Press Releases

More than half of the businesses prepare for digital developments after the epidemic

Budapest, June 19, 2020 12:00

Only one third of small and medium businesses worked without interruption during the limitations introduced due to the coronavirus, therefore, every second one of them prepare for digital developments after the epidemic. Also, those companies were the least affected by the crisis, that used more digital solutions in the first place – a conclusion from a non-representative research project, performed on a large sample by eNET, based on an assignment from Telekom. Only a quarter of Hungarian businesses wish to return to the pre-crisis ways of working.

Half of the small and medium businesses (SMB) participating in the research survived the period of the virus either with limited capacities or reduced scope of activities, one third of them consider themselves to have been unaffected by the situation, but 11% were forced to put their operation on hold. One percent of them was wound up – this is the conclusion from a research by eNET, whereby Hungarian businesses were asked based on an assignment from Telekom. Telekom’s objective with the research was to support their mission, the digitalization of SMBs. According to the study, focusing on business managers and employees alike, more and more entrepreneurs came to the conclusion that the easier, or eventually the only way is a digital one.

Of those businesses, filling in the questionnaire, that did not use digital solutions before, 22 percent could continue their activities without interruption. Of those using 1-2 digital solutions, this ratio was 23 percent, in case of 3-4 solutions, it was 30 percent, while among businesses using five different digital solutions, it reached 37 percent – according to the data.

The more digital solutions used by a business already before, the least affected their operation was during the epidemic – concludes eNET based on data in the study, adding that these figures are also impacted by which sector the given SMB was active in. Webshops, cash-free payment solutions, electronic communication and online billing were widely used solutions for small businesses, even before the epidemic, but for each of them, one could say that the number of users increased or more businesses commented that they would introduce these new functions in the future.

According to research data, the crisis pushed digitalization forward, since only one quarter of the businesses wish to completely return to the way they worked before the epidemic, while forty percent stated that they will continue to operate the way they implemented during the virus. One third of the businesses started to use applications supporting online teamwork during this period. Also, one third of them changed their ways of making business contacts, almost one third introduced something else instead of working at the office. The SMB sector is still only embarking upon a journey to digitalization, this is well demonstrated by the fact that  only 21 percent of the surveyed companies introduced at least one of the solutions, aimed to provide social media presence, homepage, webshop, online billing or cash-free payment.

Such changes, however, require a shift not only in technology but also in the approach. To help with that, Telekom created the Hello Business Club, a partnership based, social initiative, supporting digitalization, where Telekom provides media appearance opportunities for businesses, also offering part of the company’s online advertisement spaces for the entrepreneurs.

„We are proud of these entrepreneurs, and would like to support them in coming out of all situations as winners, through digital solutions. According to research data, the more digital your business is, the more future proof it will be. As a partner, we are helping SMBs get to the end of their way to digitalization, because this is the only way there is” – said István Iski, Director of the Soho-SMB area.

According to the Telekom - eNET research, 56 percent of the businesses will put more focus on digital developments after the epidemic, and almost one quarter of them said this will be the first thing they would do. 13 percent of the surveyed SMBs say they are operating in a fully digital mode already today.

„Of the planned digital developments, social media appearance is the most typical, and slightly behind that is operating a homepage. Almost one third of the companies, planning developments, intend to launch a webshop and online billing” – Explained dr. Gergely Kis, eNET’s partner, the data in detail.