The digitization of domestic SMEs has slowed down

The Digimeter, the digital “meter bar”, examined the digitization of companies in 6 areas (digital presence, digital everyday life, business management, sales and marketing, digital finance, IT security) in the same way as last year. The hybrid, online and telephone data collection conducted in August-September 2021 paints a nationally representative picture of the domestic situation based on the responses of 757 Hungarian SMEs.

BRAKE TREATMENTS

Among the sub-indices covering 6 areas, the outstanding change in the case of digital presence is that the proportion of people with a Google Company account has increased significantly (from 16% to 30%), while the proportion of companies using customer service chat or chat bots has decreased (from 17% to 8%). or fewer small businesses have their own web store than last year (13% vs. 18%). And when measuring the IT security sub-index, it turned out that more and more companies use VPN (24% instead of 19%) – the survey shows.

The apparent lack of change is most striking in the Digimeter results. The stability of the main index also surprised the producers of the measurement, who expected that the development of domestic companies in the studied areas would be perceptible, albeit to a small extent, year by year. Looking for the reasons, the most likely explanation seems to be that the year and a half behind us was also special in the lives of SMEs.

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After March 2020, most companies underwent forced digitization, introducing several innovations (such as trying out new online sales solutions, moving to telecommuting), but some of them either didn’t work out, or as the epidemic subsided, it was easier to return to well-being. for old processes that lack state-of-the-art digital solutions.

Thus, last year’s fall 2020 survey showed a partially “turbocharged” state of firms – we would probably have seen a bigger jump between 2019 and 2020 if the research had started a year earlier. This can be offset by the stagnation experienced in 2021. Digital finance is an exception and remains the most developed area for business digitization activities.

At the same time, the research points out that larger SMEs (employing 50-249 people) were able to improve: their main Digimeter index increased from 49 to 52 – this is offset by a decline or stagnation in smaller companies. There are also differences according to the location of the enterprises: the index of Central Transdanubia companies decreased from 41 to 36 last year, that of South Transdanubia companies from 39 to 33, and that of Northern Hungary companies from 39 to 35, which At the level of the main index, the development of companies in Central Hungary is obscured.

DOUBLE STANDARD

The digitization of small and medium-sized enterprises is characterized by a special duality, so the managers, decision-makers and employees of the companies, as private individuals, presumably do not differ significantly from the Hungarian average in their use of the Internet and digital devices. On behalf of Digiméter, Reacty Digital, participating in the consortium, conducted a representative survey of the Hungarian population aged 18-79 in September 2021 to reveal the differences between the practices of Hungarian SMEs and the population.

This found that 71% of adults used to buy a product or service through online advertising, while 41% of SMEs only advertised online. While 92% of Hungarian adults search for a product or service using Google search and 78% search for shops, offices, restaurants using Google Maps, 27% of SMEs can be found on Maps, 30% I have a Google Company account, 25% advertise with Google Ads, 11% use Google Shopping and 7% search engine optimization. 88% of the population used to chat with family or friends and 59% video chat (e.g. Zoom, Google Meet), compared to only 27% of companies using teleconferencing software and 10% using chat to work.


Source: HWSW Informatikai Hírmagazin by www.hwsw.hu.

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