Many of Canada’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) do not effectively leverage new digital technologies. They often fail to adopt new tools or lack an innovative digital culture – altogether referred to as a business’ “digital maturity.”
Digitally mature SMEs are more resilient to market disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and are 62% more likely to have high sales growth and 52% more likely to have greater profits. Despite this, many SMEs still fail to implement basic digital innovations.
Major barriers to SME digital maturity include a lack of qualified employees, excessive costs for modernization and an unclear return on investment. Infrastructure is a factor, too, with a lack of fibre optic internet being a standout concern.
Canada should invest in better understanding the economic impacts of digital maturity, while also providing supports that help SMEs navigate their digital transformation.