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Digitalization is the Only Way Small Businesses Can Survive and Thrive in the “New World”

There’s no denying that the world, as we know it, is undergoing a massive transformation. With the realities of coronavirus still fresh in the eyes of the public, businesses have no choice but to ramp up their digital transformation to adapt to these changes if they want a fighting chance of surviving in the virus-torn economy.

Deposit Photos | Many small businesses were forced to close during the pandemic

How Businesses Are Adapting to the “New Norm”

There was already a significant digital divide between small businesses and larger corporations, and the coronavirus has done nothing except exacerbate it. Therefore, these businesses have been forced to comply with these changes and accelerate their digitalization process.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) recently conducted a study in which over 2000 small businesses were analyzed from eight different states, including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Mexico, Chile, and Brazil.

The digitalization efforts of these selected small businesses were assessed using a four-section index. Results found that 70% of companies were in the process of transferring their operations to digital platforms in an effort to retain their business. Furthermore, 36% of companies still reported being in the “survival mode”, while 16% claimed that their business is resilient and agile, and is thriving more than ever before.

Deposit Photos | Businesses have no choice but to become digital

The head of SMB & digital transformation research at the IDC, Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, mentions that during COVID-19, small businesses have realized that digitalization is no longer an option, but an undeniable means of survival.

Challenges of Digital Transformation

IDC’s report also brought several challenges to light that small businesses undergo in the process of digitalization. These issues include:

1. Budgetary issues

2. Digital skill and talent

3. Cultural resistance to change

These roadblocks pose great obstacles that increase revenue and increase the divide between small businesses and large corporations. However, as the survey reveals, these businesses are not ready to go down without a fight, with 45% of companies giving the assurance that 30% of their business will be effectively transferred online by 2021.

Additionally, 32% revealed that their company was in the process of designing a digital strategy, the first step of which is recruiting talent that can offer the right digital skills to the company.

Deposit Photos | Digital experts have to recruited to plan the next steps of work

IDC and Cisco’s Recommendations

IDC and Cisco recommend that small businesses invest in building a workforce that offers the right skills to accelerate and improve the digitalization process and create a three-year technology roadmap. Additionally, these businesses should also look for the right technology partner that can help them to keep up with industry trends.

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