According to the Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chung Sing, there are more than 1,300 enterprises that have adopted over 50 technology solutions and these businesses are already seeing an average of 25% of productivity improvement. In Singapore, the Tech Depot provides a centralised listing of readily adoptable technology solutions that are developed and pre-qualified by A*Star, Enterprise Singapore, and the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) on the SME Portal. (Source: The Straits Times)
If you’re a SME that hasn’t touched technology solutions, read on to find out the benefits of adopting them and how it can help with your business.
Meeting the “digital” expectations of consumers
Living in a digital world, consumers have a certain expectation in the technology aspect of your business. When we’re looking for information on a particular product or service, the first thing we do is to look online. Thus, if your business doesn’t have a website or social media channel (e.g Facebook page), you already lost half of your potential consumers.
Also, there is an increasing trend of crossover between consumer technology and business technology. It is vital to identify that the consumer world plays a large part in contributing the leading edge methods and practices used in enterprise technology – especially in mobile, social and advances in design and interaction. With all these in play, SMEs are able to build their value creation to provide customized and personal services to customers using lean and flexible technology systems so that they can fully take advantage of the new opportunities.
To manage your digital presence, you can use technology solutions like e-mail marketing softwares, chatbots and even invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to boost your visibility.
Product & services lifecycle
When a company has introduced software and technology, it affects the way a company operates, but more significantly, their products and services lifecycle – which will now be shortened. Products that used to have very long refresh timelines now has to consistently get updated within a few months or years.
With the different departments of sales, marketing, product development and merchandising, the managers in these various departments have to be agile enough to react together to potential opportunities. To create this cross-departmental agility, the software and technology systems in place have to be able to enhance everyone’s ability to react to change. (Source: business.com)
Technology solutions such as the cloud-based software are cost-effective and allows companies to function in a more open and responsive manner since files and documents can be accessed remotely without the need for a centralized server. This allows employees from different departments to work more efficiently as they have better access to data, resulting in better productivity.
Be it an SME or MNC, the security structure of the company is important. Even the smallest glitch in the security structure of a company can cause huge losses – we’ve seen this in the cyber attack on SingHealth’s IT system. Along with new and more open technology being used, companies are more susceptible to unfamiliar threats such as hackers. Thus, business owners must invest in a reliable online security software and network security staff to keep the company safe from important data leaks that could damage the company’s reputation. For physical stores such as retail shops and supermarkets, owners can consider investing in 360 degree cameras that provide constant updates and recognize threats via smart image processing.
In order to improve performance and productivity, the business strategy and technology strategy of SMEs have to work hand in hand. With technology solutions incorporated in their technology strategy, businesses can increase speed and innovation by closely aligning their technology and business leaders to co-create solutions.
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