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 Czech SMEs ready to compete on the Digital Single Market?
Our analysis suggests that Czech enterprises operate in a relatively supportive digital environment. The digital infrastructure is quite developed, although the Czech Republic lags behind the NMS13 average in subscription to fast broadband. Czechs report sufficient digital skills, although they need to work on their Communication and Software skills and to get more familiar with online services. In several aspects Czech SMEs are among the digital leaders of the region or even of the EU: they strongly engage in e-commerce and lead in using websites for presenting their products and prices. They are more advanced than the other NMS13 countries when it comes to using cloud computing, although they still do not measure up to their EU15 counterparts. Additionally, they do not use the full business potential of social media and other digital tools, such as CRM in the area of communication with their customers. Promisingly, Czech entrepreneurs clearly appreciate the value of digitally skilled workers and invest in their training.