Competition is radically rising amongst SME, and every enterprise is slogging to gain a competitive edge. They are incorporating various strategies like information technology strategy, innovation strategy, niche strategy, cluster strategy, and network strategy to survive in the digital world. However, to gain a competitive edge, a business has to look ahead of the general strategies and search for the proven ways so that it can be entirely sure of staying ahead in the game. These proven ways include the latest digital tools and technologies that are being used in the digital strategies formulated by the big players leading the market. That said, we have compiled a list of the proven ways that can help the business gain a competitive edge in the digital age. Let’s have a quick look.
Networking is, in a way, the backbone of the SMEs’ working structure. To stay ahead of the competition in the digital age, the small and medium enterprises can make use of the IT-enabled strategies, especially their networking technologies to form a virtual keiretsu (a grouping of enterprises). Keiretsu is a Japanese form of enterprise network where members have operational independence but coordinate their strategies and exchange their resources for the successful working of the organizations. The SMEs of the world can also make use of the state of the art technologies like cloud, network mapping & re-management, wireless infrastructures, and Software Defined Networks (SDN) to form better networks with other enterprises and gain a competitive edge in this digital world.
Cloud technology is transforming the way small and medium businesses are managing their manufacturing, supplying, and trading processes. Cloud computing is helping the businesses manage their data, documents, and projects at a single place from where anyone can access them. Cloud enhances collaboration with team members and connects the real-time touch points like clients, manufacturers, traders, suppliers etc. Cloud solutions offer an OpEx model (Operational Expenditure) instead of a CapEx model (Capital Expenditure), thus, removing the barrier of insufficient funds faced by a majority of SMEs. Further, cloud-based solutions provide ease of access as they are not physical entities and can be sourced, purchased, downloaded or installed anywhere, anytime. By taking the business up in the cloud through its multi-device and omnichannel approach, SMEs can certainly gain a competitive edge in this digital world.
With the advancement in technology, many new tools have emerged that are empowering the SMEs with their simplified approach to working. From tools for collaboration and accounting to tools for SEO and social media marketing, the digital tools can simplify the work of any SME and assist in it delivering better results.
One of the biggest ways in which SMEs can gain a competitive edge in the digital age is by bringing big data to their rescue. Over the years, every business has collected millions of bits of data surrounding their user behavior. SMEs can make use of this data to personalize the services they are offering the clients and target their marketing efforts as per the customer journey. Analyzing the real-time data of the clients and customers related to their behavior like sales, product demand, information consumption etc., can enable the SMEs to compete with the big players. Big data, whether structured or unstructured, can help the small and medium size enterprises to identify new opportunities, enhance decision-making, and have a clear vision of the needs and demands of the clients to make informed decisions, thereby, gaining a competitive edge in this digital world.
These are some of the proven ways in which SMEs can gain a competitive edge in the digital world. The government has also taken various steps like providing 5% corporate tax relief for SMEs so that they can stay competitive in the game. With this government initiative followed by the aforementioned ways, businesses can leave strong digital footprints in the digital world and stay ahead of their competitors.