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Home  /  Blog   /  Digital Transformation for SMEs – 4 Essential Components
Essential components of Digital Transformation for SMEs

Digital Transformation for SMEs – 4 Essential Components

 

Digital Transformation is often viewed as something mystical, that is typically considered by the larger enterprises with huge resources to undertake such an endeavour! So, in the Digital Transformation Arms Race, where does that leave smaller enterprises with much smaller budgets and resources? Here, we explore the 4 essential components of Digital Transformation for SMEs.

Essential components of Digital Transformation

In this article we posit a different but simpler approach to Digital Transformation that is far more practical and easier to implement than its more expensive sibling in its theoretical form.  In the current economic climate, business leaders are looking for options that would allow them to achieve higher productivity with fewer resources. Add to this, the challenge of Hybrid Working, which requires teams being able to share and collaborate more effectively whilst working remotely. This is the typical scenario, where our posited approach to Digital transformation makes not only practical sense but an essential strategy to being able to cope with the challenges of the post-pandemic world.

In a typical business environment, the following four elements apply universally to all businesses, no matter how big or small they are.

      • Approval process
      • Workflows
      • Version Control
      • Knowledge Resource Centre

Our answer to Digital Transformation for SMEs is simple, we recommend that you look for an application that enables the digitization of the above elements in one connected enterprise solution, which allows your workforce to perform their work using a single unified workspace.

So let’s take a look at the 4 essential components of Digital Transformation for SMEs.

Approval Process

In a typical business setting, you would have an individual seeking approval for an item such as a proposal, a specification or an artwork from his colleague or manager. This is an everyday activity performed in businesses around the world.

The application should simply allow you to send the required item to the Approver without having to attach it to an email. Instead, just drag and drop and select the Approver and click send and job done.

Version Control

Within our favourite productivity suite such as Office 365 and Google suite, we have wonderful features for dealing with version history but no real control over the different versions that may arise subsequently. The built-in features are great for viewing the changes made since the creation of each document. This is very helpful in viewing changes made and by whom, within a workgroup. However, when it comes to simple version control, there is no practical solution that allows you to view the original plus a series of other files that are different but are versions of the same file with annotations explaining what each is of.

With Version Control, you should be able to view an audit trail of the different versions available all in one place without the confusing clutter normally associated with such an option!

Workflows

When work is done in a business setting, it is often performed as a series of activities required to fulfill a task. This is called a workflow – where the activities can be broken down into stages, where at each stage a person or a team can be assigned to do their individual assignments. If documents or other digital assets form part of the workflow, they should also be allowed to be attached at the relevant stages. This unified workspace concept obviates the need for multiple applications to be used to perform a single task and overcomes the challenges of scattered information across different apps.

The workflow should enable stakeholders from within and beyond the enterprise to participate with the ability to provide feedback in real-time. For example, the internal team can invite and interact with clients, agents, suppliers etc at any stage within the workflow to ensure the necessary approvals and feedback can be obtained to complete the work in the quickest way possible.

Knowledge Resource Centre

In larger enterprises, they have recognized the value of having a Knowledge Resource Centre that extracts data/information from their disparate systems they have in use across their organisation. For the majority of smaller companies, this is a new concept that is not so straight forward or easy to contemplate doing so, until now.

What happens in many businesses is they use the latest Project Management Systems to help manage their projects and at the end of the project the assets they’ve produced will typically be consumed directly by the stakeholders that helped create them. After their initial intended use, those assets are left in silos that are not accessible to others within the enterprise or even if they are put somewhere centrally, they may not be that easy to find.

A Knowledge Resource Centre, at its core, has a taxonomy of the organisation’s activities allowing digital assets – any material stored digitally that can be uniquely identified and has a purpose in an enterprise, to be tagged appropriately. In addition to the taxonomy, there are other elements that enable the application of permissions management to allow granular access control to be applied to individual assets.

Conclusion

The three elements – Approval process, Workflow and Version Control provide the means for any size of business to significantly improve productivity by digitizing its business processes. However, to fully reap the benefits, you will need to have an integrated Knowledge Resource Centre. This ensures that all valuable digital assets being created on a daily basis are made available across the whole enterprise plus external stakeholders with relevant permissions and access, and not confined to silos within departments. Thus we confirm the 4 essential components of Digital Transformation for SMEs that completes the circle.

The added benefits are multi-fold. When team members leave, you reduce the risk of their knowledge leaving with them. You will also be introducing a more uniform and consistent method of storing and sharing your information and data across the enterprise.

iMediaflow from CiT Digital connects MS Teams, O365, SharePoint and Google Suite to create  a single workspace to collaborate and share relevant activities with colleagues and external stakeholders.  No more confusion over lost files, traceability, access and workflows – empower your team to create value from key data in a shared Knowledge Resource Centre.

 

Author – Richard Cruz, CEO and Founder of CiT Digital. A Technology Specialist, with a decades-wide variety of experience developing solutions ranging from Digital Content Management, Rights Management, Knowledge Resource Management, Project Management and E-commerce amongst others.