The more digital your business is, the bigger the effect technology can have on sales growth, according to a new study.
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) recently looked at the level of digital maturity in small and medium businesses across the country. A digitally mature business can more easily adapt to change and transform, all of which helps sales grow. How to Make the Digital Shift in Your Business found that only 19 per cent have strongly adopted digital technology and culture, while 57 per cent are considered weak.
The bank launched an online assessment for businesses to measure their use of digital technologies and compare themselves against others.
According to BDC, those with a higher level of digital maturity are 62 per cent more likely to see high sales growth and 52 per cent more likely to see high-profit growth. Those there are not will struggle to grow sales and often see sales fall.
“In today’s connected, automated and data-driven world, it’s vital for Canadian businesses to embrace new technologies to keep up with the competition,” says Pierre Cléroux, Vice President, Research and Chief Economist at BDC.
BDC’s study lists the following five steps that businesses can take to digitize now:
- Define and share their digital vision, by learning about digital technologies, identifying bottlenecks and production problems that have to be resolved before bringing in digital technologies, and creating an action plan;
- Invest in technology with gradual changes and focusing on customer needs;
- Establish a culture of change by building a change team, training employees and rewarding risk-taking;
- Unleash the power of data and use it for decision-making and keeping track of useful information;
- Work for continuous improvement by measuring performance and adapting the business model.