Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Canada often fail to leverage new technologies. The pandemic made the financial situation of small businesses hard to manage, therefore, the solution to bringing them back to the competitive economy must be radical.. Digital transformation is one of the best ways to move these businesses to the next level. Recent studies have shown that during or after Covid-19 almost 70% of SMEs started to use Digital technology more intensely.
However, digital transformation does not equal digitalization or digitization. It is a broader term that refers to all aspects of the business while digitization and digitalization are smaller parts of digital transformation.
In simple words what is digital transformation?
It is a process in which a physical item or operation is turned into a digital version and then usage of digital data and technologies to improve business operations. The best examples of small business digital transformation would be a transition into remote workspace; online processing, management automation, cloud technologies to save and back up your data, streaming workflows, e-commerce marketplaces, etc. All of this will help you replace human overheads, save some money, and use your time effectively. Although, performing single actions without rethinking the way of doing business is not enough to make a big difference and call them transformation.
Implementation of Digital transformation
The world is always moving and constantly developing, so to make a business thrive SMEs need to understand the importance of digital transformation with all its benefits and the consequences of not doing it. Since all the potential customers are already digitalized, embracing a digital transformation will be a step to meet the customer’s needs and expectations.
In order to implement digital technologies successfully, business owners and employees need to understand all the aspects of the transformation. A study about digitally mature companies shows that almost all advanced businesses have created a digital detailed plan for the implementation of new technologies for the upcoming years.
Since digitalization is facing numerous challenges like integration of technology, cybersecurity, uncertain benefits, and most importantly the cost of digital transformation itself. Creating a strategically written plan will help not only to avoid difficulties but also help the working team stay competitive, stabilize the navigation of tasks, and show all the possible outcomes of the implemented strategy.
Digitalization of SMEs allows connecting you to the network of different teams, systems, and opportunities freely and securely. The possibility to work with experts in the IT sphere is going to help your business head in the right direction. It will also improve the collaboration and efficiency of work and will definitely increase the income of the company
If considering such risks as cyber-attacks and hacker interference, digitalization will surely make this possible as SMEs are rather unprepared when it comes to such situations. But transforming your organization will help you to be more aware of the possibilities and potential risks, as well as incorporate qualified cybersecurity and protection. In fact, SMEs have a smaller risk of attack due to their lower digital exposure of data and intellectual property to hacking.
Digital transformation of SMEs
Sadly, the smaller the company, the less a chance it will be able to implement these new technologies, due to the lack of qualified employees, excessive costs for modernization, and an unclear return on investment. It has been discovered that digital transformation for small businesses is a harder process than for advanced businesses and only one in twenty companies use digital technologies effectively. And with the Covid-19 crisis, the situation only got worse. Different services like Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, and Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) have helped businesses stay in control and on top of their cash-flow management.
The government of Canada has found and announced a solution for SMEs to save their business, and continue their growth. Canada Digital Adoption Program was announced and launched in March 2022. The program will provide small- and medium-sized enterprises with investments to help them adopt digital technologies and develop online workflow. Government’s promise to support up to 160 000 small businesses with $4 billion over four years.
SMEs can apply for loans and grants online. There are some requirements that your enterprise should meet. To know more about Canadian digital adoption grant check CUSTOMERIZATION.