It is essential that SMEs consider rapid digitalisation to avoid loss of productivity or their competitive advantage.
By Prajit Nair
Over the last couple of months, it has become increasingly evident that digital transformation is not negotiable. It is a business requirement without which enterprises will not be able to stay afloat in a rapidly evolving market landscape. In fact, Gartner reports that even in these challenging times, 70% of organisations report that they intend to leverage technology more effectively than ever to reduce TCO (total cost of ownership).
But, while the tech sector is used to working remotely and collaborating across geographies, the leap to remote working can prove challenging for SMES. In India especially, smaller businesses in smaller towns are just about starting out on their digital transformation journeys. The sudden changes in the business landscape as well as new ways of working has caused significant consternation within the SME sector in India. And while the government is working to address the economic impact of the lockdown, it is essential that SMEs consider rapid digitalisation to avoid loss of productivity or their competitive advantage.
For an organisation still unfamiliar with the digital landscape this can seem like an insurmountable challenge. But it does not need to be. To begin with, it is important to understand the importance and requirement for investing in a solution that delivers business continuity rather than merely facilitating access from an employee’s home via a laptop and a personal internet connection. A good business continuity solution should be able to deliver digital workspaces on organisational or personal endpoints to access critical applications. It should be able to accelerate the performance of organisational applications on remote connections.
It must be elastic enough to rapidly scale new users on demand and it must protect all endpoints that are accessing organisational assets remotely. It is important to understand that an effective business continuity solution is much more than just allowing remote access via VPN. While a VPN allows secure access to company servers it does nothing to secure the user’s device or network, leaving it open for hackers to gain entry into the organisation’s servers. A business continuity solution on the other hand comes with intrinsic security features that extend to individual devices as well.
Of course, there are justified concerns about cost and lack of knowledge and experience with digital products. Where cost is concerned, a business continuity solution is a long-term investment, rather than a quick fix, that will prove to be crucial in the years to come. Digital transformation is the key to a successful business and a critical strategy for productivity, growth and lower TCO in a market that expects on-demand availability no matter what times we are in. Investing in a sound business continuity solution now can help future proof a SME against unprecedented crises in the years to come.
The SME sector in India has been showing considerable interest in digitally transforming, even though progress on this front has been slow. These trying times have forced the world to put the digital workspace narrative on hyper drive in order to ensure that business and financial returns are not impacted significantly.
For SMEs adopting an effective business continuity solution is not a choice anymore, it is a basic necessity for survival. With the right platform, and some training, they can carry on with their work without major loss in productivity or efficiency. To summarise, a secure digital workspace makes for continued productivity, a workforce that is functional and satisfied end-customers.
The writer is director sales – end user computing, VMware India