HPE’s top tips for digital transformation for SMBs

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Vera Alves

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The old motto of “doing more with less” has never been more important, as the pandemic shifts the business world towards a more mobile workforce and forces companies to rapidly increase their focus on digital transformation.

To help SMBs thrive in today’s digital economy, HPE has released its Essential SMB Tech Investment Guide – which gives businesses valuable insights into what technology is worth investing in.


When deciding what tech to incorporate in the business, SMBs are faced with particular sets of challenges that big corporations don’t face. Alongside IT budget limitations, SMBs can also be constrained by issues such as cash flow, insufficient resources and inhouse skills, lack of a broader strategic direction, and legacy inertia.

Making financially-sound tech decisions means finding the right balance between the investment in the short term and the long term viability of those same investments. You want to future-proof your business and ensure it stays competitive, without compromising your ability to keep the lights on and the wheels turning.

When thinking about a tech budget spend, HPE recommends SMBs keep in mind a few key factors: the mobile workplace as a trend, the ever-increasing security and external threats, rising customer experience expectations and issues of sustainability, among others.

How can an SMB with limited resources actually do all of these things, investing in digital transformation and their future growth without compromising their existing business? HPE recommends a few practical ways to start:

1. Use legacy assets to fund your digital transformation
This involves a number of measures to conserve your cash flow and get value from old assets.

SMBs often have old technology sitting idle which can be used to fund updated tech.

Use legacy assets to unlock the necessary capital for your digital transformation. HPE helps SMBs do this through its Financial Services team. Legacy IT can be sent to HPE’s renewal centres, where it can be repurposed or retired in a secure, compliant and environmentally-friendly way.

In doing so, SMBs also move closer towards their sustainability goals, while adopting tech that will transform the business.

2. Leverage subscription models rather than paying upfront
It is now possible to consume IT infrastructure in much the same way as you subscribe to other services in your life – by paying monthly subscription fees that don’t require a massive upfront investment.

Much like your personal Netflix account, you can run your IT infrastructure on a pay-as-you-go basis, whether that means on-premises or in the cloud.

SMBs can choose pre-selected products and services using a subscription-based model, which can be tailored to their size and needs.

Through HPE Subscription, SMBs can take advantage of the “subscribe, use, return and renew” consumption model, which helps them stay relevant in the digital economy.

3. Mitigate risk by using Adaptable Use Models
SMBs cannot afford to run big risks with new IT projects and mitigating those is an essential part of the digital transformation.

It seems counter-intuitive, as that transformation usually begins with an experimental project – and those can be quite risky. To ensure a cost-effective way to bridge the gap between the old and the new tech, HPE recommends using an Adaptable Use Model, which allows SMBs to pay monthly for new and pre-owned computer, store and networking data centre solutions, allowing them to reduce the investment if the project does not deliver the expected results.

You don’t have to go “all in” on new technology that might not end up being suitable for your business, as the adaptable business model allows you to return that tech if your needs change.

4. Rent your IT
SMBs can benefit from renting IT equipment for short term periods – usually 3 to 12 months – for particular projects.

Renting IT infrastructure can be a practical and cost-efficient solution to a planned migration to new technology.

On top of ensuring proper day-to-day business management, technology is fundamental to helping SMBs gain a competitive edge in the digital economy.

To ensure you stay relevant, HPE recommends SMBs prepare for innovation and expansion in a proactive, rather than reactive, manner. There are many ways to plan for digital transformation – and the place where your business is right now is the perfect place to start.


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Vera Alves

Based in Wanaka, Vera is a trending news reporter with her finger on the pulse of both local and international tech trends.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the global edge-to-cloud Platform-as-a-Service company that helps organisations accelerate outcomes by unlocking value from all of their data, everywhere. At HPE, we advance the way you live and work by engineering experiences that unlock your full potential.

Infrastructure modernisation

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The term Infrastructure Modernisation rose from the expensive struggle businesses face maintaining, upgrading and scaling their digital content infrastructure requirements. This infrastructure refers to data center hardware, including all the storage servers, network devices, operating systems and middleware that allow companies to store, protect and access content. It’s usually complex, expensive to manage, a hassle to manage and update, hard to expand, and, in many cases, needs modernising.

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