According to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 4 out of 10 small- and medium-sized companies have not yet gone through their transformation process towards digital, just as we showed on Con Tu Negocio blog. The lack of knowledge and shortage of specialised profiles are the major barriers, but what’s really hard for them is to move from theory to practice, choosing which concrete actions each of them would have to apply.
SMEs account for 99% of the Spanish productive framework, and are the economic engine of our economy. From Telefónica’s experience, and with the goal of activating these transformative actions, we have actively collaborated with the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, leading the Digitalisation Commission, presided by Carlos López Blanco, in order to carry out a diagnosis and address actionable proposals focused on this group.
As a result of the joint work of the different companies that make up this commission, on 5 March the Spanish Chamber of Commerce presented the SPAIN DIGITAL COMPANY strategy to accompany SMEs in the digital transformation of their business. This strategy consists, among other aspects, of a report with the diagnosis and 50 proposals for measures, a guide for SMEs to begin addressing the change, and the implementation of a website where information on existing support is included: empresadigital.camara.es.
As indicated by Maria Jesús Almazor, Managing Director of Telefónica Spain, in her presentation:
- “The main driver of this transformation are not the companies, nor the governments, nor the markets, ... it is people who drive the digital transformation. We're facing a new kind of customer”.
- “Digitalisation implies an enormous opportunity for SMEs. The goal of the Spain Digital Company Strategy is to accompany them in their transformation process with a battery of almost 50 concrete measures that are aligned along three axes: sensitisation, construction, and acceleration. Facing this process, as many of them are already doing successfully, is an essential condition for increasing their productivity, competitiveness, and growth, and even their internationalisation”.
- “It’s a global transformation supported by technologies and new ways of working”
Regarding this change, Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Economy and Digital Society, indicated that «it’s not an option, it’s a must».
And as the Secretary of State for Digital Advancement, Francisco Polo, stated, «digitalisation is no longer a technological challenge, but rather a social challenge».
In this sense, the President of the Spanish Chamber’s Digitalisation Commission, Carlos López Blanco stressed that technologies are already available to companies of any size, we are facing a human challenge where the owner is the one who can take a step to forward to adapt its company to this new customer. He said that “Digitalisation is not a risk for SMEs, but rather a great opportunity for growth and internationalisation, covering the gap that is occurring with new digital clients who demand new relationship models”.
He furthermore commented on the unique characteristics of the Chambers of commerce that allow them to play a fundamental role in the transformation of SMEs because of their capillarity, because of their closeness to the business framework that has facilitated the promotion of internationalisation, and as an interlocution channel between companies of different sizes and intermediate institution between the private and public sectors.
The future is already here. Are you digital or are you still thinking about it? Companies have to start down the road and tackle small steps without fear. Demystifying the digital transformation, performing an analysis of needs with a basic productivity kit. Alone or joined by partners.