Going Digital: the Gains and Issues for Small and Medium Businesses

The pandemic has brought big changes to the everyday lives of people. This includes how companies do their businesses. It is not only about the response to the health crisis. It also involves economic and corporate adjustments among companies.

Gone were the days when employees would go to the office early in the morning and huddle in a conference room. Selling goods in a store is already old news. Managers going around the workplace to oversee the staff are now considered old school.

According to experts, the workplace is already a thing of the past. The online working hub is the present trend, and most likely, the future to look forward to. And, for most businesses, the digital shift was a welcome change.

According to the Small and Business Trends survey, 71% of small and medium businesses survived and thrived through the pandemic by going digital. This means stores and shops closed down for good. Some shifted to online stores. Now, customers can access their goods and services with just a few clicks from their screens. And, majority of the respondents believed that their businesses could not have survived if they held on to old-school technology.

Two in five small and medium businesses had to shift to remote work setup for their employees. According to the survey, the majority of these companies will most likely continue remote work. Meanwhile, 43% said they plan to carry out work-from-anywhere long-term setup among their employees.

With more and more businesses now shifting to e-commerce, they also realize how efficient and effective digitizing their corporate strategies is for their company. It made their transactions and workflow easier. Communication within work is more accessible to all despite the distance. Not to mention it also cut operational costs on the part of the employers.

As they say, the future is digital.

Workflow adjustments among companies

According to the McKinsey Global Survey of Executives, consumers quickly adjusted to the digital shift of most companies. The majority of the survey respondents said they interacted with their customers through their digital channels during the pandemic. Those executives who invested in digital technologies also increased their revenues more than those who didn’t invest.

According to the survey, it was also easier for most companies to adjust to the digital workflow. It was far easier than employers expected. These adjustments include the following:

  • Remote work
  • Demand for online purchasing and services
  • Operations shifting to advanced technologies
  • Advanced technologies used to make business decisions
  • Changes in customer needs and demands
  • Cloud migration of assets
  • Last mile-delivery changes on ownership
  • Data security spending
  • Supply chain redundancies

man writing codes

Addressing the issues that come with going digital

While the shift to digital was easy for most companies, it also came with some issues that they had to address. These include data security, digital training among employees, and the need to constantly update digital trends.

Data security

Most company files are being transmitted online in the remote work setup. Because of this,s data security has now become a crucial issue for most businesses. Some invested in data privacy software that secures confidential documents like company financial records.

Yet, the digital shift has been a welcome option for some companies. Now that they don’t have to print confidential documents. Some companies closed down their offices and hired professional paper shredding services to secure document destruction. It’s because they have now digitized most of their company files.

Digital training

Not all employees are adept with the remote work setup. This is especially true for those who come from the older generations. Some of them are not used to using laptops. They also could not easily navigate over digital platforms and applications. Most companies had to conduct training and seminars among their employees. This is to orient them with the new digital technologies and processes used in the remote work setup.

Digital trends

E-commerce has, indeed, taken a rise during this pandemic. This is why digital technologies are constantly evolving. Companies had to keep track of digital trends. They have to weigh whether it is wise to improve on new technologies so that they can further improve the work setup in the digital world.

It’s been a constant challenge for small and medium businesses to adapt to the changing work dynamics. The economic crisis brought financial difficulties, yes. But, many employers are hopeful that with the efficiency and effectiveness of digital tools, e-commerce will pave the way for the industry to recover. And hopefully, the industry will be able to earn as much again.

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