In today’s economy digitalization is a necessary condition for SMEs. Following recent developments, such as the emergence of industry 4.0 and Data Driven Logistics, SMEs gained great potential to enhance their business models. They are forced to do so, as major companies, such as Amazon and Unilever, have increased their competitive advantage by adopting technological development while SMEs are lagging behind. Most of the companies in the Netherlands are SMEs, which lack this capacity and capabilities, so it is important for the Dutch economy that they keep pace with the technological developments. However, the success of digitalization depends on effective technological and non-technological enablers. Furthermore, in order to successfully digitalize, SMEs need to invest both in systems and skills which is a major challenge for them. SMEs need to span their institutional boundaries in order to be able to identify, acquire and exploit relevant knowledge for their organization, as the availability of technological knowledge often is insufficient. Consequently, it is better to offer SMEs plug and play solutions as the implementation period is shorter. At the same time, it is necessary to increase their knowledge absorption capacity, as technological knowledge is growing at an increasing speed and digitalization is a never-ending process. This paper explains the first steps of developing an integrated maturity scan and road map for the technological and non-technological aspects of digitalization, based on the relevant aspects of previously performed comprehensive literature studies. The paper answers a part of the central research question of the SIA RAAK MKB project proposal that has been submitted by the authors, entitled Digitalization at SMEs: Plug & Play Readiness, “How to develop an integrated maturity scan and a road map that includes technological and non-technological enablers of digitalization to help SMEs define and perform the next steps in digitalization in order to enhance their business model?” The contribution of the paper is that it proposes the first steps towards an integrated approach, which has been lacking from the literature up till now.
|Klara Paardenkooper, Mark Wiersma||Kenniscentrum Duurzame HavenStad (Hogeschool Rotterdam), Kenniscentrum Creating 010 (Hogeschool Rotterdam)||2022|