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  • Is the potential of Digital Transformation passing you by?

    Posted on Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    "May 2017 - Opportunities abound for small and medium size businesses (SMBs) who have already taken advantage of digitization, but a recent IDC poll shows that many small or medium sized companies did not take complexity into consideration when they embarked on their digital journey. Is it time for you to team up with an experienced IT partner?

    There’s no doubt about it. Technology has touched almost every aspect of our personal and work spaces, changing forever the way we approach each day. It’s hard to remember a time when we couldn’t easily contact our children throughout a busy day via IM, create a grocery order so it was ready to pick up on the way home from the office, or keep an up-to-date family calendar so each member would be where they needed to be on any given day.

    The shift to “digital thinking” has helped streamline business activities, too, and companies of all sizes are deriving efficiencies from applications that address everyday tasks. Whole markets are being transformed as the depth and reach of technology becomes richer and more relevant. From collaborating with colleagues to managing payroll to streamlining the sales process for an enhanced customer experience, functions are becoming more dependent on digital solutions that make transactions seamless, available 24x7, and accessible from anywhere. Customers are making better-informed buying decisions, as well, as easy product and pricing comparisons can be found right at their fingertips.

    Wireless

    When it comes to wireless, both IT infrastructure and applications are now up to the digital challenge. Reality is catching up to fantasy and the resulting user experience – for both workforce and customers - is a powerful competitive differentiator.

    Today, around a billion devices are connected worldwide. That’s still less than 1% of the potential total. Opportunity abounds in every business sector. Retail, healthcare, financial services, real estate, transportation and education are just a few of the areas where significant advances in wireless are demonstrably changing the landscape. And the hits just keep on coming - and getting bigger. Experts believe that the number of connected devices will grow to 50 billion by 2020. Let that number sink in for a minute: the number of devices that could connect and open doors to your business have the potential to grow x’s 50 in the next three years. And - as the number of connected devices continues to explode, there’s a new question to consider: How will network devices, like switches and access points, accommodate the increased data traffic and data density?

    Speaking of doors into your environment: With advances in network virtualization, it’s now far easier to deploy security policies and ensure quality-of-service without laborious, manual IT intervention. IT managers can keep pace with the explosion of connections by being able to easily identify all apparatus on the network, whether mobile, traditional endpoints, or IoT devices, and enforce the appropriate policies that will keep your data safe.

    The Internet of Things (IoT)

    IoT represents a new frontier that is full of both opportunities and risks. The connection of devices, machines, and things allows small and medium size businesses to dynamically generate and analyze data, increase operational efficiencies, and power greatly improved business models. New value is created by lowering costs, improving employee productivity, and generating new revenue streams. SMBs can also anticipate improvements in innovation, supply chain and asset utilization.

    Those who are able to step up and make the most of the Internet of Things will find themselves at a significant competitive advantage. But - before you head down this fork in the road, you need to be aware of some of the pitfalls to profits. IoT sounds “cool” but many IT and business leaders lack a basic understanding of what IoT is, and the ways in which it could impact their organization. Before starting out, there needs to be a careful benefits analysis, a determination of what the ROI might be, and the creation of new and improved business models that will demonstrate how IoT could transform the business in the future.

    Equally important is understanding the risks of IoT, which currently include lack of standards, and the absence of data security from devices and sensors. The Internet of Things brings networking technology to places where it was once unavailable or just plain impractical to implement. Small and medium size businesses face changing requirements of scale and data management; they require a standards-based infrastructure that is both highly secure and interoperable.

    International business opportunities

    Over the last thirty years, globalization manifested in waves of off-shoring, near-shoring and outsourcing. This paradigm shift was driven, in part, by a desire for competitive differentiation by establishing extended value-chains. Globalization, once an exclusive club for elite international enterprises - with access to funding for large capital investments -- has recently become a reality for smaller-sized companies who have been further enabled by digitalization.

    In India, for example, where SMBs are the backbone of the economy and contribute 37.5% to the GDP, and 37% to the overall manufacturing output, the government has launched several initiatives to get more SMBs to digitize. Efforts include simplifying online access to government services such as filing taxes or applying for patents, and establishing training programs to increase digital skill levels. These actions are aimed at increasing SMBs’ contributions to India’s GDP by 10 percentage points (46-47%) by 2020. This is obviously a powerful testament to the anticipated impact that digital could have on Indian SMBs – as well as India’s overall growth story in the next decade." . . . [Read More at HPe.com]