A simple process of digitally transforming MSMEs

 

The era of digital transformation is disrupting the world, in ways we did not even predict. Many businesses are disappearing while others, more innovative are emerging, and all is being done by adopting and following the trends of technological advancements. Business models, which previously were considered exemplary, are now disappearing, making way to newer, more innovative models that are bringing solutions we did not see before.

In the midst of digital era, businesses that do not see the digital transformation as a way forward, are threatening their existence. We have witnessed this during the COVID-19 crisis where, businesses that were not agile enough to digitally transform did not manage to survive. In these times, businesses are sometimes not aware of what does digital transformation mean and even what parts of their business they can transform. An initial step in this phase is undertaking a digital check-up by a digital transformation professional, who helps the company assess its current ‘digital standpoint’ and provides guidance and recommendations for improving their digital level.

Having finalized the digital check-up phase, the business now knows its weak and strong points and focuses on the implementation of solutions and tools that help them catch the digital ‘wagon’. However, simply implementing the tools and solutions is not the final step of the overall process. The business needs to have professional and digitally knowledgeable employees who manage, oversee, and implement the constantly evolving digital trends. Hiring an employee who has a Digital Transformation Certificate or enabling the current employees to obtain one, would enable the organization to adopt a new digital culture that joins new technologies and work processes together. Just recently, the Kosovo Business Consultants Council has been accredited as the second institution worldwide to be able to certify consultants in Digital Transformation.

In an effort to support the digitalization of the private sector in Kosovo, the ACCESS project – funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation – has facilitated the launch of the Digital Empowerment Initiative which is a mechanism that aims to promote the digital transformation of small and medium enterprises, to increase the sector’s performance, competitiveness and market access. The project has so far launched two phases and is expected to launch the third one by the end of 2021, where all the micro, small and medium enterprises are encouraged to apply and be able to receive digital transformation support in Digital Marketing, E-commerce, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Digital accounting and human resources, Automatization and optimization programs. SME digitalization does not only benefit companies per se, but it also improves society in general. As one of the key drivers of the country’s economic growth and innovation, SME digitalization plays in an important role in the overall development of an inclusive and sustainable economy. The DEI mechanism, funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation, co-financed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and implemented by ECIKS, is regarded as one of the first mechanisms that is supporting and promoting the digital transformation of the private sector.

 

 

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