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People Are Your No. 1 Asset: High-Octane Fuel for Small and Midsize Business Growth

Feature Article | October 17, 2017 by Greg Tomb

There seems to be a belief that digital HR transformation belongs to the enterprise.

But that just doesn’t fly in a world where two fundamental things have changed:

  • People expect to use tools at work to act like the ones we use in our personal lives: Technology needs to be simple, accessible, secure, and mobile. No organization can afford to not address these expectations. Whether you have 100 people or 100,000, it’s the same.
  • Businesses are boundary-less: While a lot of small and midsize businesses operate with local footprints, the rise of digital capabilities is empowering businesses of all sizes to transform faster than ever before and acquire the tools to gain the attention of customers that could never be reached in the past.

When the right tools are in the hands of leaders and employees, companies can leverage technology to find the best talent, attract the right people, place them in positions of greatest impact, and give them room to succeed.

The Employee Experience Edge: People First, Then Technology

With access to more and more cloud-based technologies, small and midsize businesses can take advantage of capabilities that allow them to rival their competitors, even those with deeper pockets and enticing compensation packages. In spite of this, according to the Forbes Insights briefing report “Competing for Talent in the Digital Age,” sponsored by SAP SuccessFactors, many companies still choose to operate with highly manual processes and fragmented legacy systems.

It is increasingly clear that resisting technology adoption is a significant risk in a world that is only becoming more digital. Your people’s skills and your company’s processes require flexibility and speed to keep up with ever-evolving market dynamics. And the people running our businesses have grown accustomed to simple mobile and social experiences in their daily lives. In other words, they’re not accepting of clunky, paper-based processes anymore.

Technology investment is about improving the employee experience, not just the IT landscape. We expect the user experience at work to reflect our experience with the tools and applications we use to get things done quickly and efficiently outside of work. Most of all, we want those interactions to be accessible anytime, anywhere.

The Power of the Digital Experience Fuels “All-Sized” Businesses

When it comes growing a small and midsize business, nothing beats the power of an engaged, motivated, and empowered group of people. And technology should support such a culture.

Digital investments can motivate people to meet their potential and drive stronger business results. The key is to seek and adopt solutions that prepare the workforce for the challenges and opportunities emerging on a daily basis, without the burden of outgrowing digital capabilities no matter where the business goes.

Small and midsize companies are advantaged when it comes to the agility needed to react to employee and market trends. Tools that help recruit, develop, and keep top people and provide the analytics to make the right decisions about the workforce can grow that advantage, which is important, because people are the center of business, and competition is only getting more fierce.


Find out how small and midsize businesses are digitalizing HR with cloud-based models to create a competitive edge in the digital economy. Read the Forbes Insights briefing report “Competing for Talent in the Digital Age,” sponsored by SAP SuccessFactors.

Greg Tomb is president of SAP SuccessFactors.

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