The 5 biggest challenges of digitization in SMEs

Courage and the will to change are the first steps toward a digitized company. Digitization in companies should not be seen as a short sprint, but rather as a marathon distance that must be covered. This is often the reason why many companies are currently still warming up and have not already started running. Just like a marathon, digitization cannot be covered in the shortest possible time, as the path holds a number of challenges and hurdles that need to be overcome. We show you what the 5 biggest challenges of digitization in SMEs are and how you can successfully master them.


Challenge 1: Low prioritization of digitization

In many SMEs, digitization is not yet a high-priority topic. They are dealing with numerous other acute issues that have a higher urgency. These include challenges in connection with supply chains, constantly rising prices, or the shortage of skilled workers. Due to a lack of capacity, these topics are often dealt with first – but this happens at the expense of digitization. The generally uncertain economic situation is evident in almost all industries. For this reason, investments in a company’s digital infrastructure are postponed indefinitely, projects that are already underway are put on hold, or topics such as the strategic digital future of a company are not even addressed. But this endangers the competitiveness of the company in the long term. How does digitization succeed in a company’s own operations despite these circumstances?

Digitization offers a wide range of opportunities through the usability of new digital offerings, but SMEs are still skeptical about them. Particularly when it comes to software-as-a-service solutions, some companies are still quite reserved and traditional. They still prefer to spend a relatively large amount of money to purchase software than to pay a monthly license fee for a much smaller amount. The fact that ownership is preferred to borrowing is characteristic of small and medium-sized companies in particular. One possible reason for this is the lack of know-how in the company. Very few SMEs have a broad-based IT department with specialists for different areas. Instead, there is often only one person who takes care of the topic of IT, in some cases even only on the side. But even though the importance of the topic of digitization has already been recognized, it is difficult for SMEs to attract IT specialists. So how can this challenge be successfully mastered?

Establishing an external service provider as a trustworthy and long-term partner is a sure way for SMEs to successfully drive the topic of digitization. evosoft is therefore available to support you with a customizable digitization offering. From virtual workshops to location-based services to projects for OT and IT connectivity, we accompany you on your personal marathon into the digital future.

Challenge 2: Identification of concrete starting points

Digitization projects currently still resemble a patchwork quilt in many medium-sized companies. Often, there is no overarching digitization strategy in the company, which makes it difficult to maintain an overview of the status of ongoing projects or to evaluate which specific measures will be relevant in the future. To guarantee competitive security in the long term, it is not enough to digitize only individual areas of a business while paying no attention to others. When creating a strategy for digitizing a company, it is important to take a holistic view of the business. The identification of concrete starting points is the most important point in the course of strategy development.

At this point, medium-sized companies must ask themselves, for example, whether their entire business model will change as a result of the digital transformation or whether the first step for them is merely to digitize supporting processes. The question of the extent to which data is already being collected, especially in manufacturing or production, and how data analytics can be intelligently exploited are also important points in strategy development.

To successfully master digital transformation, it is important to understand that this means more than just technical digitization. Successful planning and implementation of digitization is initially only the prerequisite. But it is only when the entire organization of a business evolves through an overarching strategy that the actual transformation takes place. In order to exploit the full potential of an operation, companies in the SME sector must be aware of this differentiation.

Are you still at the very beginning of your digital journey and unsure about which points to tackle first? As part of our let us get your digital journey started, we are available to you as a virtual sparring partner. Together we will analyze your concrete starting points and develop a possible solution path for your digital future strategy. But even if you have already taken the first steps toward digital transformation and have specific use cases for your company in mind that you would like to discuss and develop with experts, we will be at your side as part of the boost your digital use case workshop.

Challenge 3: Utilization of unrecognized potential

Identifying previously unrecognized potential for digitizing a company is one of the greatest challenges in the process of digitizing small and medium-sized enterprises. After all, awareness of what digitization entails and that it is an important adjusting screw for the company’s competitive security in the future is not enough on its own. The specific challenge is to identify the areas in which one’s own company can benefit from digitization.

There are opportunities for improving digitization in every functional area of a company, from purchasing to accounting to production, and in every industry, such as healthcare, the public sector or the process industry. Medium-sized companies in particular are still lagging far behind established corporations when it comes to digitization.

That’s why it’s important to individually answer questions such as “To what extent can information be made more easily accessible and communication within the company improved?”, “Which processes can be improved and automatically controlled through the efficient collection and analysis of data?” or “In which areas are competitors already successfully using digital technologies?”. These show the potential for expanding unrecognized digital potential and highlight the urgency for action in one’s own operations. For more information, read our blog article on why data is the basis for a successful digital transformation and how this can be achieved in your company.

Workshop: Let us get your digital journey started

Learn the building blocks of digitization and identify and prioritize your current challenges. Get a roadmap and start the digital future of your business.

Challenge 4: Safe handling of cybersecurity

Digitization offers companies numerous opportunities and growth potential, especially when it comes to collecting, evaluating and using a wide variety of data. But in order to fully exploit this potential, IT security and cybersecurity must be given high priority in the implementation of digital strategies – because without them, digitization cannot be successful. Some companies are already well positioned in this area, while others still need to catch up. Almost every company is a potential target for attack. Cybersecurity is therefore equally a strategic task and part of risk management in a company’s management.

Attacks on cybersecurity have been increasing continuously, especially in recent years, while burglaries and physical thefts, on the other hand, are tending to decline. The secure handling of the topic of data security therefore turns out to be one of the greatest challenges. Raising awareness and sensitization is particularly important for medium-sized companies that are only slowly venturing into digitization in their operations. It is particularly alarming that many companies do not even realize that they have already been attacked virtually.

Digital business processes also require a great deal of trust. It is particularly important for customers to be able to rely on the fact that their data is safe with the companies they work with. A uniform and consistent security concept should therefore span all business partners. evosoft is therefore ISO 27001 certified. This is an important sign for our customers that the security of our products and services is always in focus.

Challenge 5: Long-term establishment of digitization

Another huge challenge for many smaller businesses is finding the right solution for them and establishing it as a long-term project. Online in particular, there are numerous offers from a wide variety of providers. But which of them suits your own company? Especially if you are inexperienced in this area and have had little contact with it, the wide range of offerings can seem opaque and difficult. In addition, a decision must be made between a standard solution and an individual offer. Prefabricated offers are immediately available and relatively cheaper than individual solutions, but in the end they may not be the right solution for one’s own requirements. Individual solutions, on the other hand, are somewhat more expensive, but precisely tailored. The challenge is therefore often to get an overview and, with the right partner at your side, to create an individually suitable solution.

After all, the digitization of a company is a long-term project that is intended to create sustainable benefits in the company. For this, you need a solid digitization strategy and, especially for medium-sized companies, a suitable external partner with specialist know-how. Whether you want to optimize the material flows in your company in the future or track your production in real time and identify irregularities – evosoft meets these requirements, among others, and works closely with you to shape the digital future.


Digitization is one of the most important topics of our time and not just a trend that will pass again. To ensure long-term competitive security, small and medium-sized enterprises must face the challenges of digitization and invest in their own digital future. They will be rewarded with lasting competitive advantages, perspective cost savings and the opportunity to stand out from the competition and assert themselves on the market.

Digital transformation initially generates effort and requires courage, but it offers numerous opportunities, especially for medium-sized companies. The best thing about it: It will pay off for you! Your investments in planning and implementation, as well as advances and setbacks along the way, will take you a step closer to becoming a digital company. Once you manage to take the first step and stop warming up while others have been running for a long time, it will quickly become increasingly clear how important this marathon is. Because in the long run, you will turn opportunities into real benefits and thus secure a successful corporate future.

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