In this report we examine the level of digital transformation of SMEs in Poland in comparison to SMEs from other EU countries. We take into consideration both the digital business environment (digital infrastructure such as Internet availability and digital skills of human capital) and the adoption of digital technologies. The introduction of digital technologies such as websites, social media, e-commerce, electronic information sharing and cloud computing simplifies and accelerates decision making, allows effective brand building, facilitates transactions and makes it possible to reach new customers.
Why is it so important for SMEs to go digital?
Internet and digital tools become a must in the context of the Digital Single Market strategy. The regulations proposed within the DSM greatly enhance the opportunities stemming from successful digital transformation, as well as pose risks connected with losing markets and customers due to digital business illiteracy. Although the digital revolution affects both ICT and traditional businesses, it puts significant pressure on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are relatively more sensitive to global competition occurring within the Internet compared to their stronger, bigger counterparts.
Are Polish SMEs ready to compete on the Digital Single Market?
Most Polish SMEs are not prepared for the DSM: not only do they not reap the benefits of digital transformation they also risk losing their traditional markets and customers. Almost one in ten Polish SMEs does not have Internet access, although the digital infrastructure is relatively good and cheap. They hesitate to adopt digital tools, particularly cloud computing, and neglect the opportunities created by e-commerce. Admittedly, Polish entrepreneurs have limited access to
a digitally skilled workforce, but at the same time they seem to be little inclined to improve the digital skills of their employees. In other words, the Polish SMEs are in a strong need of digital transformation.