The Institute’s research activities cover diverse but distinct research directions, such as data science and its applications in areas such as manufacturing, education, the impact of digital transformation, artificial intelligence, business process modeling and management, knowledge management and semantic technologies, information management, IT service management, IT and media regulation, and Fintech.
The Institute has actively participated and is participating in national and international research projects, in the EFOP 3.6.1, EFOP 3.6.2, TET, KÖFOP, and the Thematic Excellence Programmes, in Erasmus projects. The Institute’s research centres and workshops, the Fintech Centre, and the SAP Next-Gen Lab have also played a key role in the organization of research.
Slovenian – Hungarian scientific and technological cooperation Project No. 2019-2.1.11-TÉT-2020-00172 – project brief
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on SMEs digital transformation journey
In recent years, enterprises and societies around the world are being heavily affected by the global virus pandemic (COVID-19). The crisis has already transformed into an economic and labour market crisis, affecting all enterprises. However, enterprises are coping and trying to respond to these challenges in different ways. Some have been heavily affected due to the closures and reduced working hours recommended to curb the spread of the virus. While others have heavily relayed on digital technologies, which enabled work from home and establishing new online sales and collaboration channels.
Even though the advancements in digital technologies provide unprecedented opportunities for SMEs little is known how they adopt and leverage digital technologies to cope with the consequences of COVID-19. Moreover, although European Commission tries to shape Europe’s digital future with European digital strategy where the common goals are provided there are diversities among the European Union (EU) countries, including policy, design, funding approach, financial, size, and implementation strategies. These differences also result in the different levels of digital competitiveness of EU countries. Thus, the comparison between two or more EU countries could provide more detailed insight on how SMEs in the different EU countries deal with the consequences of COVID-19 using digital technologies.
To better understand the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs, in TET project we aim to investigate how different SMEs in EU countries (Slovenia and Hungary) responded to the crises with the use of digital technologies. We explore how SMEs were facing challenges of the COVID-19 situation and using digital technologies to overcome these challenges, what were the changes which reflected in their operations (business models), for instance, establishing remote work, webshop, electronic data interchange, web portals. Additionally, we investigate how these changes will be incorporated into their future strategies, for example increasing investment in digital technology, providing enhanced training to improve digital skills of employees, establishing new online channels for collaboration with suppliers, buyers, customers, designing new products and services.
The research results will provide deeper understandings of how SMEs, being in different stages of DT, in Slovenia and Hungary used digital technology to respond to the challenges that emerged with the pandemic situation. Moreover, we will compare results in both countries and assess similarities and differences between SMEs and provide recommendations for enterprises to progress their DT journey.