Digital Revolution in the Mid Tier?
Digitalization is now on everyone's lips. Essentially, this means that analog processes, data, as well as products, are more and more transferred into a digitalized form. However, for SMEs this transformation might mean a kind of insurmountable and expensive and complex obstacle. Learn now more on what you need to know about the opportunities and challenges of digitalization and how it can easily and effectively be implemented with ViMP!
Where Does the Company Stand? – Levels and Projects of Digitalization
About 4/5 of all companies are currently located in the middle or back part process of digitalization. Only manageable investments are currently made, as many companies underestimate the necessity of digitalization in contrast to the cost-intensive inputs needed in advance. On the one hand, digitalization is defined by external factors, e.g. the available bandwidth. On the other hand, in-house projects play a decisive role: Technological projects include for example, the acquisition of new and improved hardware and software and the optimization of all technical processes. Furthermore, competence projects, that is professional training and initial and continuing education, as well as the reorganization of internal processes, are also crucial. The latter is often neglected in SMEs – at the expense of long-term technological progress. However, this does not mean that existing concepts must be entirely reversed. What is more decisive is to distinguish where you are located on the market as well as in the process of digitalization and how digital innovations can be anchored in your company.
Where to Go? – Potential and Possibilities
In general, digitalization projects do not fundamentally differ from other innovation projects. The objectives are the same: increasing efficiency and flexibility, solving the customer's process problems and expanding the services. Particularly suitable for this purpose is, for instance, Cloud Computing, meaning the use of IT infrastructures such as storage space, computing power or application software as a service via Internet. Even small changes can have a great effect, since digitalization can be implemented even in small, less cost-intensive and complex steps. For example, the use of tablet PCs can help speed up communication, eliminate unnecessary work steps, and make the process more effective.
What to Consider? – Challenges and Problems
The fear of disruption is also involved when it comes to digitalization – but trained and skilled staff will always be irreplaceable. Also, the costs are difficult for many SMEs. In this case, however, the mentioned small-scale implementation might provide a remedy. It is also possible to cover costs by means of financial support measures aimed at implementing new applications and building internal knowledge pooling. In addition, the costs can be seen as an investment in a more effective work environment with considerable saving potential. According to a survey among entrepreneurs, the biggest obstacles however, are still IT skills, data security and protection, costs (investment and operation) and the available bandwidth.
How to Implement Successful Digitalization? - Recommendations and Suggestions
In addition to the recommendations already discussed, targeted training of the employees is also necessary with a view to the upcoming challenges. Networks (e.g., projects with customers, competitors, research facilities, start-ups) are also of help, for they considerably advance the progress. With our video content management system, you can provide all of your content digitally and distribute it to a specific group of people – both externally to your partners and customers, but also internally, enclosed and protected to your employees. Thus, content can be used for customer acquisition and retention. On the other hand, sustainable and cost-effective knowledge management can be practiced. Thus, all knowledge is sustainably stored within the company, even if the employee leaves one day. Both strands combined result in sales growth and reputation along with cost savings and sustainability.
In the future, many companies will follow up for sure to avoid losing the connection to the market and competition. It is therefore worth taking a closer look at the advantages and challenges of digitalization – and to integrate useful systems like ViMP into the equation.
 Zimmermann, V. Digitalisierung im Mittelstand: Status Quo, aktuelle Entwicklungen und Herausforderungen. https://www.kfw.de/PDF/Download-Center/Konzernthemen/Research/PDF-Dokumente-Fokus-Volkswirtschaft/Fokus-Nr.-138-August-2016-Digitalisierung.pdf (06.07.2017).
 Saam, M. Digitale Entwicklungsfelder für den Mittelstand. https://www.mittelstand-digital.de/MD/Redaktion/DE/PDF/synergieworkshop-vortrag-saam,property=pdf,bereich=md,sprache=de,rwb=true.pdf (06.07.2017).
 t3n.de. Digitaler Darwinismus: Nur wer auf Digitalisierung setzt, hat eine Zukunft. http://t3n.de/news/digitaler-darwinismus-834087/ (06.07.2017).