Support Services: The Key To Furthering And Speeding Firms’ Digital Strategies

Meaghan Sullivan

Part 12 of the “Road to Digital Transformation” series  

The rising digital world order couldn’t come at a better time for small and midsize companies. Indiscriminate in impact and generous in opportunity, the current marketplace allows even the smallest of businesses to compete on a world stage. Firms now have the capacity to push the boundaries of established industries and innovate products and services to fulfill unserved – and underserved – niches.

The awareness and appetite for all things digital are unmistakable. As consumers, we can’t get enough of it. And as businesses, we can’t thrive – let alone, survive – without it. Based on the findings in the IDC InfoBrief “The Next Steps in Digital Transformation: How Small and Midsize Companies Are Applying Technology to Meet Key Business Goals,” sponsored by SAP, it appears that the majority of firms are paying attention to this new mandate as they push their digital strategies further and faster.

  • 87% are engaged somewhere along their digital transformation journey – from early-stage coordination and automation to optimized processes through hyperconnectivity
  • Within one year, we’ve seen over 25% growth in the number of solutions used, from 3.8 solutions in 2016 to 4.8 in 2017
  • 70% have met or exceeded their expectations for critical technology investments

Personally, I think this degree of enablement and success points to the widespread realization that digital transformation is not a destination. Rather, it’s a complex journey guided by dynamic market fluctuations and ever-evolving customer demand and behaviors. And to stay ahead of it all, small and midsize businesses are always keeping an eye on what areas and processes should be digitized next.

Support services take the guesswork out of firms’ digital transformation

Engaging support services offers a great source of clarity and insight when trying to map out technology adoption and business digitalization. But most leaders feel that this level of dedicated help is reserved for large enterprises with deep pockets to match. This assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. Services are actually becoming much easier to consume, faster to deploy, more efficient to use, and more targeted to suit unique needs of all sizes.

Over the last couple of years, the industry has certainly matured in its understanding and capability when it comes to technology delivery (such as the cloud) and digital planning. Service consultants have experimented with digital technology, refined best practices, and created templates to help jump-start strategies. Plus, the customer experiences and internal changes that small and midsize businesses need are now available as a service, instead of packaged software that requires deployment and maintenance resources.

The burden of finding and adopting technology and further extending the digital landscape can shift from the small and midsize business to a third-party provider. Based on my experience working with firms all over the world, I believe that this opportunity is the underlying reason why the IDC report found that the top four digital investments are collaboration tools, customer relationship management software, digital commerce platforms, and talent management applications. These capabilities are available as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that can be scaled up and down to match growth patterns and needs.

No longer do firms need to architect their digital transformation alone. There are enough solutions and services available that can be combined to formulate a simple end-to-end digital road map. All of this can be done in a turnkey fashion that reflects the lessons learned from companies of all sizes and industries who have already gone down this path. This approach not only accelerates the delivery of new capabilities and experiences, but also frees the business to innovate new ways to deliver something that no other competitor can accomplish.

Explore how small and midsize businesses are digitally transforming themselves to advance their future success and the opportunities ahead that can push your strategy further and faster. Check out the IDC InfoBrief, “The Next Steps in Digital Transformation: How Small and Midsize Companies Are Applying Technology to Meet Key Business Goals,” sponsored by SAP, and our 12-part blog series Road to Digital Transformation.

Meaghan Sullivan

About Meaghan Sullivan

Meaghan Sullivan is the head of Global Partner Marketing and General Business. In this role, she is tasked with accelerating awareness and consideration in the Small Medium Enterprise (SME) segment for SAP as well as global partner revenue through channel marketing and commercial sales practices. Sullivan focuses on Demand Generation activities to provide SAP partners with innovative programs, campaigns and resources that enable them to more efficiently market their SAP solutions and services.