There’s also a sense of optimism towards emerging technologies—a third or 34 per cent have adopted Artificial Intelligence (AI), for instance, marking a substantial rise from just 8 per cent in 2021. Separately, 80 per cent are confident that the introduction of a digital ID will benefit their business, according to the Sage’s report titled ‘Empowering SMEs in The Digital Decade: The 600 billion EUR opportunity’.
A substantial 85 per cent of European SMEs view digital technology as vital for growth, with 84 per cent crediting it for improved efficiency.
Adoption of tech like AI has surged from 8 per cent in 2021 to 34 per cent.
However, investment in tech has only increased by 16 per cent on average, limited further by financial constraints and late payments.
However, despite seeing high returns on investments from tech and digital confidence, barriers remain. On average, European Union SMEs have only amplified their tech investments by 16 per cent over the past year. Financial constraints further reduce this figure to 9 per cent for some businesses, highlighting the pressing need for financial support. Furthermore, late payments are a significant obstacle to SMEs, with cashflow and liquidity problems second only to rising costs as a barrier to growth.
With the right policy framework, the research reveals the huge potential for SMEs to create a high-growth digital economy. Raising the pace of digital transformation for slower-to-adopt SMEs could contribute €628 billion to the European economy.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (NB)