The State of Digital Transformation for SMB
by Daniel Newman | November 18, 2019
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Small and midsize business CIOs, we know you’re out there and feeling pressure to deliver on digital transformation. If it feels difficult to make meaningful change in your organization’s digital transformation (DX) journey, you are not alone.

CIOs and leadership of SMBs are embracing and driving DX to remain competitive. Companies are adopting a digitally savvy and data-driven mindset when purchasing advancing technologies – things like analytics, AI, IoT and blockchain – to improve customer experiences, increase productivity, reduce costs and innovate more quickly.

In our report, The State of Digital Transformation for SMB, done in conjunction with SAS, we found that better customer experience is the overarching theme driving digital transformation. Analytics, AI and machine learning hold much potential to help SMBs improve their relationships with customers and gain traction in the marketplace. SMB CIOs need to create an environment that leverages their valuable data to inspire.

A great example comes from the Orlando Magic, one of the more digitally-savvy basketball teams in the league. Over the years, the Magic have become more sophisticated in how they use analytics to personalize the fan experience and grow their business through improved pricing, revenue management and overall marketing strategies. The team collects and models data from multiple sources to predict what products and services fans are likely to purchase or if ticket holders are on the fence about renewing for next season. Personalized offers are then automatically sent to fans via push notifications, emails, and web banners.

Indeed, digital transformation efforts like these deliver positive results, but that doesn’t mean they come easily. We found that many SMB CIOs struggle in 4 main areas when it comes to driving DX. CIOs are often faced with talent shortages, skills gaps, budget issues, and culture challenges. All of which can be difficult to overcome without the right team and plan in place.

For DX initiatives to be successful, SMBs need to appoint a leader who is committed and in charge. As shown by the Futurum 2018 Digital Transformation Index, filtered for midmarket companies, most DX (more than 60%) is being led by a C-suite executive other than the CEO – most likely by the CIO.

The company’s leadership must embrace DX, and CIOs must work in tandem with all C-suite executives. The CIO needs to infuse the right technology into business operations, lead with a data-driven mindset, and foster a culture that welcomes and supports change. When that happens — the marriage of technology and a data-driven culture — you’re on the road to digital transformation nirvana.

If you are that CIO, empowered to affect the success of the organization, you are the catalyst to move your company forward. Learn more about the steps you can take to successfully drive digital transformation by downloading The State of Digital Transformation for SMB today. Also listen to the Digital Transformation: Lessons Learned From Your SMB Peers webcast on-demand.

Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.

About the Author

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio