To set the context for what is the most talked about subject today – digitization for SMEs, I’ll quote through a set of researches conducted over the past few years, in terms of total number of SMEs, what is their profile, what are they looking for, and what are the enablers today that are accelerating the change to make SMEs go digital. Referring to few researches from BCG and potentially from Forbes, the data shows that India has about 51 million SMEs. In context with this huge figure, these SMEs employee millions of people and contribute roughly to about 30% of the GDP, which is again a huge number.
Digital India: What the companies and technology are enabling and what government is trying to enable
The government is trying to enable businesses go online, basically to make a global village and help sell Indian entrepreneurs and enterprises sell their products and offerings to the whole world. Having said that, the enablers are trying to push on three factors – what we see today, what e-commerce is trying to do, and how to generate millions of people to come on the website with an intent to purchase. Government’s effort is directed towards getting real prices so that India becomes a perfect marketplace for buyers and sellers too.
The marketplace is dynamically changing and so are the ways how business is done, information is accessed, purchase options are explored and eventually a decision made. Digital is here to stay and ready to be evolved with time. And this explains why the availability of devices has become cheaper, the technologies are becoming simpler and more flexible. The government and the industry is focused on enablement and the marketplace is evolving and become more self-sustaining owing to the digitization and enabling technologies.
THE BIGGER QUESTIONS
What is the real benefit for the SMEs and what is it that would cost them to do it?
Cloud computing is becoming a game changer for Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by offering scalable infrastructure and capabilities available as services. It is a paradigm where computing resources are available when needed, and you pay for their use in much the same way as for household utilities.
Cloud is a shift in the consumption and delivery of IT with the goal of simplifying to manage complexity more effectively. Cloud models are delivering on the promise to help businesses work smarter by providing flexible, cost-effective access to technology and information.
What is the real value that it would bring? Is digitization critical or good to have?
– The IT needs to deploy standard application stack while acquiring business lines or entire businesses is supported instantly by provisioning related IT services due to adoption of Cloud.
– Increased agility helps the business with rapid time-to-market and, as a result, attracts new customers in a timely fashion.
– Shift from Capital Expenditures to Operational Expenditures, enabling less investment in fixed assets, instead renting them from Cloud service providers.
– Mobility becomes more important as the ecosystems of SMEs are scattered around the world, access from anywhere is crucial. Cloud computing can be an enabler here as well, as one of the Cloud characteristics is service delivery over the Internet.
Check out my Webinar video on the same topic.