بخشی از مقاله (انگلیسی)
Digital transformation is challenging the competitiveness of micro and small enterprises (MSEs), especially in emerging markets where factors that inhibit the growth of these businesses traditionally prevail. This paper aimed to assess the digital maturity of MSEs, using the Brazilian context as a study model. A validated digital transformation framework was applied to 346 companies for data collection and subsequent statistical treatment. Almost 60% of the Brazilian MSEs are at primary levels of digital maturity, with 19.1% being unconscious about the digitization process. Digital maturity was shown to be statistically correlated with innovations (p = 0.000) and business revenue (p = 0.009), suggesting that these factors are facilitators in the MSEs digitization. This paper pointed to the urgency of efforts on the part of companies and policy makers in Brazil to implement actions that can foster behaviors, capabilities, and enablers to digital transformation. These findings can allow in-depth discussions and aligned strategies among emerging economies to point out best practices for companies inserted in markets with similar characteristics and challenges.
Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) have contributed significantly to the economic development of many countries, and both developed and developing regions have a predominance of this type of business on the market. Especially in the emerging countries, besides the economic function, MSEs have social importance due to the assimilation of a significant number of workers, the development of rural regions, the encouragement of entrepreneurship, and the dissemination of business opportunities for women [1, 2]. In Brazil, an emerging country that is the focus of this paper, MSEs (up to 99 employees and revenue up to 3.6 million Brazilian Real) represent 98% of business in the country, generating 50% of formal jobs in the private sector and representing a contribution of 27% of gross domestic product (GDP) .
In emerging markets, the management and expansion of businesses face inhibiting factors associated with the lack of infrastructure, poor access to bank loans, limitation of tangible and integrable resources, and the absence of audacious public policies. This challenge is accentuated for MSEs, forcing them to constantly rethink their business model and organizational strategy to remain competitive .
It was found that digital transformation is a highly integrated and multifaceted process, showing that less than 3% of the Brazilian MSEs presented a consistent digital structure, representing a maturity degree of at least 80% of digitalization according to the validated instrument. Considering this group of companies, the main aspects identified were related to the development of a digital strategy as well as systematic control of organizational results and data management, strengthening the digital business transformation.
At the same time, more than half of the sample still has low digital maturity due mainly to weaknesses in technology, people, and governance dimensions. In addition, it was observed an absence of learning management controls, so the enterprise applies some innovation related to digitization, but not to collect, share and disseminate the lessons learned especially those related to technological innovations.