The post-COVID-19 outlook for SMEs

equality, outlook

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on economies around the world, causing financial pressure on consumers and businesses alike, leaving many SMEs fighting to survive.

It’s important for SMEs across industries to start planning how they can take stock, recover and accelerate growth as we navigate the new normal, on the other side of COVID-19.

As the business world adapts to change bringing both risk and reward, it’s crucial to use this time to assess the situation, identify the opportunities and strategise how best to position the business for a successful future.

Technology brings a second wave of innovation

In the new world, business continuity will be dependent on technology solutions that strengthen resilience, empower remote workforces, drive innovation and create new experiences. Harnessing the power of technology will give businesses the tools to improve engagement, implement agile processes and reimagine business models.

The advancement of cloud technology has enabled not only the speed of modern business, but the rapid response to COVID-19 has enabled a global shift to remote working, basically overnight. The pandemic has exposed the immediate need for next-generation, cloud-based IT resources.

The cloud environment has become a vital ecosystem in fighting COVID-19, transforming not only connectivity between people but business continuity to achieve objectives amid unprecedented disruption. It’s never been timelier to optimise operations with effective digital infrastructure and multi-cloud capabilities for seamless remote working experience and sustainable “pandemic-proof” future.

Readiness to embrace short term opportunities

SMEs must be open to accelerating their digital transformation and embrace new technology tools to enhance flexibility, especially when they need to be implemented quickly to mitigate downtime.

Internet, cloud and various video communication platforms have been driving innovation and have helped many businesses reinvent themselves not only in the short term but also to realise long term opportunities via digital transformation.

Some industries have found the crisis environment a springboard to accelerate innovation including healthcare, logistics and education. This presents a strategic opportunity for countless businesses, to capitalise on current market conditions and new entry points, to build a prosperous future through technology-enabled innovation.

Planning the journey ahead

As we come out of survival mode, businesses need to take stock of their situation and where they’re positioned on their digital journey. SMEs can address shortfalls and future proof their business for the long term.

All signs point to the fact we will never return to business as we know it. Now as businesses plan their return to the physical office, new occupational health and safety measures will temper a complete transition. With working arrangements likely to become a hybrid division of remote and on-premise, it’s time to plan for and develop business continuity strategies.

Building the new world of business

The road out of the COVID-19 pandemic is a crucial time for businesses to shape the new landscape they want to operate in. SMEs can create new ways to operate and engage quickly, collaborating to deliver areas of specialisation and harnessing technology as their catapult to competitiveness.

This is your IT partner’s time to shine! SMEs and businesses of all sizes, must be able to trust their IT providers have their back with the expertise, agility and ability to do what needs to be done and shift your business to enable continuity, come what may!

Developing a technology ecosystem of various solutions and partners is key to navigating these challenges, accessing the best financing mechanisms and maximising the business impact of your ideas. The digital solutions that help your business run more efficiently now will likely be the backbone to support future success.

Vladimir Mitnovetski, COO and Executive Director, Dicker Data