to derive valuable insights from them.

SMEs can benefit immensely from automation, which can enable them to manage not only core business functions such as sales planning, managing finances and supply chain and marketing but also plan each stage of the customer lifecycle – from discovery to building loyalty. These processes, which a majority of SMEs still carry out through offline methods, reduces the enterprise efficiency considerably, since executives and managers must focus on the operations, thus taking away from the time and resources they should dedicate to developing strategies to serve customers better and retain them. At the same time, digitised business management and enterprise mobility solutions can allow SMEs to expand their business to other locations, without having to worry about the infrastructural or financial challenges associated.

The writer is founder & CEO, ONGO Framework