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Technology solutions for SMEs to ensure survival and growth

We will remember 2020 as a year that brought unprecedented difficulty to all businesses. However, technology offers a chance for SMEs to change their narrative in 2021.
01 April 2021 Michael Holtzhausen

We’re a quarter of the way into 2021 and a few things have already turned pear-shaped. There are several variants of the coronavirus and they’re spreading globally, vaccine rollouts have been slow to take off and the South African economy is taking a battering. As a result, many people are calling this year 2020.1 because of the familiar sense of dread from last year that continues to linger.

However, at STS, we choose to invent solutions instead of dwelling on bad news. As technologists and data experts, we have to find innovative ways to survive the pandemic and prepare to thrive on the other side. Last year was most brutal for small businesses, but with these technology solutions for SMEs, not only is there hope but a fighting chance to salvage the year and start thriving again.

Automation

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, 49% of the activities that businesses pay people to perform can be automated with already available technology. There’s no denying the benefits that automation can bring for businesses, but it has always been considered a luxury for large enterprises. This may have been the case several years ago but not anymore – now automation is for everyone.

Imagine how much more efficiently your business can operate if you could automate one or more parts of it. Not only will this save you time (and spare you the expense of human error), but you can rededicate your workforce’s efforts towards more complex and value-maximising tasks. The critical barrier is storage. By optimising your data storage, you lay down the foundation for powerful AI and machine-learning processing. This allows you to automate anything from customer care with AI chatbots to analytics, payroll and invoicing.

Cloud networking

We can confidently say that the remote workforce is here to stay. Businesses are increasing their distributed workforce and some are going remote permanently. Working from home is advantageous for business owners and their employees for a laundry list of reasons, but only if it is executed properly.

South Africa has unique challenges such as loadshedding and uneven Internet connectivity that can make it tricky to work remotely. The best technology solution for SMEs for this problem is a secure and reliable cloud. Employees can have round-the-clock access to business-critical data wherever they are. And with an advanced and robust cloud back-up solution, they will never have to worry about data loss caused by a power outage or a drop in connectivity.

Data protection

The underworld of cybercrime was booming in 2020. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa reported that cybercrime had been on the rise since the beginning of lockdown. CybersecurityVentures estimates that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion this year. If you’re not making data protection a priority, you might be putting your business at risk. This is especially true considering that it’s harder for SMEs to bounce back from a cyberattack than it is for large enterprises.

What every small business needs is a sophisticated disaster recovery solution that can guarantee business continuity in the event of a ransomware attack, a natural disaster or data loss due to human error. This ensures that productivity will remain consistent, your customers satisfied, your business compliant and your reputation protected – a level of peace of mind we could all use right now.

STS is here for you

Sithabile has all the data management and protection expertise you need to stay on course for the rest of 2021. From robust data storage to cloud backup and disaster recovery, we have the right technology solutions for SMEs that can help you turn the year around and start growing.

Speak to one of our consultants to find out how our solutions can benefit your business.

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