An immediate response to overcome the challenges that the crisis generated by COVID-19 has presented to SMEs is digital transformation. Although it represents a challenge, it can help them survive if successful strategies are applied, so it is essential to bear in mind that –to start taking the step– quality connections, technological devices, digital solutions adapted to specific requirements, and tools are needed that enhance their business opportunities.
Now, different government entities offer options and aids so that the digital transformation in micro, small and medium-sized companies is optimal and without problems; for example, the Colombian chambers of commerce have carried out training on electronic commerce, teleworking, digital marketing and new technologies; Tools have been provided that promote virtual business and support to MSMEs to access virtual windows. All this, added with the efforts of each one of the organizations, can mark its strengthening for the future.
To survive in the current context of impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have to resort to the intensive use of digital tools to implement teleworking, make purchases and sales online, as well as manage production processes remotely. But this constitutes a great challenge, especially for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), the majority segment of the universe of existing firms, and which has had the hardest time getting on the digital wave.
What do SMEs need?
The key today is to continue generating income to stay in the market, and one way to do this is the digitization of processes. However, for many MSMEs, this may become impossible without adequate accompaniment and support to make the journey less painful.
What strategies can be implemented?
Governments can help a critical mass of companies equip themselves agilely and quickly with digital capabilities to continue operating continuously in the context of the restrictions of this pandemic and to maximize growth opportunities in the post-crisis. To massify and optimize their interventions and resources, governments must rely on digital tools that already exist. These types of programs have been strongly promoted in developed countries within the framework of comprehensive digital agendas, which is why their deployment has been faster than in LAC.