2017 has started out on an overwhelming note for the small business owners, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi introducing a string of sops for this domain on New Year’s eve.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), which forms a considerable part of the economy not only in India, but other Asian countries as well, is often challenged by the unavailability of loans and dearth of technology access.
Technology conglomerate Cisco Systems’ main initiatives this year is to help SMEs in Asia prepare to take advantage of the digital economy through improving technology adoption. Cisco recently launched Cisco START – a set of enterprise-class technologies specifically designed for SMBs and midmarket businesses to solve crucial IT and business challenges.
Some of key executives of the company engaged in Twitter chat on Thursday, to discuss the various aspects of technology adoption by SMEs in Asia.
Following is a list of key pointers discussed during the session –
#1 Getting the right talent
While it’s important for SMBs to digitize their businesses, it’s equally important to hire the right talent who are capable of implementing novel technologies of high industry standards. People with the right skills embrace technology early, giving them an advantage.
#2 Keep it Simple
While it’s important to provide these tools to SMEs, it’s equally important to keep things simple for them. Often SMEs cannot compete for the best talent but the technology can be made simple for anyone to adopt it easily.
We need to make technology simple, smart, secure. Once SMEs have the right tools, they can grow their business.
#3 Digitization opens new opportunities
For SMEs, digitization is about leveraging opportunities created by tech to grow their business. For example, a retailer SME can monitor their supply chain trends using IoT.
Cisco is looking to support SMEs in various ways, including signing MoUs at city or country level. The company estimates over $500 million for India & SAARC as a market opportunity for Cisco Start.
#4 Affordability factor
While technology adoption has become a necessity, the affordability constraint remains a road block for most SMB owners. According to Cisco, companies need to make it easy for SMEs to understand the value of the technology that they purchase. The ecosystem needs to come together to simplify the way we commute with SMEs about technology. The company believes its Cisco Start solutions are simple to set up and manage and comes at reasonable pricing.
#5 Digitization is just one step
While many SMEs are keen to digitize their business, they must realize that digitization is a step process and not an end goal. SMEs must commit to taking that first step to begin their digitization journey.