Technology is a domain that is wide and ever-evolving. One of its branches is Information Technology (IT), which turns out to be an advantage for SMEs. It is transforming the global economy, IT has a great impact on all aspects of everyday life in terms of conducting business. It has also created a huge impact on most industries. With the use of such technologies, it is reforming the original conduct of business leading to reforming businesses. As earlier stated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “I see technology as a means to empower and as a tool that bridges the distance between hope and opportunity”. The use of the right technology for commerce can help lead the firms.
Role of Information Technology
For expanding the heights and the profitability of any organization, Information Technology plays a huge role in it. Among the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), it gives rise to competitiveness and also compels them to use the measures of the available technology for research, developing, and enhancing their skills.
With IT, SMEs are able to respond to customer complaints and adhere to the requirements more efficiently. By enabling information to be transmitted through various mediums including emails, telephones, and social media platforms. Enterprise can use various platforms of Information Technology services for learning, marketing, and advertising. Selling their products and services, as well as trading, among various other uses of this technology.
Information Technology can help maximize efficiency, reduce costs. And expand market reach at the domestic and even at the international level. As it is said, if you make a customer happy offline, they will go and tell 5 friends. If you make a customer happy online, they tell 500 friends. As the MSME sector plays an important role in the Nation’s economy. The sector benefits individual MSMEs collectively rendering into positive results, leading to employment creation, revenue generation, and overall country’s business competitiveness.
Lack of Technological Knowledge
It would be not incorrect to point out that most of the MSMEs hesitate to adapt to the latest technology due to their lack of understanding. They also lack the required knowledge for selecting the correct technology solution for their enterprises that might affect the overall profitability. Such a situation arises when members of the enterprise do not update themselves to the current technological norms. It is the result of a lack of skilled manpower to run high tech machines and equipment and less belief in technology. And already assuming that they are not capable enough to access the technology mediums. Such issues are resolved by creating more awareness among MSME entrepreneurs and enterprises. About the benefits of technology adoption through trade bodies, as well as industry associations. Helping them understand the factors of transformation from conventional business to digitally active space.
In the present business ecosystem, a majority of global entrepreneurs talk about adopting cutting edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), data-enabled systems, internet-based businesses, etc. to become more efficient, gain more trust from consumers and stand high over the competitions. Also to make most of the business processes automated so that manual interaction is limited. This is done in order to invest the human resource at other valuable factors.
How Technology Can Benefit
However, India still requires SMEs to transform its traditional and conventional methods for the conduct of business into updated and contemporary products and services. From small towns to metro cities, a lot of SME entrepreneurs are harnessing technology to innovate their products and services, thereby giving a boost to their business and encourage the slow MSME sector to grow faster. Though SMEs may have been slow to technological adaptation. they are now actively embarrassing technology to revamp old businesses and even start technology-based businesses such as e-commerce and online services, resolving queries of the customers through online conventions, etc.
To widen the scope of Information technology, the Ministry of MSME has been actively working towards ways to facilitate MSMEs and assist them through all the stages in the business cycle. For ease of doing business, the Ministry has launched a robust Information and Communications Technology (ICT) based Internet Grievances Monitoring System portal called ‘Champions’ (www.champions.gov.in). The ‘Champions’ stands for Creation and Harmonious Application of Modern Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength. The ‘Champions’ portal is a combination of technologies formed to help, guide, empower, ease, and support the MSME sector of the country. Besides ICT tools incorporating telephone, internet, and video conference, the system is enabled with Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, and Machine Learning, to bring and tackle all grievances and suggestions under one-stop to help MSMEs. It is also fully integrated on a real-time basis with GOI’s main grievances portal CPGRAMS and MSME Ministry’s own other web-based mechanisms.