Prashant Ranade, Co-founder, IndusSME
- Technology is here to stay and is changing the landscape of how we work-live-play
- Many of the best innovations are the result of combinations of technologies
- Why small and midsized enterprises have missed out on technology innovation
- The 6As quiz to guide SME in their technology revolution
We are all immersed in technology – not a day goes by when a faster, better or cheaper product enhances our work, home or leisure. Yet, far less is known about technology’s pivotal role in transforming entire industries and deepening the understanding of customer behaviour. Even in today’s crippling pandemic crisis, innovative technologies are making it possible for organizations to work effectively and adapt to the new normal.
It’s not just technology that revolutionizes industry. Rather, it is the elegant combination of multiple technologies that changes the paradigm itself. James Watt’s steam engine was a triumph of thermodynamics and mechanics, setting off the Industrial Revolution. Band-Aid combined medicated gauze and adhesive tape to create a simple, timeless product. Apple’s iconic iPhone melds hardware, software and an ecosystem of apps to give us a seamless universe of voice, data, video, games and more.
Technology has also powered a modern information railroad that allows us to exchange knowledge, conduct business, share ideas and access data any time, any place and on any device. It has erased distance and delay, made knowledge readily available, mobilized global teams and fuelled rapid progress. It is not a stretch to say that technology is the currency for navigating today’s volatile, complex and unforgiving business landscape.
Companies that are able to harness technology to improve operations and customer engagement have reaped the benefits of profitability, growth and stability. The benefits of technology transformation have been largely limited to large Fortune 300 organizations. Small and midsized enterprises (SME) have not realized the full potential of technology due to lack of skills, expertise or partnerships needed for innovation. This gap has inhibited SME from delivering enhanced value to clients, streamlining operations for internal efficiencies and/or taking innovative ideas to market rapidly.
What makes technology acquisition and deployment so daunting for SME? Everything. SME must understand hardware and software capabilities, weigh own-lease-subscribe options, rethink and reimagine business processes prior to implementation, anticipate interoperability challenges and contend with impermanence of new technologies. Finally, success will depend on investing in relevant technologies that are well aligned with strategy – not a simple task.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom for SME. We are now in the era of technology democratization where all organizations, regardless of size, can leverage technology. To get started, let’s examine the six aspects of a technology implementation.
[Continued in Part II …]