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Business Readiness for the Digital Economy Assessed by Otkritie Experts
The coronavirus pandemic gave a powerful impetus to the restructuring of business processes. However, not all companies were ready for digitalization, while now most entrepreneurs have begun to more positively assess the possibility of switching to digital services for their business.
According to the Otkritie Bank press service, the Bank’s experts conducted a study of the readiness of small and medium-sized businesses for the digital economy (BDI - Business Digitalization Index) together with the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO and the Analytical Center of NAFI.
According to Nadia Cherkasova, Deputy President and Chairman of the Management Board of Otkritie Bank, during self-isolation, more and more entrepreneurs switched to “remote work”, and the growth of the digitalization index was 50 percentage points. However, so far only 11% have high indicators in this area. Moreover, among medium-sized businesses there are more ready to use digital technologies - 20%. Among micro and small companies such 12-15%, and sole proprietors - 10%.
To support this process, clients are offered two tools: the BDI index, which demonstrates the readiness for change in work in new realities, and the ability to get tested and get advice on how to put online tools into operation.
Otkritie Bank believes that the transition to digitalization of the business under the new conditions is the key to success. While in 2019 only 54% of companies had their own sites, this year there were already 75% of them. The convenience of doing business with digital tools was recognized by 57% of entrepreneurs versus 37% a year earlier. Another 53% replied that such technologies increase the speed of work (last year there were only 33%), and 22% of the study participants admitted that the “figure” helps to improve customer service (15% last year).
At the same time, few businessmen pay due attention to information security. Only 7% of businessmen have their own network attack monitoring center (1% last year), 14% use business protection programs (2019% in 9). At the same time, the share of those who do not use any tools at all decreased - from 23% to 17%.
It hinders to introduce new services and develop work online, especially in the regions, most often a lack of funds (24% of respondents). Another 14% of managers are not interested in digitalization of companies (14%), some managers are hindered by a low level of knowledge and skills in this area (9%).
Despite the fact that Internet coverage of companies was 94% in 2020 (against 92% in 2019), not everyone uses digital communication channels with customers. Corporate mail was used by 56% versus 48% last year, cloud solutions use 52% versus 46%. The share of those who work with systems for automating work with clients has also increased (from 23% to 33%). At the same time, only 81% of companies switched to electronic document management.