For the average small business, technology use isn’t always a make-or-break scenario. Sure, there are some technologies that everyone uses nowadays. Inventory and point of sale systems, social media, and wireless Internet are some that you’ll often find used by small businesses. If, as small business owner, your plan was to enhance your company’s exposure to technology, cost may temper your expectations. Today, we look at some solutions that would be useful to your business, but will they break your budget?
Before we start going through solutions, we just want to point out that technology doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective, but it often is. We understand that some businesses need it more than others, but we feel as it is our responsibility to introduce companies to technology options that they may not have considered, either because they didn’t know about them, or didn’t see how they will fit in for their business.
One way that technology can work to improve any business is though putting it in a position to take in more revenue. In fact, one study conducted by Bain & Company found that companies that embraced digital transformations to their business grew by an average of 14 percent, of which 83 percent enhanced their profit margins, while less than half of companies that didn’t modernize increased theirs. It gives you some perspective just how useful a technology transformation can be.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is exactly what it sounds like. For the business that wants to embrace technology, a digital transformation typically constitutes a complete shift in the way that it deploys technology. Some of the technology includes solutions that enhance mobility, connect people remotely, promote hyperconvergence, and virtualize data and infrastructure.
To totally transform your business into a business of the information age, it’s important that decision makers and stakeholders understand that digital transformation isn’t just some IT project. It is very much a core transformation of the business and the way that it functions.
It’s no secret that many small and medium-sized businesses struggle with technology implementation. More specifically, they struggle with the cost. Budgetary constraints can put a major damper on your company’s technology deployments. As with anything though, it is important to give the projects that you choose to implement the respect that they deserve.
A business that tries to get by with poorly implemented and cheap systems, will get poor results. It becomes important then for any company that is looking to implement solutions that will transform the way it conducts business to do its due diligence and understand what the costs of implementing a specific technology are. By knowing the cost, what the benefits are, how long they will take to deploy, how long they will take to show results, and what your project ROI is expected to be, you can go into any major technology project with the confidence to know that what you are doing is the right thing; and, that it will ultimately improve your business.
Keys to a Successful Digital Transformation
Beyond the variables listed above, you’ll have to begin to understand just how valuable data can be. For the business that has embraced this digital transformation, it won’t take long to establish the fact that managing all the data that you collect is going to be a major undertaking. To mitigate issues for your IT staff, or outsourced IT provider, starting in places that sets the groundwork for all other digital projects is probably the most effective way to go about facilitating a top-to-bottom digital transformation of your business. This means that you should outline the entire transformation beforehand. Since it is a time-consuming process--and often comes with some major hiccups--having very specific objectives of what you want to do, and what you want to improve with your technology, is essential.
You’ll then want to start with the applications you already use. While a digital transformation is largely a series of technology projects with one goal in mind, by starting with the applications you know and use, you can get the project off to a good, positive start. If you start elsewhere, you could find that you will have solutions that don’t work properly and will have to waste valuable capital finding solutions for situations that didn’t need to pop up in the first place.
Moreover, your existing applications and infrastructure are the predominant part of your IT infrastructure, in some cases up to 85 percent of it. This will continue to be true after migration, so getting the bulk of your IT over to your new digital system will go a long way toward easing your mind and keeping budget overruns from ripping apart what should be a pretty solid ROI.
The IT professionals at Ashton Technology Solutions know that any major change to your business can make even the most hardened owner anxious. Our technicians can help your business innovate, while also providing optimized infrastructure support, automation support, and help build a strong plan to protect your new digital infrastructure from threats. Call us today for more information at 216-397-4080.