Not all SMEs on right track digitally

Digital transformation is the key to competitive advantage in the age of technology-driven business, but few small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are doing it the right way.
Not all SMEs on right track digitally
An employee using Base software to manage human resources. Photo base.vn

Digital transformation is the key to competitive advantage in the age of technology-driven business, but few small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are doing it the right way.

Nguyễn Đức Minh, Digital Transformation Manager at the FPT Digital, asserted that some SMEs had not found the solutions to their core digital problems, yet they still spent a lot on development and research. Such decisions would pour resources down the drain and lead them nowhere.

The manager suggested that SMEs seek solutions to three key problems, thereby improving their financial situation and resource efficiency: customer experience, operational improvement, and data gathering.

"Customer experience should be put on top of SMEs' agendas as better customer experience means more profits and fewer resources wasted," he said.

The manager also underscored that SMEs are less financially able than large firms, so they would instead focus on "quick win" ideas, which have immediate benefits and can be delivered quickly, to gain ground.

"SMEs are more flexible management-wise and more adaptive to changes. That's their advantage over large firms," he added.

Nguyễn Đăng Hanh, Chairman of the Vietnam France Exchange and the Vietnam Arteco Trade and Construction Consultants JSC., remarked that his enterprise expects three goals when seeking solutions to their digital problems.

First, the solutions should allow managers to stay well-informed about works in progress and develop good ideas to accelerate the work.

At the same time, they should help employees know what works to focus on and how to do the work effectively and efficiently.

Second, the solutions should enable across-the-board business analysis, whereby SMEs could discover their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, and potential market niches for themselves.

Lastly, the solutions should allow efficient management of the customer base, which is the key to competitiveness, reputation and growth in the long term.

Trịnh Ngọc Bảo, CEO and founder of Base. vn, revealed that his enterprise had tried to find a universal solution to all SMEs' digital problems. What the enterprise had created was helpful to some but not universal.

"In every 10 customers, only three to four found the solution useful. The rest said it was impractical," he said.

One lesson he has learned from the failed attempt is that there is no such thing as a "universal solution to all digital problems". Every digital problem is enterprise-specific and solvable only by strict compliance with scientific methodology.

"Buying new software does not mean embracing digital transformation. Without scientific methodology in management, software only creates misleading reports and data," he said.

According to the Vietnam Software Association, about 15 per cent of Vietnamese enterprises have been implementing digital transformation. Of which, 99 per cent face financial difficulties following the trend and think that digital transformation is affordable only to big names.

A report of the Vietnam Chamber of Industry and Commerce shared this view, showing that costs related to high-tech were a significant obstacle in the way of SMEs. — VNS

Source: VNS
vietnamnews.vn

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