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The importance of digital transformation in SMEs

27 Aug 2021. 12:06
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  • SME maturity
    Scope to digitize
    1. Digital strategy

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The digitalisation of SMEs has benefits such as increasing their competitive advantage or reducing operating costs.

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Digital transformation has been gaining momentum in the Spanish business network for years. The situation caused by the Covid-19 health crisis has made that SMEs feel the need to accelerate the digitalisation process, as the pandemic has not only meant a change for companies, but also for society and, therefore, for consumers.


Consumers have changed the way they purchase products and services, and no company wants to be left out of the market.


Because of this situation, many SMEs that did not have digitalisation processes and resources have begun their digital transformation, and those that had already applied digitalisation have continued to promote its development.

In terms of digital transformation, one trend that you are probably familiar with is big data, which is currently essential for data management, especially in companies that handle large volumes of information. But there are many more, from the basic digitalisation of SMEs such as having a good Internet connection, to the most innovative and disruptive ones as artificial intelligence or internet of things.


Spain ranks 11th in the European digitalisation ranking according to the DESI 2020 index.


Digital transformation is not only limited to installing a series of programs or technological tools, but also a change of business culture, processes and knowledge to gain efficiency, provide value to customers, reduce risks and discover new revenue opportunities. That is why it is important to establish a strategic plan for digital transformation.

According to the 2020 Digital Economy and Society Index DESI report, Spanish SMEs have not yet managed to take advantage of the full potential of e-commerce, cloud services or data exploitation, placing Spain 11th in the European digitalisation ranking.


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Why is the digital transformation of SMEs so important?

In addition to helping to maintain their business and boost their strengths, small businesses can improve their weaknesses and increase their profits in many ways from digital transformation.

  1. Improving customers' experience. Digitalisation allows you to offer a product or service any day at any time, to maintain a more direct and personalized communication with your customers and to achieve an optimal experience during the entire process of acquiring the product or service: from the search, through the purchase, to the post-sale service.


  1. Improving online reputation. Online reputation or "what people say about your company" makes the difference to customers and professionals in your industry. A good online recommendation can amend the position of your business in the market and attract more customers.


  1. Increasing productivity. Digitalisation helps to streamline work processes in case of a problem and find a solution faster with the help of digital tools and good customer service.


  1. Growing the volume of business. Improving production processes and reaching new customers, thanks to a good online reputation, increases not only the volume of the business but also its audience.


  1. Discovering new sources of revenue. Traditional businesses are often limited when it comes to compete in global markets. Digital transformation has given SMEs the opportunity to trade in new markets that would have been difficult to enter without digitalisation, finding new sources of revenue.


  1. Creating competitive advantage. It has been proven over time that companies that are adapted to digital transformation have more competitive advantage in the market than SMEs that do not introduce the digitalisation. For example, it will always be easier for the customer to find us if we are present in Internet search engines, than if not.


  1. Reducing operating costs. Although incorporating resources and tools and introducing changes in business processes may involve an investment at the beginning, the operating costs of internal processes will be significantly reduced.


  1. Developing employee autonomy and better teamwork. Thanks to digital transformation, employees can manage their functions with greater flexibility and autonomy. In terms of teamwork, digitalisation makes easy the communication and coordination among employees, improving both efficiency and results.


Now that you have this new information about the importance of digital transformation in SMEs, do you consider it necessary to adapt your business to digitalisation?

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