Remote working has become the new normal for quite a lot of us out there. While quite a few businesses are operational, many have folded their hands or are on the brink of doing so. Some succeeded in reviving their operations, while the others pondered and pondered and eventually blundered. The shifting sands of information dissemination and technological transformations have led to a rising in technology enabled services to boost the business productivity. For instance, IndiaStack has been a pioneering agent in fuelling the digital payments ecosystem. What follows is a discussion of how various technological innovations can help MSME businesses revive their operations.
Working From Home
After the pandemic outbreak, companies were forced to allow employees to start working from home. Many companies faced significant challenges to shift the working model from office to home. Only tech-enabled companies efficiently able to shifted themself into the new business environment. Businesses need to understand modern technologies role to ensure the efficient remote working of their employees, whether its communication, confidential data access, use of application, cybersecurity, employee time management, and productivity. Technology can efficiently facilitate remote working.
Collaborative and Unifying Agent
Among the many sectors that have taken a hit during the pandemic, the MSMEs have it worse; especially, small brick-and-mortar stores. Elongated pan-India lockdown and stringent social distancing measures have made it integral for businesses to take their operations online. Technology serves as a collaborative force among various business areas such as inventory management, sales & marketing, accounting, and customer service. Even more so, in optimizing performance and maximizing returns to vested stakeholders.
Just how steam engines and factories made up the First Industrial Revolution of the mid-18th century, cloud computing, AI, Automation make up for the current and on-going 21st-century Industrial Revolution. The overall theme revolves around interconnectedness and interdependence; fostered through widespread internet.
Technology invariably serves as white knights by rendering hassle-free and speedier performance and productivity. Cloud, IoT, automation, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) are the tools that can accelerate business productivity with efficiency. Digitization through these tools helps businesses speed up the data gathering process, efficient operation, data security, bankers to speed up the loan application and sanction processes, and marketers to speed up the advertising process, among others.
The postmodern cognizance of disruptive innovations such as ML and AI render profound insights and trends that ease up various time-consuming tasks. Whether it is employee performance, monitoring process, analyzing paid marketing campaigns and market response, technology plays a vital role in making decisions.
For bankers and lenders, they help create detailed credit profiles of prospective borrowers and identify risk, as well as cash flow forecasts. For marketers and advertisers, ML and AI have revolutionized segmentation and brand engagement through modern-day tools such as ‘recommended products section’, ‘pay-per-click campaigns’, as well as networking and social media platforms. Furthermore, ML and AI have helped free up the time-consuming and error-prone tasks such as data analytics and data recording and reporting for market research and analytics.
Regarding titans of the information ecosystem, Automation, AI, and ML have provided profound customer experience through personalized and optimized content. These aspects ensure that the ‘right customer receives the rightly worded and toned message, at the right time’. Moreso, user-friendly interfaces and configurations play a crucial role in rendering customer experience.
Converting clicks into carts, a seemingly short-sighted and a rather one-off phenomenon, has now become the mantra of the yesteryears. Today, customer engagement requires a constant and conscious investment in ensuring that customers feel connected, cared, and heard. Chatbots, the likes of Siri and Alexa, provide ever-increasing levels of customer engagement by resolving doubts via text, voice commands, or even both. Moreover, they ease employees’ tasks by offering timely confirmations of orders, helping in performing searches and answering queries.
The pandemic has not only made 2020 the year of reckoning but also served as an impetus for technological transformations, as is evident from above. Inclusion and interconnectedness will see a massive uphill. With time, more and more businesses and individuals would resort to digitization. For instance, in the finance and banking industry, fintech, a merger between finance and technology, is likely to render ease and efficiency to MSMEs, in terms of product offerings, the loan process and sanctions, risk analysis, and others.
Furthermore, modern technology and shifting sands of information dissemination can improve the productivity and the ease of doing business for small and micro corporations through robust measures like sovereign guarantee-based programs and liquidity boosts. Apart from assisting MSMEs to thrive through agility, efficiency, and resiliency, technology serves as a propeller for MSME growth.