Five investment areas that will digitally transform your SMB in 2022 

Milda Leonard | Thursday, Jul 7th 2022
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Across organisations, large and small, digital transformation emerged as a top business priority in 2021. And its importance continues to grow. According to a report from the Process Excellence Network (PEX) Trends and Predictions in Process Excellence 2022, companies are investing heavily in digital technologies focused on optimising processes in order to operate more efficiently as well as strengthen relationships with their customers and employees. Experts in process optimisation and management predict in 2022 organisations will continue to redefine their business strategy in several key areas:

Data-driven decision making

While gut instinct is normally part of the decision-making process, it only serves as an adequate gauge over hard data. Data reduces guesswork gives companies a more solid platform on which to make strategic decisions and ultimately provides a more concrete way to measure success. Business intelligence will help organisations better understand their customers' needs and behaviour. Adding automated insight capabilities to their platforms will enable users to act in real-time and perform predictive analysis. When it comes to areas that survey respondents are looking to invest in over the next 12 months, data analytics and business intelligence took the top stop, at 43%, followed by workflow automation at 34%.



Workflow automation

Automation is expected to be another one of the biggest business intelligence trends of 2022. Companies are adapting and integrating tools to support their hybrid workforces and connect workflows from end to end with intuitive, scalable, and cloud-based solutions

Employee engagement

More and more initiatives are being implemented to please internal customers (employees). Companies are looking from the inside out to design and transform their processes. Work is no longer taking place solely in the office, and many organisations are finding success when they provide employees with the tools to work from anywhere. Leading organisations are now making it a priority to seamlessly bridge the gap between employees moving between home, offices, satellite locations, or customer sites. Utilising a dedicated, branded and secure document portal helps create a successful hybrid work structure that allows for meaningful collaboration, access to key data, applications, and colleagues.  

Customer experience management

The rules of engagement have evolved in terms of how businesses interact with customers and what customers expect from their business partners. These days retention is the new growth. Businesses that make their customer communications more user-friendly and accommodate their already digitally savvy customers have an edge. Those who can communicate with customers via multiple channels according to the customer preference will gain a strategic advantage over those who communicate via paper only. 

Artificial intelligence

Personalised AI will be hugely beneficial to a whole host of different small businesses. From chatbots to smart assistants and fraud detection systems, there is a wide range of uses for artificial intelligence. All businesses should think about adopting AI to streamline processes and drive cost savings.

Working smarter in 2022

After two years of the pandemic, which has reinforced the necessity of digital tools, reverting to old obsolete processes is not a sound strategy. In 2022, businesses need visibility more than ever before on internal processes to improve operational efficiency and guarantee employee and customer satisfaction in this new context. It is important to mindfully evaluate what areas of the business could be improved through automation and not layer fancy technology over a bad process.

Read more insights in the Process Excellence Network's latest report. 

Sources: PEX Report Trends and Predictions 2022