How digitalisation helps SMEs

Digitisation and digital transformation are key for small and medium-sized enterprises.

digitalización pymes
Communication Team

Telefónica

Reading time: 4 min

By digitisation we mean the conversion of physical formats into digital environments, a process that can be found in both domestic and business environments.

It is precisely this part of the business sphere that we are going to focus on in this article, specifically on how this digitisation helps SMEs.

Benefits of digitisation for SMEs

The benefits of digitisation are common, but it is true that they can be of particular relevance to SMEs for reasons such as the size of the workforce (and the need to generate efficiencies) or the need to optimise physical spaces with the consequent economic savings that this may entail.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Faster and easier access to information. As the information is available remotely, it is easier and quicker to access the information once it has been digitised. This can also lead to an increase in staff productivity as less time is needed to perform the same tasks.
  • Freeing up space. As the physical storage of paper documents is no longer necessary, empty space is generated for other uses or can even help to reduce the necessary size of offices or premises.
  • Saving materials. Having documents digitised means a clear saving in paper, which is positive from both an economic and an environmental perspective.
  • Having greater security. Having the information in the cloud or in external storage memories greatly reduces the physical risks that can occur in the event of misfortune or accidents.

After digitisation, comes the digital transformation of SMEs

As we have already explained in our blog, digitisation and digital transformation are not the same thing, although they are closely related terms.

In order to be able to tackle digital transformation, it is essential to have previously undertaken a digitalisation process, the advantages of which we have already analysed.

To understand the relevance of digital transformation in SMEs, we must start from the premise that the gap between digitised and non-digitised SMEs continues to widen.

Those that have undergone the digital transformation process produce more, have higher revenues, are more profitable (between 15% and 25% by 2025 according to estimates by some studies) and can expand to new markets more quickly.

Digital solutions as a technological evolution at the service of small and medium-sized enterprises can have a number of competitive benefits compared to those who do not use the new technological tools.

Some of these advantages are:

  • Personalisation of products and services. Having greater knowledge of customers by placing them at the centre also means a higher degree of customer satisfaction.
  • Increased productivity. As mentioned above, and as with digitalisation, the use of digital tools also means a possible increase in employee productivity. This is because it allows tasks that had been repetitive to be automated.
  • Optimisation of administrative resources. This also generates greater ability to compete in our markets or the opening of new lines of business.

Examples of digital solutions for SMEs

That disruptive technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, blockchain or the cloud can help SMEs to be more competitive is one of the objectives of these examples of digital solutions for this business segment.

The further development of other technologies such as fibre and 5G can also mean a differential leap. Let’s take a look at some examples of solutions:

  • Cybersecurity. Being protected against possible digital attacks is another of the concerns that companies may have. For this reason, having cybersecurity experts is of great importance.
  • Cloud. Having a cloud service guarantees availability and security both in processes and in the most relevant information handled by businesses.
  • Online presence. For part of society it may seem excessively obvious, but having an online presence is still not something that happens in all SMEs. It is precisely this online presence that can help to increase the degree of visibility of the business, improve the proximity with customers and their dealings with them, as well as the possibility of reaching new markets.
  • Big Data and IoT. The potential of SMEs’ data can help them to exploit it in an optimal way to improve decision-making. Likewise, the possibility of automating their processes can serve to make better use of available resources and, therefore, meet the demands received.

Success stories

Improvements in the business in different ways, such as increased efficiencies or agility, are some of the issues that from a practical point of view have been noticed by companies in different sectors such as catering, retail or third-party services.

Telefónica Empresas provides a series of examples of how digitisation and digital transformation have helped these companies to evolve their businesses.

Conclusion

For SMEs, both digitisation and digital transformation represent a competitive leap compared to those companies that have not yet undertaken these tasks.

From cybersecurity to the cloud, from something as basic as an online presence to something more elevated such as Big Data and IoT technologies, these are tools for SMEs that have not yet taken on these tasks.


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