Digital transformation became the escape valve for many SMEs in the pandemic. Although actions were already being taken to incorporate companies into an environment that would allow them to use digitization as a means of business improvement, the health situation accelerated the process. According to the study Voice and attitudes of SMEs towards technology conducted by Microsoft in 2022, companies that accelerated their digital transformation fared better than those that did not reporting growth through technology centrality. In fact, 2/3 of the SMEs surveyed for the study (2,000 globally) said they have increased their IT budgets by 2023, with a primary focus on operational efficiency, marketing and customer retention.
For its part, in 2022 EY presented the Digital Maturity Index (IMD), a measurement instrument that allows understanding the digital transformation process in companies seen from different factors, such as strategy and innovation, customer experience, operators and supply chain, administrative areas, information and technology, risks and cybersecurity, and culture and organization. In the case of Latin America, the average maturity level was 61.16 on a 100-point scale, which is interpreted as “in development of digital skills”, showing that although progress has been made in the transformation process, there are still many gaps to work on.
Added to this empirical evidence is that digital tools are changing rapidly, something that forces companies to modify and update their management models. This is achieved if a capacity development is established that allows them to migrate to a staggered digital transformation process in the different areas of the business, from customer relations to efficiency in the operation of supply chains; the challenge is to turn digitization into a key tool for generating competitive and/or comparative advantages.When seeking to enhance their digital capabilities, companies may consider hire skilled Django developer, as their expertise in this popular Python web framework can greatly contribute to the successful implementation of digital initiatives, enabling businesses to build robust and scalable web applications with efficiency and security.
For this reason, at CAF we are promoting projects that are within the framework of the digital economy, understood as the development of digital technologies implemented in productive sectors. An example of this is the roadmap of productive chains developed in 2022 in Ecuador and in which a diagnosis of digital transformation and work plans for the textile and clothing and logistics sectors were generated. In turn, in 2023 we began to lead a digital transformation pilot program for SMEs, which seeks to generate digital skills for 40 companies in the tourism sector in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Barbados and Jamaica, which allows them to address digital transformation in an efficient and use digitization to adapt sustainable business models as a vehicle to improve their productivity and competitiveness.
Digital transformation is a path towards generating opportunities for SMEs, but it is necessary to generate strategies in the ecosystem that allow them to strengthen skills and use digitization as a key element in business activities. At CAF we will continue articulating different actors to meet this objective, as well as leading projects that support the digital economy.