10 ways to kickstart digital transformation in small and medium-sized companies

Avoid getting lost in the digital revolution

Smaller companies will soon be in trouble. Why? Because they can not seem to get a handle on the digital revolution.

But it is not a lost cause. Our Chief Technical Officer, Tim Frank Andersen shares 10 ways your small or medium-sized business can kickstart its digital transformation.

Background knowledge

21% of surveyed Danish company leaders had never heard of artificial intelligence, and 63% did not think that IoT would have any significant impact on their business. Those are some of the findings in a study done by PwC in 2016.

These numbers are alarming but not surprising.

For more than 10 years we have helped companies entering the digital field, but it was not until three or four years ago that digitalization became a management issue.

The shift to the digital agenda has been so rapid that many still lack the needed competencies at management and board level.

Larger companies are well underway. But we need to kickstart the digital transformation within small and medium-sized enterprises too — in Denmark at least.

The trouble is that most smaller companies lack the level of knowledge or resources needed to begin their digital transformation. They also need to reap the benefits of their digital efforts more quickly than larger companies.

For the last four years, we have mapped the 10 focus areas where smaller companies can strengthen their value or position using digitalization.

1. Think mobile first

How is your company perceived through the screen of an iPhone? Make it easy for people to accomplish what they need from you via their smartphone.

2. Digitalize internal processes and tools

Can you help your employees through digital solutions? Make processes, customer management, and tasks more straightforward with the use of data, digital tools, and AI.

3. Activate physical products digitally (IoT)

What valuable, digital services can you add to your products? Make your products controllable and capable of speaking to other products.

4. Use available data to create value

In what ways can you use the data you have access to, to create value for your customers? Capitalize your data to gain commercial insights.

5. Implement e-commerce

Can your customers buy your products effortlessly online 24/7? Help your customers and boost your sales by making your products available through an e-commerce solution.

6. Connect your retail touchpoints

Do you deliver a consistent customer experience across all touchpoints? Marry your different data sources and look at all the areas where your customers come in contact with your business.

7. Personalize your customer journey

Do you communicate with your customers on a hunch? Use automation and data to tailor your communication to individual customers.

8. Be social

Are you present on social media and have you taken a stand on your role in the sharing economy? Be a social enterprise and create bonds with your customers.

9. Create engaging content

Are your marketing and communication efforts at eye level with your customers? Use your digital communication to communicate — not dictate.

10. Cultivate innovation every day

Are radical ideas or subtle changes warmly welcomed in your organization? Embrace new ideas and test them out early on, using cheap and readily available technology.

Of course, you do not need to adopt all ideas. But make management point out three that resonates with your business. The most important thing is to get going.

“Less talk, more action”has never been more fitting. Digitalization is inevitable, so there is no time to practice — you need to play yourself into shape.

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