Digitisation of SMBs could add up to $216 billion to India’s GDP by 2024, says Cisco study

SMBs in India are fast investing in the cloud technology, according to the study. Security and upgradation of IT hardware are also among the top investment priorities.

Here is why digitisation is important not just for SMBs but India as well
Here is why digitisation is important not just for SMBs but India as well (Amazon)

Even as India is making efforts to propel the economy, there is a renewed interest in the Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs). According to a new Cisco India Digital Maturity Study 2020, digitisation of these SMBs could contribute $158 to $216 billion to India’s GDP by 2024. The study said that the digitisation of SMBs can also help in the recovery of the economy post-Covid-19.

The study, based on a survey of SMBs from across the Asia Pacific region conducted by IDC and commissioned by Cisco, found that digitisation may deliver twice as many benefits in terms of revenue and productivity to SMBs, as compared to the non-digitisation approach.

According to the study, 68% of Indian SMBs are looking to digitally transform to introduce new products and services, differentiate themselves from the competition, and grow, while 60% recognise that competition is transforming and they must keep pace, and 50% seek digital transformation due to customer demand for change.

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The study also stressed the need for embracing the cloud to help digitise. It found that cloud is the top technology investment priority for SMBs in India (16%) followed by security (13%) and purchase or upgrade of IT infrastructure software (12%).

IDC-Cisco 2020 Asia Pacific SMB Digital Maturity Study
IDC-Cisco 2020 Asia Pacific SMB Digital Maturity Study (Cisco)

Despite a keen interest in embracing technology such as digitisation, SMBs also grapple with multiple challenges. The Cisco study names shortage of digital skills and access to talent, and lack of necessary technologies as some of the top hurdles for SMBs in their digital transformation efforts (16% each).

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"During this time, small businesses have been grappling with drastically reduced liquidity, disrupted supply chains, and lending challenges. To bounce back, they need to pivot and adapt swiftly, reimagine their business models, and identify their place and role in the new normal. In these efforts, most small businesses have realized that going digital is critical and are displaying a willingness to disrupt themselves. At Cisco, we understand the complex world of SMBs, and have been innovating products aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses digitize quickly and sustainably," said Panish PK, Managing Director, SMB, Cisco India and SAARC.