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 by European Commission within the DSM framework greatly enhance the opportunities stemming from successful digital transformation, as well as pose risks connected with losing markets and customers due to digital business incompetence. 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 Bulgarian SMEs ready to compete on the Digital Single Market?
Our analysis suggests that Bulgarian enterprises do not use the opportunities offered by digital transformation, performing worse than their regional counterparts. Although they benefit from access to relatively good digital infrastructure, they lag behind in the adoption of digital technologies, especially in the area of e-commerce and cloud computing services. The most important obstacle to their digital takeover is the very low level of digital skills of the human capital. Bulgarian SMEs are trying to cope by hiring ICT specialists, but at the same time they do not invest in ICT training of their employees. As a result, according to the indicators measuring digital transformation of economy and society (DESI), the country takes the second to last place among the EU28 (27th).