BGK: 20 percent Polish SMEs still do not use any IT tools

Luc Williams

Every fifth Polish company from the SME sector does not use any IT tools – these are almost exclusively micro-enterprises, according to the BGK report “Digitization in the SME sector – opportunities and limitations”. Among the biggest barriers to digital transformation, SMEs mention the shortage of IT specialists on the market and limited access to financing.

The largest group (57%) are companies in the initial phase of digital transformation. On average, so far they have managed to implement only one of the nine technologies analyzed (average = 0.95). Most often, it was software enabling digital communication within the company (29%). These companies also quite often use social media for employee recruitment (22%) or promotion (20%).

Every fourth company (27%) can be classified as a cluster of digital adapters, which on average have implemented more than two solutions (average = 2.53). Relatively the smallest group of companies (16% of the total) are the so-called digitalization leaders, i.e. companies that, on average, have implemented more than four of the considered digital solutions (average = 4.36). The technologies chosen by excluded companies and digital adapters are standard among digitalization leaders – they are used by 76 percent. up to 83 percent companies from this cluster (depending on the technology).

Degree of digitization by industry

“The digitization of companies creates wide opportunities for economic growth on a macro scale, but also translates into the results of specific enterprises. Companies know this perfectly well – every second entrepreneur declares that their company will have to implement new digital technologies to maintain competitiveness. The study showed that most micro-enterprises have work to do,” he emphasized BGK expert for digital transformation of enterprises, Ksawery Stojakquoted in the material.

The degree of implementation of digital solutions also depends on the industry, which is indirectly related to the structure of individual sectors and their digital needs. The above-average use of digital solutions is visible in the case of business professional, scientific and technicaland also in hotel industry and gastronomy and in trade. The low level of use of digital technologies is visible in companies dealing with transport and warehouse management, financial activities and insurance and real estate market.

There are still obstacles

Entrepreneurs from SME sector they expect rather positive consequences of digitalization. However, they see some challenges in the transformation process itself. The most frequently indicated obstacle to the digitization of Polish SMEs turned out to be the insufficient number of IT employees on the market (43 percent of responses). A similarly important problem is the lack of adequate financing options for necessary investments (41%), it was also reported.

“Despite common knowledge about the positive impact of digital transformation, still every fifth company does not use technology to increase its efficiency. Limited access to financing is one of the most frequently mentioned barriers in the process of digital transformation of SMEs. Interestingly, the responses of entrepreneurs indicate that this problem affects to the same extent in all surveyed companies, regardless of their size. This suggests the need to better adapt financial support to the needs related to the implementation of digital technologies in SMEs,” concluded Ksawery Stojak.



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