Experts in the business and technology industries have advised small and medium-scale business owners to embrace technology for them to grow and remain relevant in business. The experts made the call at the Social Media Week in Lagos, where Microsoft hosted a panel session on ‘Digital transformation: Does your business have what it takes to survive in the digital age?’
The Business Development Manager, Microsoft4Afrika, Soromfe Uzomah, said that modern technology was the most vital business partner for any enterprise. She stated that for business enterprises to survive in the digital age, “they must understand that today’s modern market expects technology-driven services.”
According to her, many of today’s consumers have grown using technology and the Internet. Uzomah said that millennials accounted for over one-third of Africa’s population, adding that the impact they were having on businesses was beginning to be felt.
She stated that businesses that wished to be relevant and desired to appeal to today’s audience must adopt technology as a key part of business. She said small business enterprises often battled to compete with larger firms, which have large servers and expensive Information Technology infrastructure that enable them to do more. “Therefore, entrepreneurs should adopt modern technology to better understand their consumers and improve their products to give them a competitive edge,” Uzomah noted.
She also said that businesses looking to thrive in the digital age “should have employees who are digitally literate.”
Uzomah stated, “Employees need to possess the skills to make the most out of technology, as lack of skills is unlikely to derive the benefits of its investments. The development of these skills will move businesses to have increased access to the talent they need to make the most of their technology investments.
“Businesses which hope to lead in the digital age need to implement modern technologies and skills that will make them relevant and give them a competitive edge. “With the intelligent tools to uncover new insights, address future problems, adapt to changing business environments, better serve customers and make more informed business decisions, your business can be unstoppable.”
The Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Akin Banuso, said digital technology was changing every industry people knew, from manufacturing to health, retail, banking, agriculture and education. “It provides African entrepreneurs exciting opportunities for innovation and new business models,” he added.