Market musings

How a Small Business Can Make Digital Transformation Pay for Itself

by Sasha Viasasha
February 27, 2018

Globally, business will spend more than $2 trillion on digital transformation projects in 2019. They are upgrading their infrastructure, digitizing their communication network, and automating routine tasks. Cloud-based business applications can better serve fast-growing, agile companies and deliver a customer experience that matches the customers constantly evolving expectations.

Success can add up to substantial performance rewards and better business outcomes. A recent study by Harvard researchers found that the digital vanguard has seen higher gross margins, stronger earnings and more income filtering through to the bottom line than digital laggards.

In fact, leading digital performers posted a 55% gross margin for the past three years, compared to slower digital adopters who posted just 37%.

The problem, especially for a small business operating on tight margins and tighter schedules, is where to begin.

A smart strategy and throughful execution can eliminate painful suprises and free up money from cap ex to fund the new level of your digital evolution. For small businesses on budgets, this kind of approach can help them keep up with the accelerating pace of technological and economic change.

While digital transformation is ushering in broad, sweeping changes on a macro level, small businesses are focused on the micro changes, such as:

  • How to offer a better customer experience and reduced churn
  • How to secure productivity gains and reduce operational expenses
  • How to get better data and advanced analytics to make better decisions
  • How to be more agile and react to changes in the market before competitors
  • How to found or join a wider digital ecosystem of suppliers and partners

The ideal starting point for small business: Digitize your phone system

With plenty of options for efficiency improvements, it makes the most sense for a small business to start with a digital transformation project that can pay for itself or at least provide a high enough ROI to fund the next round of digitalization. An early win generates stronger employee buy-in and forward momentum.

For a small business, the phone system is often responsible for the largest investments in hardware and software. The sound quality and the capabilities of the system will affect everything from brand perception to the productivity of collaborations.

Two decades ago, many small companies began an early digitization project in replacing legacy PBX systems and on-premise servers with voice over IP (VoIP) and software as a service (SaaS). They were able to greatly reduce their capital expenditures but at the cost of a sound quality dependent on network resources. Add/delete/move and other critical changes normally required IT resources, which often slowed business to a crawl.

Today, digital transformation of phone systems means moving the entire communications infrastructure into virtual platform deployed on mobile devices. These systems fulfill the “4S” requirements of the most effective digital projects: 

  • Simplicity
  • Security
  • Savings
  • Scalability

A digital-only phone system can be set up in minutes and connect the next generation of flexible workers who are distributed across town or across time zones. Because it exists only in the cloud, this system can scale as fast as your business does, both up and down according to market demands. As new technology and popular features become established globally, a virtual phone system incorporates the changes and expands its value to the business.

At Spoke Phone, we've built a mobile-first business phone solution that allows you to use your smartphones as the foundation of your business phone system. You can easily add in contractors and flexible workers, and all your critical call data and customer contact information remains secure in the application, even when they leave. Consolidate your sales and support operations under a single company phone number, and private numbers remain masked as workers use the application. 

A virtual PBX

Spoke Phone equips your mobile phone infrastructure with all the functionality and features your business needs to stay professional and remain productive. In addition to classical features like call transfer, team calling and an AI receptionist, we're building productivity features like voice to text transcription. You can read your voicemails, record your calls, and playback conversations at any time.

Sign up for a demo so we can walk your through our solution to mobile business communications, and you can see if Spoke can help your business stay connected and productive on the go.   

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