Digital Transformation is not just for SMEs

The backbone of most economies is SMEs, but the perception about those companies are usually negative, in terms of technology usage. Because of that belief, worldwide or nationwide corporations (banks or telcos, mostly) provide technologic grants to SMEs. In exchange, they expect those SMEs to use the services of their corporation. They name those grants as “Digital Transformation”.

In those campaigns, corporations usually offer various “digital” tools to SMEs to transform them. Those services usually include creating a free website, software that might help automate routine tasks, team communication tools, some analytics tools and lots of digital tools in general. Even if those tools are useful for SMEs, digital transformation is not just about literally moving your offline business to the digital world.

Digital Transformation of Governments

We don’t like digital transformation offers from corporations. But on the other hand, governments are also trying to transform SMEs in most countries.

Estonia might look traditional, based on the architecture, but it is the most digitally-advanced country.

In recent years, most countries have moved most of their traditional services to digital platforms. But among those, Estonia is probably the best to transform. They even have a CIO of the country, rather than a traditional ministry of technology or development. With a prioritized approach from their governments, Estonia moved everything a citizen needs to the digital world, and they also started to accept e-residents from all countries of the world. With their journey starting in the late 90s, Estonia is one of the top tech and startup hubs of Europe.

Countries that complete their digital transformation, moves on to transform SMEs in their respective countries. Governments’ approach to SMEs about digital transformation is much better and honest than what telcos and banks provide. Apart from the usual tools, governments usually create frameworks for applicants and try to improve their mindset with online conferences or events at their tech hubs.

Digital Transformation is a term that is over-used in recent years, especially regarding SMEs. That’s why most corporations believe that they are done with their digital transformation. “Our whole process is digital now” is not enough. It is just the beginning.

It is about mentality, not tools

For us, the people within the entrepreneurship ecosystem, digital transformation is an endless process of learning. All companies should act as a living organism with a conscience. You have probably heard the phrase “You never stop learning” a thousand times. The same goes for corporations.

Big and traditional companies should look up to startups, even the smallest ones. Startups are not just the creators of new trends, approaches to business and technologies, they are also the early adopters (or guinea pigs if you would like to call them).

Like we mentioned in earlier paragraphs, digital transformation for SMEs is about literally transforming the business processes into digital, traceable and easily accessible forms. On the other hand, for startups, it is just an organic thing they get as soon as they are founded. But it is more than just the digital tools; it is their mentality and a different approach to their company. It is their different mindset.

Fail again. Fail Better.

Startups provide a better customer experience and they are more efficient than traditional companies. They have operational agility to change anything needed when it is needed. Their hierarchy within the company is not a blocker and their leadership is accessible. Startups value ideas from each employee and enable their employees to get involved in important decisions while making the final decision based on customer feedback. Startups don’t play the game by the book, they burn the book!

Failure is not the opposite of success.

I know that huge corporations with tens of thousands of employees can never be as agile as a startup with 10 employees. But this is just a made-up excuse when it comes to real digital transformation. You can still create agile units within the company, who (if needed) can operate independently.

Another issue with the corporations is that they fear to fail. But failure or mistakes are in the hearth of lean startup methodology that everyone is talking about. I can summarize the lean startup approach by combining two great quotes from two great writers: Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”

How can I fail better?

Rezolute is the unit with various experiences from various fields. The “experience” I meant in the previous sentence is built up from countless failures that we got through our corporate and startup work experience. And with our vast experience, we learned how to fail better and put those experiences into use for the benefit of any company. Our members completed digital transformation processes of various worldwide companies in banking, FMCG, blockchain, finance and many other different fields.

We can help your company break its barriers on its way to exponential growth. We can change the mindset of your leaders and employees while creating a new company culture that can help you become as agile as a startup.

Gökhan Menge
Marketing guy, blockchain enthusiast, computer engineer, MBA in progress and a retired basketball player.

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