Three years after the start of the pandemic, digitization continues to be one of the pillars on which the growth of companies is based. The commitment to digital transformation is a necessity for all types of organizations, from the largest to the smallest, although it is in this last area, that of SMEs, in which a greater effort must be made to achieve the change.
SMEs urgently need to overcome their digitization deficit. And, for this, they must begin to change their mentality from three basic perspectives. In the first place, investment in technology should not be seen as a cost, since it has a rapid —almost immediate— return, nor should it be seen as an exclusive resource for sectors and economic activities with high added value. With the incorporation of technology, companies —all of them— gain in efficiency and productivity, improve the relationship with their customers and suppliers and increase their competitiveness.
In addition, the reluctance associated with investment can currently be overcome thanks to the Next Generation European Funds: a few weeks ago, the Spanish Government announced the extension of the application period, until December 31, 2024, for aid from the Kit program Digital, which includes digital vouchers of up to 12,000 euros for the digitization of SMEs with less than 50 employees and which represent a great opportunity for SMEs, which can develop technological projects that allow them to be at the forefront thanks to these European subsidies.
However, technology does not work alone. This is the second great conceptual change that SMEs must assume. Implementing a technological tool does not automatically translate into an improvement in the productivity and competitiveness of the company. It is necessary to modify processes, workflows, etc., and, for this, it is essential to have talent to be able to implement and use technology and make this change a reality.
The commitment to digitization is a necessity for all types of organizations, from the largest to the smallest.
In this sense, it is necessary to develop projects that stimulate creation within the departments and develop talent, creating a favorable environment that is attractive for workers to develop and make our company grow. In a complex and competitive labor context, we must develop an organizational culture thanks to which teams want to dare to solve challenges through experimentation, one of the clearest models of growth and learning. Let us also be brave and give the teams freedom so that, in a controlled way, they can test, experiment and learn. The moment demands this collective intelligence.
And, thirdly and lastly, SMEs must understand that digitization is a dynamic path that progresses over time and that constantly incorporates new features, both those driven by legal changes, which continuously accelerate this process, and that derive from technology itself, which evolves at a dizzying pace. Let’s not wait, therefore, to reach a goal to be able to say that our company has already incorporated the latest technologies and is fully digitized. What seems to be the most innovative today will be superseded tomorrow by technological development.
Keeping this in mind is essential to, year after year, update and advance in the digitization process and, in this way, maintain the efficiency and productivity of our company. The digital transformation must be a continuous commitment that permeates all the activity of our organization permanently in order to turn it into a competitive advantage.