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Fomento San Sebastián’s experience
DEVISE project partner Lourdes Blanco, FSS Economic Development Projects Manager, mentions that 47 companies participated in the test and 11 submitted an evaluation. He explains that most of the respondents are small companies belonging to the retail sector that value the content of the DMAT questionnaire positively because it allows them to have a global vision of their digitalization situation in all areas of their business. “Most of these retail companies have already contacted different digital providers (64%) but have not yet started any digital transformation plan since a reasonable period for it has not yet passed”, adds Lourdes.
Regarding the contribution of the DMAT to the companies, 62.5% agree that it is useful to measure a company's digital profile and support sales but 25% express doubts that it has a direct impact on their business' sales. Among other conclusions, 90% of companies said they wish to participate in joint initiatives with other companies in these sectors and generate collective knowledge. “The objective of the pilot is understood to have been achieved and with a satisfactory result because a tool like DMAT has been valued in general terms positively by this type of companies”, continues Lourdes. In general terms, there has been an increase in awareness of the need for existing businesses to make the unavoidable digital leap in order to increase their competitiveness. “Resources are allocated for the education and training of business managers in various aspects related to digitalisation, including digital marketing and social networks”.
Regarding the next steps, FSS considers that the tool helps SMEs in these sectors to have a global vision of the digitization of their businesses as a tool for competitiveness. For this reason, work is being done on how to include this type of tool as one of the digitalization service projects that they currently offer to these companies. Once the refinement of the tool and the abovementioned adaptation to the local context is done, FSS’s plan for the use of the tool still foresees an integration into two different websites: in the specific section on the retail and hospitality sectors that is on the FSS website and, on the intranet of the DSS Market Plaza platform, in which each local company member has access to a catalogue of services and support programmes of which they can be a beneficiary.
Northern and Western Regional Assembly’s experience
Marie Moriarty, NWRA acting Project Officer, said that this Pilot project gave us the opportunity to collaborate with our DEVISE partners in Bulgaria and San Sebastian and learn from their experience working with businesses. This knowledge and experience helped us to determine which questions to be included in the tool, allowing businesses to assess their digital maturity.
The knowledge that the NWRA have learnt from this project, including the questionnaire and the database of Digital Supports for businesses in Ireland, will be shared with Irish Stakeholders and the European Digital Innovation Hub in our region Data2Sustain.