Author: Christopher Sklad, Senior Client Partner, BDC Advisory Services in Mississauga.
Canadian businesses are making great strides in adopting digital technologies, however too many organizations are still lagging behind.
This means they’re missing out on major opportunities that come from digitizing their operations. They also risk losing market share to competitors who are more digitally mature.
At BDC, we see every day the remarkable success that digital technology brings to businesses. To find out more, we surveyed 1,500 Canadian businesses about their digital adoption activities.
Tech drives better results, innovation, resilience
The results are fascinating and could make a real difference for your company. The good news is that nine in 10 Canadian small and mid-sized businesses are investing in digital tech. This can be anything from e-commerce sites to accounting software and smart robotics.
On the other hand, only 5% of SMEs are what we call “digitally advanced.” This means they are using digital tech effectively to transform their company. Half of businesses are “beginners”— just getting started. And another 20% are “latecomers”—using little or no digital technology at all.
This means lost opportunities. Digitally advanced companies tend to have significantly higher revenue and profit growth and are more innovative and resilient. They’re 10 times more likely than latecomers to complete or accelerate the launch of new goods or services. They’re also 30 times more likely to acquire or merge with another company.
Digital adoption easier than many think
It’s easier than you might think to get started or continue a stalled digital endeavour. We find it’s crucial to begin with some planning, thinking carefully about the business growth strategy and what technology gaps might be holding the business back from its true potential.
To help gain perspective, consider the steps it takes to onboard a new client, along with how employees service or create value until revenue is booked. This process mapping exercise or the quote-to-cash journey is key in understanding bottlenecks, challenges and areas prone to error. A business can then begin to think about what technology improvements along the value chain can be used to gain efficiencies.
Finally, be sure to understand the total cost of ownership, including implementation, training and transition costs.
A great resource to help with all this is the Canada Digital Adoption Program. It provides grants and interest-free loans for digital planning and technology investment.
There’s never been a better time to go digital.
To find out more about the Canada Digital Adoption Program, visit bdc.ca/en/canada-digital-adoption-program.