Technology is “more accessible than ever”, but SMEs and large companies “still need to transform”, experts say.

PARIS, May 17 (Benin News/EP) –

SMEs and large Spanish companies are taking important steps in favor of digitalization, and one of the key factors is the following technology is “more accessible than ever”, both because of the cost of the infrastructure and the option of ‘pay as you go’ models. However, these companies “have yet to digitally transform”. and there is still a long way to go, as several industry experts said during the second meeting of the Europa Press Technology Forum.

This event, entitled “Digital transformation in SMEs and large companies”, took place this Tuesday at The Valley business school, sponsored by BDO and Econocom. The event was opened by the general manager of Red.es, Alberto Martínez Lacambra, who pointed out that the importance for companies to start by going digital, adapt their technology, then operate a digital transformation, which is “a deeper concept”.

As a first step, small businesses (up to 50 employees) now have the option of accessing the Digital Kit grants. The objective of Red.es is to reach one million SMEs, with an investment of 3.067 million euros and more than 7,300 digitizer partners. “Never before in Spain or in Europe has a program been carried out with such intensity in terms of beneficiaries. Many European countries are interested in how it is developed,” said Martínez Lacambra.

Anyway, the managing director of Red.es insists that this is only a first step and that “it is essential that Spanish companies – both SMEs and large companies, as well as the administration – enter this path of enabling technologies”, among which Big Data, artificial intelligence and robotization, among others, stand out.

Digital already accounts for 22% of GDP According to Mr. Martínez Lacambra, Spain’s GDP and its impact are expected to increase to 40% by 2025. “We must be able, both the administration in its processes and the private sector, to integrate enabling technologies because this is where the economic future of our country will be played out,” he added.

THE PANDEMIC HAS ACCELERATED DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

In order to find out how companies are facing this challenge, this technological forum, moderated by José Rodríguez Silva, journalist at Europa Press, brought together Sergio Esteve, consulting partner at BDO; Jorge Osorio, business development manager at Econocom; Ana Delgado, education manager at The Valley; Mariel Diaz, CEO of Triditive; and Ismael Fuentes, Business Development Manager at Imagar Informática. All all agree that the pandemic has caused an “acceleration” of the processes digital transformation processes.

This was stated by Sergio Esteve, consulting partner at BDO, referring to a study presented by the consulting firm, which also analyzes the the increase in teleworking processes in recent yearsAccording to him, teleworking is now present in two thirds of companies (compared to 33% before the pandemic). “The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the digital transformation of businesses,” he said.

The context of inflation, caused by the war in Ukraine, does not seem likely to change this trend either, although Esteve is cautious: “The growth of the digital sector will be very high, even if there is turbulence in macro level in the coming months”. The BDO spokesperson reiterates that this part of the economy “will experience spectacular growth”. and emphasizes that the challenge will be one of talent.

For his part, Ismael Fuentes believes that “now is the time to do new business” with technologies such as IoT, 5G, blockchain and the metaverse. “Far from slowing down, we are going to see a big push. » he added. The leader of Imagar Informática does not believe in the differences between small and large companies, but rather between small and large processes, and emphasizes the importance of understanding the company to improve processes. “Any digital transformation project starts with a clean sheet,” he says.

Mariel Diaz, CEO of Triditive, a company dedicated to 3D printing and linked to a traditional sector, such as machinery, also believes that more opportunities are emerging because “companies are more aware of the need to transform their processes”. In this sense, he explains that now companies open their doors to them to present their products and that they can convey the message directly to the decision makers of the company, which was not the case before.

THE MAJOR CHALLENGES FOR COMPANIES

But beyond the desire for change, companies still face major challenges, as reflected by Jorge Osorio, business development manager at Econocom. One of the most common issues he encounters when working hand-in-hand with companies is that they’ve acquired a technology, but don’t know how it can help their business model. “There are huge underutilized investments and that produces a certain disenchantment,” he explains.

“Technology is only a means, while digital transformation requires many processes,” adds Osorio, insisting that companies will not be able to transform through technology alone. “It is naïve to think that we have digitally transformed. by doing more videoconferencing and telecommuting. Some prejudices have been overcome, but when it comes to digital transformation, there is still a long way to go,” he added.

On this point, the Econocom executive stresses that. “the culture of the organization is essential”. His company strives to provide this support to facilitate the employee experience. Mr. Osorio gives the example of a large company, where there are trends that are difficult to change overnight, and stresses the importance of working so that technology is integrated into the processes and that the employees themselves are involved. .

BDO also refers to larger companies, where “the level of sophistication is much higher”. “The big business needs to technologically train exceptional professionals with a lot of experience. In an organization of 5,000 people you cannot change employees, but to adapt them to this new reality”, underlines Mr. Esteve.

TRAINING AS A CRITICAL ASPECT

Training and retraining within companies was another key point to be discussed during the symposium. Ana Delgado, education manager at The Valley, spoke about the importance of “working on the digital skills of workers”. to be more efficient and productive, This ranges from sensitizing senior managers to training different groups within the organization, so that no one is left behind.

“We are talking about cultural transformation. In any small change within the company, it is necessary to give impetus to adapt it naturally. Recruiting talent is very expensive, training is an investment,” Delgado said. Mariel faces the same problem in her sector: “We need to attract and train talent which does not exist today. The demand for talent is greater than the supply.

The CEO of Triditive, who has worked with American and European clients, pointed out that, although in Europe the adaptation of new technologies to business processes is slower, companies in the old continent “can now have an opportunity thanks to to their commitment to the creation of R&D centres”, even if she considers that “they still have a lot to offer”. collaboration between large companies and SMEs must be strengthened. technology-based SMEs.

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