Recognising the huge potential of digitalisation for micro and small enterprises, Exponential Training is one of seven European partners taking part in the Erasmus+ project: Digitalisation of Europe’s Micro-enterprises (DiTEM). This month sees the launch of the DiTEM platform in the UK.
The 4th Revolution
The digital transformation, often called the fourth industrial revolution’, is key to ensuring competitive advantage in the global economy and the delivery of growth and new jobs. A recent study by McKinsey, estimates that new digitally-enabled automation and artificial intelligence has the potential to bring an uplift in GDP of €550 billion (or 1.2% per year) from 2016 to 2030 in nine European so-called ‘digital front runner’ economies, (i.e. Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden). The potential across the other twenty-one European countries is therefore massive.
An analysis of many European countries shows the digital economy appears to run at two different speeds, with a small number of foreign-owned multinationals with high digitalisation levels and productivity, and traditional indigenous SMEs, which are slower in leveraging digital solutions to reduce costs, drive innovation and expand market presence.
DiTEM is attempting to change this through a learning initiative aimed at Europe’s micro-enterprises. Recognising that digital transformation requires an enterprise-wide change, any digital transformation must be supported at company level by changes in culture, leadership, skills and processes – for this reason the DiTEM course includes an e-leadership module.
Such a change also requires investment in the digital competences of the workforce covering areas such as using the cloud, social media and big data. To bring about such a change will also require enterprises to ensure there is a supportive and innovative organisational culture where risk is rewarded and not avoided.
The other level of support that is required is national support such as being given to smaller enterprises in Ireland. A recent study conducted in Ireland has recommended that the Irish Government should adopt measures ensuring that:
- The benefits of digitalising traditional sectors of the economy are well understood by different stakeholders (e.g. local business community, high-tech companies, banking sector, investors);
- Traditional SMEs that are willing to seize digital opportunities have access to adequate funding including grants and loans and education;
- Tech-companies help create an impact locally, by providing and supporting the implementation of digital solutions within SMEs.
As the DiTEM project enters its testing phase with the participation of hundreds of micro-enterprises, partners will be gathering feedback from participating enterprises on the support they feel is needed to digitalise their enterprises.
If you want to know more about how to digitalise your enterprise including how to ‘beef-up’ your cyber security, you will be interested in DiTEM – Digitalisation of European Micro Enterprises.
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