The digitalisation of small and medium businesses (SMBs) could add up to $216 billion to India's GDP by 2024 and contribute to the country's economic recovery after COVID-19, the Cisco India SMB Digital Maturity Study 2020 said.
The study, based on a survey of SMBs from across the Asia Pacific region conducted by IDC and commissioned by Cisco, showed, SMBs that are more digitally mature enjoy twice as many benefits in terms of revenue and productivity compared to those that have an indifferent approach to digitalisation.
The study, according to a CISCO statement, highlighted that 68 percent of Indian SMBs seek to digitally transform to introduce new products and services, differentiate themselves from the competition, and grow, while 60 per cent recognise that competition is transforming and they must keep pace, and 50 percent seek digital transformation due to customer demand for change.
The results of the study show that cloud, a foundational pillar for digitalisation, is the top technology investment priority for SMBs in India (16 per cent), followed by security (13 per cent) and purchase or upgrade of IT infrastructure software (12 per cent), the statement said.
However, SMBs are also facing challenges on this front. According to the respondents, a shortage of digital skills and access to talent, and lack of necessary technologies are the top hurdles for SMBs in their digital transformation efforts.
For the Asia Pacific region in general, SMBs continue to make progress in their digitalisation journeys, despite challenges. According to the study, 16 per cent of SMBs in the region are now in the advanced digital maturity stages, compared to 11 per cent in 2019.
Slightly more than half of SMBs have embraced digitalisation to become Digital Observers. Only 31 per cent of SMBs are still reactive to market changes and have made hardly any efforts to transform digitally, the statement added.(With PTI inputs)