How Small & Medium-Sized Businesses Prepare for the New Economy

Through Digital Transformation, Resilient Supply Chains, and Experience-Driven Solutions

SAP commissioned a research study from Oxford Economics on the priorities, challenges, and digital maturity of 2,000 small and midsize companies across 19 countries.  According to the research, transforming operations around new technologies and human experiences will be critical to resilience and growth.

Key Findings:

  • Customer experience matters most. The data was consistent throughout the survey, even during the pandemic: customer experience outranks even increased profitability and risk mitigation as a top priority.
  • Employee experience is also critical. Improving employee performance and retaining top talent are even more important in a crisis, which may be why top performers cite improved employee  experiences as their second-highest strategic goal (though, like others, they have work to do in this area). Other respondents also rank employee experience high on their list of strategic priorities.
  • Data to support decision-making is a weak point. Gaps in data collection and analysis hinder the ability to improve experiences for customers and employees, to respond to changes in the  market, and to get full value from technology investments. As the pandemic progressed, surveyed executives were even more likely to cite data analytics shortages in a range of areas.
  • Digital transformation is a priority for small and midsize organizations. Respondents expect major progress toward digital transformation in the near future, with nearly all saying they will make at least moderate progress within three years. Top financial performers are further ahead, which should allow them to be more flexible in adapting to a challenging and ever-changing  environment.

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