A survey of 204 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) conducted by United Overseas Bank showed that most SMEs were optimistic that digital technology can improve their business. 80 per cent of these SMEs felt that technology will enhance their growth.
However, about 30 per cent of these respondents felt that the implementation of digital technology was too complicated, require an additional support to assist with the implementation.
While these SMEs are keen in adopting digital technology, in allaying these needs, there are two digital solutions readily available in Singapore to help smaller firms embrace digitalisation.
SMEs Go Digital Programme
The Singapore government had announced the S$80 million SMEs Go Digital Programme during the Budget 2017 talk.
This new programme aims to assist SMEs in building stronger digital capabilities and deploying digital technologies.
Administered by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the new initiative equips firms with step-by-step knowledge on the relevant technologies to use as they further their growth.
Tools provided are tendered to SMEs’ needs depending on which stage of growth they are at, providing basic tools like accounting software to more advanced tools like cyber security and data protection.
The SMEs Go Digital Programme provides assistance to SMEs in the following areas:
1. Supply pre-approved technology solutions
SMEs can choose from a range of 56 Infocomm Media (ICM) solutions, with solutions ranging from digital ordering and payment to supply chain optimization, enterprise and accounting software to mobile menu ordering etc.
2. Provide specialist technology advice via new SME Digital Tech Hub
The SME Digital Tech Hub specializes in providing advice on areas like cyber security, data protection and data analytics. Additionally, it conducts workshops and seminars for SMEs who are keen in building their digital capabilities.
Progressive SMEs who would like to move to more advanced solutions can seek experts at the hub for advice on utilizing these technologies.
3. Support innovative emerging technology solutions
SMEs who are seeking to advance with better technologies can partner with IMDA and solutions provider, who will recommend the relevant solutions needed such as autonomous systems and smart sensors.
With the DBS BusinessClass app by DBS, start-ups and SMEs can reach out to over 20 industry experts, investors and entrepreneurs for free business advice and opportunities. The app is also regularly updated with news and events related to the running of start-ups, as well as updating users on upcoming exclusive networking events.
The DBS BusinessClass app helps SMEs in the following areas:
1. Obtain valuable community expertise and knowledge
With over 20 business experts available for consultation, members can reach out to any expert by just sending them a chat message on the app. At any point in time if members wish to tackle any issue that they are facing, they can simply start a topic, tag relevant advisors, and have an online discussion with these experts.
2. Networking opportunities
Members can enjoy access to exclusive networking events such as seminars and roundtables, where investors, entrepreneurs and industry experts will come together to discuss issues and develop solutions to meet challenges faced by start-ups and SMEs.
3. Fresh news and articles on hand
The app is regularly updated with relevant news articles for members to read on the go, with topics specially catering for today’s SMEs.
Alternative Digital Solutions in Financing
While there are digital solutions widely available in the market, SMEs who are in need of fast and simple cash flow solution, can also approach InvoiceInterchange, the one stop digital solution in the field of invoice finance.
As an invoice financing company, InvoiceInterchange specialises in providing fast and accessible funds for your invoices.
Financing plays an imperative role in your business growth. With InvoiceInterchange, as an alternative digital solutions provider for invoice financing, you can rest assured that your funding needs are in good hands.
SMEs Go Digital. (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2017, from https://www.imda.gov.sg/industry-development/programmes-and-grants/small-and-medium-enterprises/smes-go-digital
Yahya, Y. (2017, February 21). Going digital will boost SMEs’ growth: Survey. Retrieved October 29, 2017, from http://www.straitstimes.com/business/going-digital-will-boost-smes-growth-survey