In the face of the current health crisis, businesses are looking at manifold avenues for growth and sustenance. Having the right business recovery philosophy and leveraging innovative technology can help businesses become more resilient in the post pandemic era.
Compared to large-size organizations, however, small- and mid-size companies can be more vulnerable to disruptions such as the recent pandemic, which has required them to evaluate the resilience and readiness of their fundamental capabilities and infrastructure.
The ongoing crisis has underscored the need for businesses to strengthen their supply chains, recruitment and retention programs, and need for a viable online channel of sales and communication with their customers. Companies that have historically fallen short on investing in their IT infrastructure and tools for remote employee collaboration, are struggling to catch up to stay afloat in the new normal.
A recent Oxford Economics study surveyed approximately 1,000 small and midsize business leaders, who felt that this crisis has challenged their ability to serve customers reliably, engage employees authentically, and build trust with their partners. This clearly points to a need for investing in technologies that offer new and better means of maximizing customer experiences and operational efficiencies. In fact, the size of the digital transformation market is expected to more than double, from $469.8 billion in the current year, to $1009.8 billion by 2025.
We believe there are three major technologies that every midsize company should invest in to have an integrated system of record and enable real time access to information:
I. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
ERP is a business process management software that enables companies to use a system of integrated applications for managing processes and automate various functions. This technology provides a deeper understanding of what is changing and how, delivers the flexibility and speed to adapt, and ensures connectedness across different systems and processes, while identifying inefficiencies leading to cost reduction.
ERP solutions can provide real-time data, that simplifies the decision-making process for the management, marketing, and accounting teams, thus resulting in lower human error, more efficient and streamlined operations and ultimately better customer experiences.
Most ERP systems used by midsize companies today are cloud based, which makes their cost of ownership and ongoing management very palatable even for companies with smaller budgets. When set up correctly, ERP systems that are integrated with systems such as eCommerce or Warehouse facilitate the real time flow and availability of information for a company.
II. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM solutions are used to engage and build relationships with the company’s customers. Though it started out as a tool for the sales, over time the technology has penetrated into different areas of business customer relationship management, marketing, analytics, communication and even to some extent, project management. As per a report by Software Advice, 74% of the adopters stated that CRM offered them improved access to customer data.
With increasing adoption of advanced technologies such as Cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in CRM, there has been a significant growth of its functionalities spanning areas of data modelling, programmatic advertising, media buying, and personalization for specific channel experience.
III. Data analytics
Data analytics platforms give companies the ability to leverage their most valuable asset – their data. Business Intelligence solutions empower customers with data analysis tools they need to make faster, more informed decisions, and increase their business agility with the right information, when and where it is needed quickly answer complex business questions.
Small and medium enterprises often make do with Excel sheets and manual reporting, making their decision making more reactive rather than proactive with real time data. Lack of accurate and real time data can impact their long-term resilience and agility to survive and thrive. However, as more and more emerging technologies like predictive data analytics, automation, AI, etc., are being made easily available on the cloud, midsize businesses are being well served by cost effective data analytics solutions to grow their business.
The digital era has provided unlimited opportunities to small and mid-sized enterprises for utilizing cutting-edge technologies to help them in making big differences within an increasingly connected world. However, it is vital for such companies to find and leverage IT service providers that can bring solutions spanning devices, software and services, and are able to align their services with the company’s long-term goals.
Saberpoint, with its portfolio of industry leading technology partnerships with companies including SAP, Salesforce, Tableau, Shopify, Magento, and Big Commerce, is well positioned to assist small and midsize companies with establishing an IT infrastructure for their long term success.