We are experiencing an unprecedented technological revolution. The sum of new disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain or cloud computing are generating a diverse digital reality. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a turning point and has shown that digitization is a key factor to enable a transformation of economies and social models that ensure recovery.
Spain is in a privileged position in terms of connectivity infrastructures, thanks to smart planning and investment carried out by the sector. The country ranks first in the EU in terms of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) penetration with 70.6% and we are also among the top three EU countries with the best connectivity in the region. However, there is an asymmetric situation in terms of digital maturity in different sectors, especially among businesses. In Spain, SMEs are below the European average of digital maturity.
SMEs in Spain
SMEs represent 99% of the business fabric and generate 70% of employment, making them the engine of the Spanish economy and playing a key role in the economic recovery. During the pandemic, small businesses were hard hit by the slowdown caused by the lack of confidence in financing. Those SMEs that did not use the cloud, did not digitize their services, or could not move their home office could not work.
The asymmetry between large companies and SMEs could lead to a loss of value and solvency of the business fabric of small companies, causing a destruction of employment where it is most generated.
“The challenge we have in Spain is the digitization of SMEs and large companies have the obligation to drag these companies towards digitization” – José María Álvarez Pallete, CEO and President of Telefónica.
The digital transformation of SMEs is the strategic axis for economic recovery and technology is the key lever to achieve it. At Telefónica, we believe it is essential to accompany SMEs on their path towards digitalization, ensuring the continuity of their business and boosting their competitiveness. For the first time, different agents, chambers of commerce, workers’ representatives organizations and companies have reached this consensus: the need for SMEs to go digital.
Telefónica’s commitment to digitalization
“The arrival of European funds is the driving force behind the digitalization of SMEs”, explained Javier Vizcaíno Toscano, Director of SMEs at Telefónica, during the Mobile World Congress 2022. Telefónica is already accompanying SMEs in their digital transition, starting by laying the foundations of connectivity: communications, supported by a wide fibre network with high capillarity and progressing in the deployment of 5G.
We have also created Fusión Digital Pymes. This new tool is a digitalization enabler that brings together communications and the millimetrically studied needs of SMEs to access the digital economy. It is a unique proposal in the market that responds perfectly to the Digital Kit program, the first measure adopted by Spain towards the digitization of SMEs with European Funds.
The intention is that SMEs, regardless of their size, sector of activity or degree of digital maturity, can benefit from the same technology as large companies. Not only by offering them digital solutions, but also proving more disruptive technologies, such as Big Data, IoT, blockchain or Cloud. This is the way to achieve more competitive SMEs in a very scalable and flexible way.
The application of these technologies to the activity of companies, regardless of their size, is already a reality and this is reflected in the real cases included in the Transformation Handbook on “The Digital SME“. At Telefónica we recognize the importance of digital transformation as a key to success and we are determined that no SME should be left behind.