Digital Disruption Is Coming For SMEs

June 24th, 2019 – According to new research by Ricoh South Africa, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are in danger of failing if they don’t adapt to digital disruption, regulatory requirements and the economic shifts that are fundamentally changing their markets.

34% of the 3 300 SME leaders surveyed from across 23 countries, including South Africa, say they will go out of business by 2020 if they aren’t able to innovate in response to these changes.

How a business embraces the current digital disruption has become a crucial differentiator. But given the uncertain economic climate, SMEs are under pressure to drive digital transformation while still managing operations.

The research uncovers three key areas where SMEs should be applying technology to help focus their attention:

  • SMEs must build closer customer relationships by using technology to facilitate and inform product and service development: 54% recognise they need to develop ongoing relationships with their customers.
  • SMEs must use smarter workplace technology to reshape processes, improve agility and make efficiencies: 74% of leaders say technology helps their ability to innovate.
  • SMEs must foster the full potential of talented individuals by using technology to empower employees and develop creative thinking: 42% want to encourage safe spaces for experimentation to see if ideas are successful.

Even though financial services organisations, IT firms and telecommunications operators have led the charge towards a digital-first market, the more agile SME companies currently enjoy an opportunity to leapfrog the more established players in their sector.


Written by Entrepreneur South Africa

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