Successful digitalization is possible even for SMEs. Source: Shutterstock

Successful digitalization is possible even for SMEs. Source: Shutterstock

3 steps to help SMEs tackle digitalization and stay relevant

THE CHANGE in the economy is causing the digitalization of all kinds of industries. As a result, companies are looking to keep up, meet customer expectations, and stay relevant in the market.

Big companies are beginning to integrate the latest technologies into their systems, but small- and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) are struggling.

A lot of SMEs recognize the importance of digitalization, but face challenges such as the lack of resources, knowledge, and talent to go digital.

However, successful digitalization cannot occur if SMEs have no idea how to go about implementing it, here are some of the efforts SMEs can take to overcome the challenges to prepare themselves for digitalization.

# 1 | Joining business transformation workshops

As a lot of SMEs are facing the same struggles with digitalization, many government and private agencies offer workshops to provide support in their journey.

Generally, such workshops help SMEs review their existing business models and suggest what strategies SMEs can implement to improve.

For example, United Overseas Bank (UOB) recently launched a ‘Business Model Transformation’ workshop in several countries for SMEs that are keen to take a step towards digitalization.

#2 | Collaborating with technology companies

SMEs with little to no knowledge of technology have a better chance of surviving digitalization if they collaborate with a technology company.

Business collaborations between SMEs and technology companies are beneficial to both parties.

SMEs can reduce the cost of purchasing a new technology solution for their company, and the technology company gets a company to pilot their technology and solution.

#3 | Setting an example

SMEs wanting to enter digitalization can prepare themselves however they want to, but they need to remember that change begins from the inside which is why the leaders or top management have to set an example for the rest of the company.

The mindset of the employees differs from one individual to another. Those that are still new to the company might have an easier time accepting new technologies but those that have been around for some time are going to find it difficult to adjust to changes to the system.

Therefore, having someone from the leadership team show the benefits of technology to the company can really help drive the message to employees.