Why MSPs Need to Prioritize SMBs’ Digital Transformation

In a competitive climate of real-time information and same-day service, SMBs must find a way to keep up.

Digital Transformation

Small to midsize businesses (SMBs) are a powerful force in the US economy. Every day, 33.2 million small businesses, comprising 99.9% of all companies across the country, go to work to provide services and manufacture products. However, they must transform digitally to continue to operate viably and compete with larger enterprises.

Tech and Small Business

The US Chamber of Commerce reports that 95% of small businesses use at least one technology platform. The Chamber points out, however, that using advanced technologies correlates with increased sales and profits. Growth-minded companies of all sizes are exploring how technology can help them overcome challenges created by rising prices and the labor shortage to operate more productively and cost-effectively.

For example, automating data collection with RFID will give operations real-time visibility in receiving, help locate products in the warehouse, and track the movement of shipments, all without requiring manual intervention. This technology can also connect the SMB with data from its supply chain, enabling better production planning and providing accurate information that helps increase customer satisfaction.

Technology is also the key to faster innovation. Artificial intelligence (AI) will help SMBs make the best use of their data with the ability to analyze billions of data points in moments to enable smart decision-making, surface risks and opportunities, and improve product quality. Technology may also allow the company to create a new revenue stream, such as providing customers with remote monitoring to proactively address maintenance or offering developers an API to enhance their applications.

Additionally, tech solutions allow SMBs to enhance customer experiences to increase loyalty and customer lifetime value (CLTV), which can help keep customer acquisition costs in check on the business’s growth journey.

In short, technology has become essential for growing businesses. Building on small wins like improving wireless connectivity or eliminating data silos can add up to big gains that can help SMBs keep pace in their markets.

The Rise of IaaS

Historically, tech implementation has been a challenge for small businesses. It required large investments in infrastructure and hardware to support the applications the company wanted to implement. In addition, the need to expand on-premises infrastructure slowed business expansion and innovation.

With the rise of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), however, even small businesses can access virtually unlimited computing power. Cloud services vastly decrease the hardware investment necessary to use advanced technologies and make it much easier to scale when the business grows or adds new capabilities.

Of course, on-premises hardware and infrastructure are still necessary, providing users with the interface to access cloud applications and services. Using devices, dongles, and print servers with USB hubs on-premises gives small businesses technological dexterity. By mixing and matching on-premises hardware with IaaS, small businesses can accelerate digital transformation while preserving capital for other priorities.

Reducing The Digital Skills Gap

While the technology is available to SMBs to advance their digital transformation, skilled IT labor may not be. According to a US Chamber of Commerce survey, 74% of hiring managers stated there is a gap between applicants’ skills and what their company requires.

SMBs must cross this hurdle to ensure their employees are prepared to deliver enhanced performance in a digital environment. Upskilling via online courses and training offered by managed services providers and other IT professionals can help employees gain digital skills and help the business see more value from its tech investments.

Progress is Essential

MSPs focusing on the SMB market must recognize that to help these businesses survive, they must move their digital transformation forward. In a competitive climate of real-time information and same-day service, SMBs must find a way to keep up.

Helping your clients progress toward greater automation, innovation, and profitability will help them thrive in an increasingly digital world.