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Australian SMEs should leverage cloud technology to win the innovation race

Posted June 14, 2018
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The adoption of cloud-based enterprise technology is transforming the way SMEs function & service clients. However, SME’s still experience barriers when embracing cloud. How can you overcome them?

By Nick Hughes, Client, Solution and Strategy Manager

Cloud-based technology has ushered in a new IT era, in which small to medium-sized enterprises can avail of technology that was once only accessible to larger organisations. By introducing higher levels of innovation and productivity, the adoption of these cloud solutions has revolutionised the way Australian SMEs penetrate new markets and compete with giant corporations.

However, despite this rise in adoption, many businesses still encounter challenges when attempting to execute their cloud strategy. A successful IT strategy requires careful planning and ongoing management and, although the task may appear daunting at first, agile SMEs have several advantages over larger, slower enterprises when it comes to executing their digital strategy.

By following these guidelines, your business can get ahead of the innovation race by effectively leveraging the power of the cloud.

1. Have an IT strategy to take the shortest path to your goals.

Firstly, it’s important to set clear objectives and prioritise these goals based on the needs of your business. An IT strategy can help you optimise spending, eliminate obsolete technology and better integrate your systems, providing room for your business to grow and enabling you to become more competitive. Cloud-based platforms make it easy for users and departments to deploy applications to meet their specific needs, however, this creates the challenge of interconnecting these “specific needs” apps with the rest of your business systems. Integration should be one of your top objectives and having an IT strategy can provide guidance and ensure all applications integrate and fit with the organisation’s goals.

2. Prioritise training

Managing staff behaviour and attitude is one of the greatest challenges when executing an IT strategy. But employee adoption is critical to success, so education should always be a top priority. Projects will succeed or fail depending on the ability of your staff to use the IT systems and apps proposed in your digital strategy. By developing a training strategy aligned with your business objectives, you can ensure that your employees are open to change and your business is able to fully unleash the potential of the chosen cloud products.

3. Leverage agile partners

SMEs can often adapt their business strategies and innovate more quickly than large competitors, although funding constraints can sometimes impede progress. But, by developing a partnership with a local, experienced IT Provider, businesses can benefit from professional advice, have access to specialist product knowledge and be aware of the most cost-effective solutions. Through this strategic relationship, your partner will be able to deliver quick cloud projects ensuring quality standards. This guidance also helps SMEs to focus on their core business goals while making the most of their technology investments.

4. Empower your staff to deliver great customer experiences

SMEs that future-proof their IT infrastructure are able to respond more accurately and rapidly to customer requests. The same way as you look after your clients and want them to have a positive experience, you have to provide your staff with the means to deliver that experience. That human factor often gets forgotten in digital strategies and have a big impact on employees’ attitudes and behaviours, which consequently determines how customer-centric your staff is.

Empathy for your internal audience is key in delivering an exceptional customer experience overall. Address their needs and wants, and provide them with IT solutions that cater for that. Invest in workflows to facilitate processes, give them good hardware and equip them with everything they need to put the customer at the centre. This has never been as easy and cost-effective to achieve as nowadays, with the accessibility of cloud-based solutions.

5. Make it easier for your clients

Technology that makes life easier for your clients is an essential part of good service. One area in which SMEs have a distinct advantage over larger business is in their ability to personalise the customer relationship, for example, by developing differentiated customer portals or creating customised processes and workflows for clients.

Cloud-based solutions are also introducing new levels of collaboration between companies and clients, for example, through apps designed for keeping track of progress made on projects. These solutions also present an impact beyond technology. By building relationships that are based on trust and integrity, SMEs can cultivate rich and valuable long-term partnerships with their clients.

With the right approach to your IT strategy, along with support from an experienced MSP, your business can fully realise the benefits of cloud technology, including increased productivity and an exceptional customer experience. To learn more, call Bremmar today on 1300-991-351 or email help@bremmar.com.au.

Office 365 guide what you need to know!

By Nick Hughes, Client, Solution and Strategy Manager

Result-driven professional with over 10 years’ experience in the IT industry specialising in process optimisation, strategic alignment and driving continual improvement.

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