Digital Transformation Trends for SMEs 2022

In these last two years, organizations had to quickly respond and adapt to the new challenges that came with the healthcare crisis: new business, work and operating models, which accelerated their digital transformation processes in an effort to stay in the market and build a future.

While advances were huge, this trend will extend through 2022 but with a difference: company leaders are looking to move away from actions that were initially reactive and driven by abrupt changes, to the development of proactive and strategic medium- and long-term initiatives.

According to the seventh edition of the Visión Pymes survey conducted by Brother International Corporation, 46.5% of entrepreneurs in Ecuador and Colombia stated that the pandemic increased the investment level in office technology in their company. This shows that what began as an attempt to solve immediate problems has quickly become an opportunity for companies to prioritize innovation in technology, rapidly change platforms and create new value offerings that allow them to be more competitive in the market.

All these changes have become unique opportunities to rebuild a better world, which will involve broadening the definition of value, that is, not only measuring financial success but also how people are prospering, what is the environmental impact, greater inclusion and diversity, among others.

Here are some tips from experts for small and medium-sized companies to take into account in their digital transformation process.

  1. Corporate Values and Digital DNA: According to Jason Acuña, founder and CTO of Outer Space Coders, a technology company focused on web and mobile development based in Costa Rica, “to succeed, management must first promote a focus that prioritizes digitization and that this is reflected in all the organization’s areas. It is important to adopt an organizational culture that is prepared for digital transformation and that promotes innovation to achieve greater efficiency in meeting goals and objectives.”
  2. Broaden the definition of value generation: Alejandro Carbonell, CEO and co-founder of Tutorez, an online education platform based in Panama, mentions that businesses must now be aware that the way of consuming is changing and people are much more concerned about the environment, society and the planet, so they expect to see these values genuinely reflected in brands and not only as part of their advertising.
  3. Hybrid work environment: For Astrid Encarnación, founder of Ases Services, a service firm dedicated to the organization and strategic development of companies and professionals based in the Dominican Republic, it is essential to implement a work model that combines the best of face-to-face and virtual work to increase the company’s productivity and ensure the well-being of its employees.
  4. Adopt the cloud in processes: If you have not yet implemented the use of the cloud to store information and work there, it is time to do it. According to Astrid Encarnación, there are many options that could improve your company’s collaborative actions, improving communication and management of your services.
  5. Cybersecurity: Along with advances in digitalization, cybercriminals have improved their strategies and have taken advantage of the widespread use of the Internet to increase the information theft from users and companies around the world. Fortunately, Latin American SMEs have understood the need to strengthen their digital security and therefore, according to the latest edition of the Visión Pymes survey, 1 in 3 entrepreneurs plan to invest next year in software tools to improve their cybersecurity.

Digitization is no longer exclusive to large companies or those working in the technology area, but has become an indispensable factor for all companies that want to remain in force over time, so it is important that SME leaders develop long-term transformation proposals, encouraging creativity and flexibility in their teams to be more efficient.