What is the Future of Digital Transformation for my Business?
A mobile application has a bigger role to play in the digital transformation of businesses than is evident on the surface. A well designed mobile or web app is beneficial for customers as well as the company. Customers can access their needs at the fingertips, have more faith in the company they are dealing with (as mobile apps are transparent with their processes), better organize their purchases/wish-list, and get support hassle free.
On the other hand, businesses with a mobile application can better understand customer activity, collect useful information to implement business strategies, interact easily with their users, and expect a hike in customer demand. However, in order to get the most out of your mobile/web app, it is important that the application is created and designed in a way that best reflects your goals. It should also be user friendly and require constant updates and fixes (since mobile software keep evolving). Therefore, it becomes crucial to have your app developed by trusted experts.
Digital Transformation: An Essential Need
After the world has witnessed the effect of Covid-19 on the economy, one thing has become certain for businesses small and large- digital transformation is an essential need for companies that have not yet taken steps to align their processes with the quickly evolving digital world.
Last year, many businesses were struck hard with the pandemic. Many companies collapsed entirely, some are still struggling to get back on their feet, some did better than others, and some achieved spectacular success despite the global lockdown. The key to this success witnessed by businesses is digital transformation.
A State of Digital Business Transformation research conducted in 2018 by IDG revealed that nearly 90% of business organizations hold one thing in common- they either already have a digital strategy in place, or plan to imply it soon. In the time that has elapsed since, digital transformation has become an urgency instead of a recommendation. The time to act is now, and small businesses have the most to gain.
Digital Transformation for businesses in Singapore
Last year, Singapore allocated more than 352.5 million USD as funds to help businesses employ measures of digital transformation. This primarily included helping companies set up e-payments and e-invoicing processes.
The fallout of Covid-19 helped businesses in Singapore accelerate their process of digital transformation. What would have taken at least 5 years for the Singaporean consumers and businesses to adopt, was achieved in less than 6 months.
The country’s government is in complete support of digital transformation. Not only are they providing funds to help establish digital transformations for companies that don’t have it, but also to enhance and make better the digital inventions that some companies already have in place. The funds would also be utilized to help schools and higher education institutes make better use of technology for the process of learning and teaching.
Some of the government Grants for businesses in Singapore to help with digital transformation are:
Enterprises Development Grants (EDG):
These grants are available to Singaporean businesses to upgrade or internationally expand their businesses under three primary categories. These include-
(a) Core Capabilities: projects involving strengthening the business’ foundation that are not limited to basic processes like sales and accounting.
(b) Innovation and Productivity: support will be given to business projects that involve coming up with new ideas for growth and enhancing efficiency. For instance, projects involving new designs for workflow, or implementation of automation/technologies to enhance efficiency of routine tasks, would fall under this category.
(c) Market access: the category will support projects that Singaporean businesses willing to or planning to expand overseas will implement. According to the announcement made at Supplementary Budget 2020, the maximum support level that businesses in Singapore can receive from EDG has been raised to 80% till September 2021. In order to apply for the EDG grant the business entity must be registered and operating in Singapore. It should also possess a minimum of 30% local shareholding. Furthermore, the business should have the necessary financial resources to start and end their project.
SME’s Go Digital Initiative:
Launched in April 2017 by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), it aims to help small and medium scale enterprises to enhance growth and productivity using digital technologies. The programmer makes the process of digital transformation easy for SME’s by providing financial and informational support. As of September 2020, more than 50,000 SME’s in Singapore have taken up digital solutions from the programmer. Under the SME’s Go Digital initiative, several funding and support opportunities have been launched to cater to specific digitalisation needs. These include-
(a) Industry Digital Plan (IDP): step-by-step guide for companies to go digital depending on their industry sector, it also helps with employee training.
(b) Start Digital Pack: helps new SME’s set up the foundational digital solutions. Funding is provided by partner banks at competitive prices. Discounts are available to companies that sign up for at least an 18-month contract.
(c) Grow Digital: launched in 2020 to help B2B and B2C e-commerce platforms to conduct transactions abroad without physical presence.
(d) Pre Approved Solutions: brings in effect new digital solutions according to specific industry needs.
(e) Digital Resilience Bonus: initially meant for food and retail sectors (as they have been most affected by social distancing mandates). Funds of upto $10,000 will be made available to eligible businesses upon adoption of certain digital solutions such as InvoiceNow and PayNow corporate.
(f) Consultancy Services provide cost-free advice to SME’s in areas of cybersercurity, AI, data analytics, etc by SME digital tech hub.
According to a study (SME DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION STUDY) conducted by Microsoft & ASME in Singapore in 2020, more than 80% of the country’s SME’s (small and medium sized enterprises) has embrace digital transformation.
The findings of this research showed that the percentage of SME entrepreneurs that were aware of the term ‘digital transformation’ had gone up to 80% from 57% in 2018.
Nearly 99% of the companies that were included in the study reported that they had adopted at least the most basic level of digital transformation such as web based e-mail and productivity tools/software.
SME’s are now aware of the benefits of digital transformation that include -optimised operations, customer engagement, employee empowerment, internationalization, and product transformation.
However, the study also reported that there were barriers that impeded the digital transformation that the country expected. These included-
- High cost
- Lack of digitally skilled workforce
- Uncertain economic environment
- Not being aware of government support
- Lack of right technology partners
SME’ s took a big hit during the Covid 19 pandemic. Implementing digital transformation became crucial, but only 30% of the Businesses in the study hinted that the government asked for digitalisation during the lockdown. Had digitalisation been made mandatory for all businesses operating during the pandemic, perhaps many businesses would already be reaping its benefits.
Basic Steps to Digitally Transform your Business
What customers need is fast and effective solutions to their problems. With technology, it has become extremely feasible to transform your business digitally. Although digital transformation for businesses will vary depending on the product/service and the customer base, given below are some common measures that almost all businesses should implement to fast forward their digital transformation.
1- Design a web app and/or a mobile app for your business:
The first step of digital transformation is to understand your customers, to shift the focus from your product to your customers. What customers need is quick solutions. With a mobile app or a web application for your product, it will become easy for customers to indulge in transactions with your business. A well designed application will allow for customers to interact with your business using a few simple clicks on their mobile devices.
2- Enhance creative digital experiences:
In order to enhance customer engagement, businesses need to create innovative content digitally. With the surge in the amount of internet content, customers now expect personalised and cost-effective content. Businesses can do this by having a weekly magazine, organising competitions with a reward for the consumers. The existence of a well-designed website and social media platforms are prerequisites for implementing creative digital experiences.
3- Rely less on human resources and more on technological inventions:
Small businesses have limited capital to invest on employees. Setting up a business requires a varied range of tasks that an individual cannot perform on their own. But instead of hiring employees for every basic need, entrepreneurs can take advantage of many third party platforms such as WordPress (for hosting), Canva (for website design), and Google analytics (for analytical data). These platforms enable users to work on things they don’t necessarily have a background in. So, instead of hiring coders, designers, and other technical or non-technical employees that your small business cannot afford, either hire a trusted third party freelancer or have automated processes in place to help a smooth running of your business.
4- Create a remote workforce:
Real estate prices are constantly moving up. As a small business, it is not always feasible to rent an office space. Therefore, having an organized remote workforce is an extremely viable option to save expenses while still achieving the targets. Businesses should consider using project management tools and have regular meetings or monitoring of employees on virtual platforms to ensure productivity.
Hipster- One stop solution for your Business’s Digital Transformation
If you’re looking for a reliable source to help with the digital transformation that fulfils your business growth and needs, get in touch with Hipster.
We provide a complete service- starting from building you a website, designing mobile and web applications, organising digital events, and ending with but not limited to constant updation and maintenance of your online platforms.
IT services, software development, and tailored business IT solutions is what we have helped many small and medium companies with. And we plan to keep delivering these services in a time-effective and reliable manner for the days to come.