Digitisation of SMEs – Opportunity or Challenge
3 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 15, 2017
Global business environment is changing its dynamics every day. Rapid development of science and technology is supplying fuel to the movement of business dynamics changing motion. For example, if we look back to one decade we will see that SMEs were using record books with pen or pencil for keeping record of materials or financial transactions. Using postal/courier services to send documents were the only means. Physical visit was necessary to test a raw material’s quality and final decision of purchase. But today, within a decade, big revolution happens in this arena due to the rapid progress of information and communication technology. Today sophisticated computerised record keeping is available at affordable cost. Internet communication changed the dynamics of manual communication and physical presence became unjustified here. Email communication replaced the postal or courier services, video conferencing technology ensured audio visual communication without physical presence, mobile communication has just created a revolution in this sector. Robotics with artificial intelligence made the previous dynamics completely irrelevant within this one decade. We do not know what the next miracle is waiting for us in the coming decade(s). With the advancement of science and technology industrial community adopted the best possible solutions and ensured justified progress of the sectors as required. For example, steam engine was invented in 1780s and business factories started to mechanise themselves with water power and increase productivity at highest rate at that time. With the invention of electricity in 1870s manufacturing assembly line concept was initiated by the entrepreneurs with the use of electricity and productivity increased into the next step. Later on they adopted computerised automation concept while computer was invented in 1969. Similarly today in 2017 industrialists are fighting to adopt digital technologies for digitisation of respective enterprises by using cyber physical systems, robotics with artificial intelligence even the 3D printing technologies for ensuring productivity, products quality, and well acceptance of the consumers. Now come to the point how many SMEs are capable of adopting all these new technologies in terms of Bangladesh? How much modernised our SMEs are? Whether rapid progress of technology is an opportunity or a threat to the Bangladeshi SMEs?
Keywords: SME Digitization, Digital Economy, Digitization of SMEs, SMEs in Bangladesh
JEL Classification: P42
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