The Role of Contemporary Technological Tools in Improving the Business Outreach and Revenue Model of SMEs
With fast-paced technological innovations that are at par with the dynamics of an exploding start-up ecosystem, a new and practical partnership between technology and businesses is fast emerging.
When it comes to technology solutions for SME’s & Start-Up’s, being multi-purpose, reliable, and affordable as well as user-friendly is paramount. However, lack of awareness and fear of a higher cost often drive enterprises as well as start up’s to never fully consider the options. This is slowly changing with the advent of open markets, real-time interactive broadcast platforms, new age mass communication tools and digital social media handles that are ensuring that millennial era entrepreneurs have access to all the vital information and knowledge required for leveraging the intelligent technology. Some of the key tools that have recently gained popularity and have been instrumental in the success of start up’s include:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM), once considered the master tool for effective sales and marketing for the enterprises and MNC’s has today gained recognition as one of the standard business processes, with smart application across various sectors, including HR, IT departments, Logistics, banking & financial services as well as SME’s & Start-up’s.
Focusing on SME’s & Start-up’s, CRM can add tremendous value to the business and help set up excellent background at inception, with efficient inputs for key functions like lead generation and networking, pursuing Investors, organizational bonding through Internal transparency and collaboration, smooth employee transition, efficient operations and administration, scalability and building brand & reputation.
The term implies the use of social media platforms to engage with their customers to gain valuable insights into consumer behavior and gauge the brand sentiments, offering an instant, honest and holistic consumer feedback. Based on the founding principles of conventional CRM techniques, Social CRM can offer a wealth of insights using simple and affordable techniques, vital for the needs of SME’s & Start-Ups.
Further, with India’s millennial population at 28 million and growing rapidly, social media platforms are proving to be most engaging for these consumers with rising disposable incomes and excitement towards technology-enabled brand experiences. This, coupled with the rising internet penetration (India is expecting to see 790 million on the internet by 2020) firmly establishes social media as a potential one-stop shop that will integrate with newer technologies and communication touch points.
3. Mobile CRM:
Also a modification of the basic CRM technique, Mobile CRM uses the now widespread platform of smartphones to leverage information and log data real-time, on the go. Ideal for on-field personnel, the methodology is also impactful for remote workplace friendly teams – a common phenomenon among start-ups. Apart from offering mobility and agile solutions to the organization, mobile CRM also offers transparency and tracks team productivity, project development and on the go connect with customers and staff.
The Future: An Affordable and accessible technology
Cloud Computing, a progressive IT tool that uses a remote network of servers, hosted on the world wide web a.k.a the internet, to store, process and manage data and applications, versus the regular local servers, is a buzzword for the future of Technology. Further, Cloud operated enterprises are assured of efficient service and interact optimally with applications, devices, and users, creating a well regulated, transparent and productive ecology for teams to flourish and grow. The key pillars that make cloud computing effective and popular among SME’s and start –up’s included:
Affordability: Costs otherwise incurred by organizations for capture and storage of data, maintenance and regular up gradation of sophisticated servers on individual premises is drastically cut down
Focus on the business: 100% online execution ensures that the time and productive energy saved can be optimally focused on vital strategies and growth plans, away from day-to-day operations.
Performance: Well monitored, transparent and integrated systems ensure that performance levels are regularly monitored. Also, relevant data analysis produced to observe gaps, if any, that can be fixed to leverage the full potential of the talent.
Security: With optimum security that protects the users against any unauthorized access, modification and loss of information, Cloud is as safe and secure as a server in your backyard.
Flexibility: In case of an event where a part of the cloud surroundings ceases operation, an automated backup can be brought to action, thus reducing any damage to performance or wastage of time.
Impact on Human Resources: The use of Cloud Computing is set to bring down the price and manpower requirements, as the in-house setup and maintenance of complex servers will no longer be needed.
Another set of significant developments in the technology evolution include the rise of IaaS (infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service) concepts.
IaaS is believed to make cloud computing more practical, with the potential to change the way IT hardware is purchased, designed and used. With the promise of infinite and affordable scalability, given its pay-as-you-go pricing model, the cloud IaaS services is set to benefit the enterprises, SME’s and Start-Up’s, bringing in greater business effectiveness at lower IT costs. Cloud IaaS services are further set to considerably lower barriers to market growth by lowering technology costs and upfront investments.
With fast-paced technological innovations that are at par with the dynamics of an exploding start-up ecosystem, a new and practical partnership between technology and businesses is fast emerging. In fact, it would not be ambitious to mention that technology is no longer a ‘tool’ to a better and efficient business goal but is rather an integrated lifestyle that is intelligent, efficient, comfortable and intuitive.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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