Threats and Opportunities in Digital Transformation in SMEs from the Perspective of Sustainability: A Case Study in the Czech Republic
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Digital technologies represent an important factor in the achievement of the sustainability goals of the European Green Deal. Whether the digitalisation trend will contribute to the sustainable development of societies in the long term depends on how we shape and understand it. The aim of this paper is to create a concept for the management of the threats and opportunities in the digital transformation of SMEs. As part of a broader research project, a complex tool was developed to assess the digital maturity of SMEs, and our paper focuses on one aspect of this tool, which is related to the identification and management of the opportunities and threats that are associated with digital transformation trends. The methodology that was used to develop this paper is based on a pilot survey that involved 154 SMEs in the Czech Republic, 74 of which were used for the follow-up survey on the opportunities and threats. Sixteen key trends were identified, which were then reduced to five latent factors, with their names forming five dimensions. In the cluster analysis, the companies were divided into three clusters, which served as the basis for determining the final cluster centres. The result is a concept for the management of the threats and opportunities in the digital transformation of SMEs. Digital transformation is the broad topic. Therefore, the theoretical overlap of this study can be seen in the narrower focus on the identification and management of the opportunities and threats in digital transformation. In addition, this study focuses on SMEs because there are more than one million small and medium-sized enterprises in the Czech Republic, and they create 54% of the innovative solutions. The practical impact of this study can be understood in the fact that the proposed concept may enable SMEs to more easily manage threats and opportunities in their digital transformation.
Keywordsdigitalisation, threats, opportunities, digital transformation, SMEs, sustainability
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourceSustainability. 2022, vol. 14, issue 6, p. 3628-3645.
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