Why Increasing Digital Maturity of SMEs Matters

Jul 16, 2021

WTC Toronto is pleased to announce the release of its report, Picking up Speed: Digital Maturity in Canadian SMEs and Why Increasing it Matters . It provides ground-breaking insights into the challenges and successes facing Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their efforts to digitize.

SMEs have been leaving money on the table by failing to successfully adopt technologies over the years – even before the pandemic. Research from the Business Development Bank of Canada has shown that more digitally mature SMEs are 62% more likely to have high sales growth and 52% more likely to have more profit growth over the previous three years. They are also 70% more likely to be exporters.

99.8% of all Canadian businesses are SMEs. They represented 70% of hours worked in Canada in 2008 versus 56% in the US. However, Canadian SMEs are also less productive than their American counterparts. Research shows that increasing digital maturity is associated with significant productivity gains within individual businesses. Increasing the digital maturity of Canada’s SMEs is likely to have a significant impact on the Canadian economy at large.

SMEs also often lack the knowledge of technologies, their strengths and their drawbacks, to be able to successfully implement digital transformation strategies. Over a third of SMEs either do not understand digital opportunities, or are only just beginning to understand but do not know how digitization will impact their businesses. They need guidance to help them implement technology as just having it is not enough to make their businesses digitally mature.

This research is invaluable in ensuring that the businesses of today and tomorrow can adapt, thrive and rise in the ever-changing landscape.