Table of Contents
According to the first projections, the post-pandemic could give us the positive surprise of a rather marked period of growth. Digital and sustainability will be the engine of development. Provided that companies take concrete actions and follow up on their stated intentions.
In particular, digital will be the driving force of the near future. But be careful not to make it an embellishment of something that will remain the same. Companies will have to invest in innovative projects, completely transforming themselves into active subjects aware of their evolution, aiming to manage and exploit an industrial ecosystem of data. This is one of the greatest opportunities that are presenting themselves to SMEs and to all our businesses.
The guidelines are these: to innovate and internationalize with particular attention to sustainability.
Innovation – this is the basis.
Innovation is at the foundation of everything also because it is intimately linked to the digital revolution that companies have to face. For this reason, companies must make a conscientious and transparent assessment of their current state and understand the paths to follow in order to rethink their business model , comparing it with the needs of the market in order to have an indication of precise, targeted and effective actions to implement.
In theory, the reality seems positive: 6 out of 10 companies that declare themselves ready to evolve their corporate strategy.
Therefore, in intentions, the Italian production system, which boasts the sad record of a productivity that has been stagnant for decades, seems to have the intention of moving towards the future.
In fact, companies declare that they want to start looking for new customer bases, also by developing new products.
At the same time, around 7 out of 10 companies say they are willing to adapt their operating model to what is now defined as the post-Covid reality .
That is, a situation in which digital has established itself following more than a year of harsh restrictions, and today dictates the rules of relationships and exchanges, establishing itself as a yardstick for assessing the quality of corporate competitiveness.
So: companies say they want to innovate and adopt digital systematically and strategically to go in search of new market niches, especially international ones.
In fact, the pandemic has made a large number of entrepreneurs discover that internationalization is possible, especially if you have clear ideas and precise objectives to achieve and you don’t get carried away by enthusiasm or fashions.
Recent research by Deloitte reveals that one company out of two believes in the recovery and is convinced that this moves on the dynamics of internationalization . As a result, management has begun drafting business plans aimed at expanding geographic coverage.
This is also the confirmation that the crisis triggered by the pandemic has proved to be a stimulus to evolution for businesses, especially those in the Northeast which, traditionally, have always had an eye on borders to consolidate their business.
The cancellation of fairs, the blocking of travel, the impossibility for the sales networks to dislocate on foreign markets, has led companies to develop new business paradigms . A situation that, with the continuation of the anti-pandemic restrictions, ended up becoming stable.
Having said all this, however, it is necessary to go beyond the intentions and come to terms with the reality that sees Italy in 25th place out of 28 member states of the Union by level of digitization. Worse than us only Greece, Romania and Bulgaria.
Today, the use of and familiarity with new technologies have become the yardstick for assessing a company’s competitiveness . But in Italy, just to give a figure, only 10% of SMEs use digital sales channels.
This is why the propensity to innovate is fine, but companies are still far from having the tools to truly compete in markets where foreign companies will be less creative than ours but have higher technological levels. Precise and long-lasting projects and actions are needed immediately so as not to remain marginalized in Europe and in the world.
For 56% of SME entrepreneurs there is a need to intervene on their business model, focusing on the development of one or more elements of their model, starting from lead generation.
In fact, it was understood that this will be the fundamental key that also allows an SME to approach new markets with digital technologies through a sustainable project also at an environmental level.
Because among the other components of future development there is the sustainability element : thinking and acting in a sustainable way will place our SMEs at the level of the corresponding European companies that have already adopted sustainable models, processes and materials.
It is at this point that the sum of this reasoning leads to the new centrality assumed by communication and marketing which are entrusted with the fundamental role of facilitators of processes and actions.
In order to adopt innovative paths, projects are needed that make SMEs understand the potential of digital, from data management to live streaming , to arrive at building clear and recognizable identities for each individual brand. Alongside this, targeted knowledge and the ability to develop strategies that can lead companies to enter new markets by reading data and characteristics are needed.
This is why SMEs need reliable partners to support the new era of development that awaits them, made up of innovation, digitization and internationalization.
The bad habit, unfortunately very widespread, of “let’s do it yourself” must leave room for new partnership models that protect the company from the risks of a do-it-yourself that is at least inappropriate in this area.
SME entrepreneurs today must have the courage to question themselves and seek forms of collaboration that will help them grow. The goal is to define and make a new market standard competitive in which to find a way to develop.
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