Digital marketplaces can benefit African SMBs 

Digital marketplaces can benefit African SMBs 

African small and medium businesses face roadblocks on their digitalisation journeys and research by Microsoft shows 47% of SMBs find the cost of new technologies to be a restrictive factor for adoption, while 38% have difficulty comparing solutions driving the need for cloud marketplaces. Jessica Harvey, Business Unit Manager, Tarsus On Demand, tells us more.

Small-to-medium-sized businesses, SMBs are the backbone of the South African economy and, in fact, the continent. A report by the International Finance Corporation, IFC estimates that micro, small and medium enterprises constitute more than 90% of all formal business in South Africa, employ 50-60% of the workforce and contribute 34% of GDP. Across Africa, SMEs account for approximately 80% of jobs. 

These are staggering figures, and yet even though they are key drivers of economic growth, these companies often lag behind in an increasingly digital world, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD. 

These businesses often face significant roadblocks on their digitalisation journeys. Research by Microsoft shows that 47% of SMBs find the cost of new technologies to be the most restrictive factor to adoption, while 38% have difficulty comparing available solutions and choosing the most appropriate option. 

Tarsus On Demand, a recognised services and solutions aggregator in the cloud space across Africa, noted these challenges and developed Digital on Demand, a new marketplace platform with cloud-based solutions designed to solve the unique challenges faced by SMBs.  

Digital on Demand has been carefully crafted as a response to a critical need in the market. The vision for Digital on Demand steps outside the one-size-fits-all approach. The marketplace has been curated to provide tailored, strategic solutions that resonate with the specific digital transformation goals and operational needs of SMBs. 

Digital on Demand encompasses everything an SMB requires to grow, from domain registration and email setup to cybersecurity solutions. SMBs can scroll through the various categories to find suppliers for whatever they may need, from brand exposure to niche services such as agricultural AI solutions.  

They can then read more about the supplier’s offering and contact them directly from the platform. They can also contact Tarsus On Demand for assistance in finding the perfect solution and provider if they need further advice. 

Tarsus On Demand is enthusiastic about enabling SMBs on their digital journey. Tarsus On Demand has always had a focus on the SMB sector. Through research it has found that most SMB business owners know the importance of digital transformation, but do not know where to start because nobody’s journey is a copy-and-paste endeavour.  

While large enterprises have the budget to employ consultancies to guide them through the digitalisation process, most SMB businesses cannot afford exorbitant consultation fees. Digital on Demand will bridge that gap, helping SMBs craft a digitalisation journey and find the solutions, all in one place. 

Tarsus On Demand did extensive research on the needs of the SMB segment, then acquired solutions to solve those key challenges. These solutions come in the form of software as a service, SaaS applications, run in the cloud and usually accessible through desktops and mobile applications as well as a web interface.  

SaaS companies offer their products for a monthly subscription or a pay-as-you-go model, which may be cheaper than investing in on-premises software products upfront. 

The Digital on Demand marketplace continues to grow. It continuously runs research to identify the key challenges faced in the digital transformation process by SMBs, and then sets out to find the correct providers that can solve those challenges. 

Digital on Demand has also partnered with Microsoft to offer more solutions. The real value comes from Microsoft Cloud, as a platform to build and host solutions to not only enable and empower businesses to do more, but also provide access to the tools and technologies that drive digitisation. Through Tarsus On Demand and Digital on Demand, SMBs can identify solutions that help them navigate their digitalisation journeys and ultimately drive business growth opportunities.  

As for SMBs’ biggest hurdle to digitalisation, the cost is not as prohibitive as it is perceived. Digitalisation is an increasingly important investment for businesses that are looking to drive not only efficiencies, but also create scale and competitiveness. Ultimately, it offers an excellent return on investment. 

Digital on Demand encourages SMB business owners to explore the marketplace and see which challenges it will help solve in their business. And for SaaS-based solution providers to reach out and apply to have their SMB-focused solution listed.  

Tarsus On Demand, is a specialist cloud platform provider. Using both SaaS and PaaS, Tarsus On Demand, through its channel, offers vertical platform solutions that are innovative, efficient, agile and enable companies to grow. 

Click below to share this article