Within the next two years, artificial intelligence (AI) will touch every business process, every employee, and every customer in some way. Without a doubt, this new reality will make our world easier and faster through process automation. But more transformational is the opportunity to elevate our ability to make decisions, deliver outcomes, and complete tasks in a more human way.
For growing companies, this is becoming the moment when they push past the boundaries of traditional decision-making capabilities to intrinsic intelligence that is trusted, real-time, accurate, and continuously learning. In fact, according to an IDC study, over half of best-run midsize businesses view AI, machine learning, and digital assistants as critical enablers and necessities for staying competitive, compared to approximately 13% of digital laggards.
Source: “Becoming a Best-Run Midsize Company: How Growing Companies Benefit from Intelligent Capabilities,” IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by SAP, 2019.
Forming the basis of future growth with intelligent technology today
It wasn’t that long ago when midsize businesses invested a significant amount of money, time, and resources when they wanted to adopt new software – sometimes without knowing whether it would deliver on its promises. But this has changed, thanks to the introduction of cloud applications as an affordable and accessible platform for accelerated digital innovation.
Cloud technology offers the option to try new technology and scale as needed without pouring considerable capital to buy the technology upfront nor build and maintain an infrastructure to host it. And even more importantly, it is creating a foundation of intelligent technology so they can advance their willingness to adopt innovation, growth outlook, and desire to disrupt.
Now, the combined dynamics of intelligent technology and the cloud can empower midsize businesses to overcome the challenges of limited technology procurement budgets and siloed legacy applications through:
- AI-driven automation that makes operations more efficient
- Machine learning-enabled predictive insights that enable all employees to make the right decisions quickly
- Digital assistants that remove the mundane from everyday work with a human-like experience
- A digital platform to adopt and evolve business models to deliver an outcome-oriented experience that wows customers over and over again
To turn this opportunity into reality, technology should be seen as a fundamental enabler for innovation. However, midsize companies must resist the temptation to engage a technology-first approach when selecting projects to leverage specific technologies. Instead, they should start evaluating and prioritizing business scenarios and outcomes, then assess the extent to which the use of new solutions is meaningful.
Growing companies can benefit from this approach just as much as large organizations by choosing the right business and technology partner. Doing so allows them to scale the use of intelligent technologies with their operations to support future needs in addition to their current needs. Plus, they can focus on their core business and rely on their partners’ expertise abilities to keep up with technology changes and respond to market and industry shifts faster.
Embracing an era of disruption-fueled opportunity made for midsize businesses
Although advanced technologies are necessities and enablers of significant competitive advantages, many midsize companies are at a crossroads with their approach to digital investments. They simply do not have the time and budget to be at the forefront of the latest trends.
But make no mistake: the agility and streamlined operations of midsize businesses will win the digital transformation race every time. While large competitors get bogged down with complex processes, outdated legacy systems, and lengthy integration projects, growing companies with a smart digitalization strategy can leverage intelligent technologies faster – setting the stage for long-term growth and market leadership.
Get a real-world view of how your attitude and mindset toward digitalization can turn your company into a best-run business. We invite you to bookmark our series landing page “Six Attitudes of Best-Run Midsize Businesses” and check it for new insights and best practices.
In the meantime, read the IDC InfoBrief, “Becoming a Best-Run Midsize Company: How Growing Companies Benefit from Intelligent Capabilities,” sponsored by SAP, to discover the opportunities ahead for best-run midsize businesses.