There are certain topics that companies can no longer avoid addressing, and one of them is undeniably: technology. Access to technology, upgrades and innovations are not only obligatory in any sort of business venture, but at this point, it’s almost a requirement for it to be accessible to all, and not just that, but easily accessible. One of the things companies can do to bring this “home” to employees is software development, where they scope out their blind spots or operative needs, and with a small investment they could (and should) have a solution tailor-made for them.
This generalized access to equipment or applications that are intended to facilitate managerial work has a name, and it’s technology democratization. Through it, basically anyone who would like to – and with the economic acquisition power – can access the digital world for applicable business needs.
Technology Democratization and Digital Transformation
Those who are more exposed to technology are also in the search of a digital transformation to innovate and even reinvent their processes and products. More notably, SMEs (small and mid-sized enterprises, that have up to 100 employees) are in the lead of this crossover group because of their competitive nature and survival requirement to come to market with the best offering. This is where software development and technology solutions are a perfect fit.
Technology democratization happens through four main channels, that we barely even think consciously about:
- Cellphones (and the fact that there are more devices than humans today)
- The Cloud and its computing possibilities
- Interactions on social networks and platforms
- Access to big data (huge databases)
All of these are part of our daily lives, both personally and in business, for an unbelievably low cost. Any company can pay for it as a service utility, as elemental as electricity, water, or internet connection. This is why people say: technology is for all.
SMEs and the Digital Transformation
The enterprise of the 21st century is more dependent on technology than physical infrastructure, because digital operations are basically an obligation, and in some cases, required by law. Fiscal authorities are already requesting accounting dockets digitally, and if the company does not have this format, they’d be unable to even pay taxes on time.
Because businesses are forced to incorporate digital technology into their existing processes and products, this is already raising the bar for competition, and the ones who abide by the rules will be the ones to survive in the wild web of the business world. In many cases, this will yield a need to create procedure manuals to standardize processes to the current requirements.
We can share a simple example of the aforementioned by focusing on retail businesses, and what makes them all tick: barcodes. At first, only the big companies were able to afford and use the technology, and as time has passed the practice has become much more common and now most product businesses have a computer with a scanner to have fast and easy access to inventories and other administrative services. This was a wave of digital transformation, live and in color.
Technological Solutions for SMEs: Raw Innovation
When small and mid-sized entrepreneurs hear the word innovation, they immediately think of high costs, millionaire technological equipment, etc. Today, this is no longer the case, as the digital transformation has come to show.
This is where tailor-made technological solutions come to play. Although in some cases a heftier investment may be required, almost all companies can afford a baseline solution with simple process upgrades. But the beauty of this process, is that businesses get exactly what they need.
Every “need” that arises from a daily operation is an opportunity for innovation, to build a solution that can take over the process. All it requires is a deep analysis of how the process needs to evolve, and what’s the easiest way to implement with as minimal disruption as possible.
Making these managerial decisions (choosing the proper equipment, developing the actual software, and selecting from the services menu, if needed) leaves room for another great technology to implement: artificial intelligence. Why? Because innovation should be the engine of a digital transformation.
Artificial Intelligence at Work
The AI conversation was reserved for the big leagues – search engines, e-commerce, streaming services, etc. Only big budgets had access to experience the magic of AI.
Thanks to digital transformation, much of this has changed, paving the way to make all of these services that were once thought of as inaccessible be within reach of the masses. This is the golden hour for technology democratization, and SMEs need to seize their chance.
AI is now much more widely accessible than before, but before getting their hands on it, it’s up to everyone to get educated on the capabilities, targets to achieve from it, and how to use it for decision-making.
Big data analysis and AI go hand in hand, as only through the first can there be adequate predictions assigned to each managerial area. Once there is an almost unmanageable amount of data, that’s when a tailor-made software can put into play the information to create commercial success.
One industry that can really benefit from AI is real estate, as the more it expands its property and customer portfolio, the more information it acquires about income, cost of living, high-traffic areas, etc. which in turn will yield intelligent predictions for the market – before other people have it, giving time to act on it – based on solid data.
This is how software development can allow you to be a part of the digital transformation, through technology democratization.
The time is now.