Digital transformation brings a huge number of opportunities for development, growth and innovation for SMEs, but they often face different challenges compared to their enterprise-size counterparts.
One of the biggest mistakes that fast-growth companies can do during the transition is too little investment and focus on their biggest digital asset – their website, which according to Alchemy Digital, is now playing a completely new role.
IDC has stated that two thirds of UK SMEs are already using new technology to improve their business via a digital transformation strategy, which involves the strategic move of some or all of a company’s systems to the cloud in order to drive operational efficiencies, increase the opportunities for innovation and become more competitive.
It is also a critical step in improving the way that companies engage and communicate with its audiences, by integrating all web and mobile channels to ensure consistency across customer touch points.
Will Morris, managing partner of web design agency, Alchemy Digital, suggested that one of the key questions companies need to ask is how the website meets existing and future business objectives.
He said that “digital transformation may seem like the reserve of enterprises, but the UK’s medium and small businesses are quickly recognising that it unleashes a whole new world of creativity and innovation that positively impacts business growth. As part of that, the website has a new role to play; it needs to meet a whole new set of considerations and order to support that growth. While it might be easy to pick up quick fixes to revamp the website, such as template kits, they don’t truly align with what’s needed in the long term.”
“Mobile is a critical part of that strategy; not just making sure your website looks nice on a mobile device or re-sizing the site for the screen, but designing it for mobile from the ground up. Make it truly responsive – not as a nice to have, but an essential. Lead with regularly updated content relevant to your audience that will take them on a journey, and ultimately remember it has to be easy to use with a thumb and fingers.”
Today’s websites need to be designed to solve a problem, not sit there looking pretty, Morris suggested, especially as they become increasingly complex to produce, and require integration with back end systems to become the platform for an entirely unified system.
“Close scrutinisation of the performance of the website across desktop and mobile is essential in the transformation process – especially for customer-facing sites where it is considered the focus of the customer experience.”
“The sheer amount of data that can be captured and analysed via the website is also a boon for marketers, as it boosts other areas of digital transformation, such as a single customer view across channels, i.e. omni-channel customer engagement, personalisation and being able to pull data for advanced digital applications in mobile, such as location-based alerts, and so on.”
In conclusion, Morris believes that “the role of the website will always evolve, but a solidly designed platform will remain the rock hard foundation for some time. None of this can really be achieved with trendy out-of-the-box solutions; the only way is bespoke. To make your website truly work for your business now and in the future, it’s crucial to truly understand where the website sits as a part of your overall growth plans and ensure that you’re taking your audience on the journey that you need them to go on.”
Nominations are now open for the Tech Leaders Awards 2017, the UK’s flagship celebration of the business, IT and digital leaders driving disruptive innovation and demonstrating value from the application of technology in businesses and organisations. Nominating is free and simply: just click here to enter. Good luck!