Below is part 1 of our 6-part series aimed at helping you understand key investments that Small and Midsized Businesses have been pursuing as they aim to scale their business.
Successful Small and Mid-sized Businesses (SMBs) invest in their ability to scale.
We have seen small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) investing in several initiatives that enable their business to scale. These trends seem to be centered around their ability to digitize their operations and use data as much as possible wherever feasible. Below we outline the prominent investments we have seen SMBs pursue that have true promise to help their growth efforts.
1. Scale your Business – Part 1 of 6 (this post)
2. Scale your Business – BI & Marketing Analytics – Part 2 of 6
3. Scale your Business – CRM & Marketing Automation – Part 3 of 6
4. Scale your Business – Digital Transformation – Part 4 of 6
5. Scale your Business – IT Operations Automation – Part 5 of 6
6. Scale your Business – Enterprise Collaboration – Part 6 of 6
We will delve into the following five trends in a separate blog post per topic.
BI & Marketing Analytics
Business Intelligence (BI) and Marketing Analytics are two related but distinct fields where businesses use data and analytics to improve decision-making that drives business value.
Business Intelligence (BI) is a set of tools and techniques to collect, integrate, analyze, and present business data. BI gives an organization a comprehensive and real-time view of its operations, allowing decision-makers to make better decisions based on the data. BI tools can be used to analyze sales, financial, customer, and any other data relevant to the business.
Marketing Analytics, on the other hand, is a field explicitly focused on using data and analytics to improve marketing effectiveness. It uses data and analytics tools to measure and optimize marketing performance across all marketing channels, including digital, social media, traditional advertising, and more. Marketing Analytics can help businesses gain insights into their customers’ behavior, preferences, and needs and use this information to optimize their marketing strategies, campaigns, and tactics.
In summary, BI is a broader field that provides insights into an organization’s overall performance. At the same time, Marketing Analytics uses data and analytics to improve marketing performance. Both fields are essential for businesses using data-driven decision-making to drive business value.
CRM & Marketing Automation
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and marketing automation are two related but distinct technologies used in marketing and sales.
CRM is a technology used to manage and analyze interactions with potential customers throughout the lifecycle. It involves using data and technology to collect and analyze customer information, track customer interactions with a company, and manage customer relationships. CRM software can help businesses keep track of customer contact information, purchase history, and other data that can be used to personalize interactions and improve customer satisfaction.
On the other hand, marketing automation is a technology used to automate repetitive marketing tasks such as email campaigns, social media posts, and other digital marketing activities. It involves using software to streamline and automate marketing processes, such as lead generation, lead nurturing, and customer segmentation. By automating marketing processes, businesses can save time, increase efficiency, and improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
CRM and marketing automation are often used to improve customer engagement and drive business growth. For example, by integrating CRM data with marketing automation tools, businesses can create targeted marketing campaigns based on customer preferences and behavior, which can help increase customer loyalty and drive sales.
Digital transformation refers to using digital technologies to change how organizations operate fundamentally, deliver value to customers, and compete in their respective markets. It involves leveraging new digital tools and technologies to transform business processes, customer engagement, and organizational culture.
At its core, digital transformation is about using technology to improve business outcomes. This can include streamlining operations, improving customer experiences, increasing employee productivity, and driving innovation. Key components of a digital transformation initiative may include adopting cloud computing, implementing new data analytics tools, and incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning into various processes.
Digital transformation is often seen as a key driver of growth and innovation in many industries. It enables organizations to create new business models, enter new markets, and better serve customers. However, it is important to note that digital transformation is not a one-time event. Still, an ongoing process of continual improvement and innovation as new technologies emerge and customer needs evolve.
IT Operations Automation
IT Operations Automation refers to using technology to automate various IT operations tasks. It involves using software tools and platforms to manage and automate routine and repetitive tasks such as monitoring, reporting, provisioning, and deployment.
IT Operations Automation is important for businesses with large and complex IT infrastructures requiring significant maintenance and management. By automating tasks such as monitoring, alerting, and reporting, IT teams can focus on higher-level tasks that require human intelligence and intervention, such as analyzing data and making strategic decisions.
Some common examples of IT Operations Automation include:
- Automated monitoring and alerting of network devices, servers, and applications to quickly identify and resolve issues before they impact users.
- Automated deployment of software updates and patches across multiple servers, saving time and reducing the risk of human error.
- Automated provisioning and de-provisioning of user accounts and access rights, ensuring that employees have access to the resources needed to do their jobs while maintaining security and compliance.
- Automated incident management, including ticket creation, assignment, and escalation, ensures that IT issues are resolved quickly and efficiently.
Overall, IT Operations Automation can help improve efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize the risk of errors while allowing IT teams to focus on more strategic initiatives.
Enterprise collaboration refers to the tools, platforms, and processes that enable people in a business or organization to work together effectively and efficiently, regardless of their location or role. It encompasses various activities, from essential communication and document sharing to complex project management and decision-making processes.
At its core, enterprise collaboration is about improving communication and collaboration among employees, departments, and teams to increase productivity, streamline workflows, and drive better business outcomes. It involves using various tools and technologies, such as messaging and chat apps, video conferencing, file-sharing systems, project management tools, and more.
Some key benefits of enterprise collaboration include increased efficiency, improved knowledge sharing and innovation, better decision-making, and more engaged and productive employees. By breaking down silos and improving communication and collaboration across teams and departments, enterprise collaboration can help businesses stay agile, responsive, and competitive in an ever-changing business environment.
How StrataNorth can help.
Are you in need of scaling your small or mid-sized business? Do you need help with defining the strategies you should consider that best work for your business? Let us help you. If you are ready to evaluate Digital Transformation technology and are looking for experts to guide you, StrataNorth has Technology consultants with decades of experience. We can help you reach Strategic Growth and deliver an IT Roadmap. Reach out for a no-cost, no-obligation chat with an IT Consultant today.