98% of SMEs strive to adapt to technology, while 48% already work in a hybrid way – Prensa Libre

A Microsoft study on the “Impact of Covid-19 on the culture and operation of SMEs”, reveals that 98% of small and medium-sized companies in the country consider that, in the last year, they have accelerated their process of digital transformation.

The survey conducted by this technology company to 320 SMEs in Central America, except for Nicaragua, was divided into 80 per country. With the exception of micro companies, most were answered by decision-making employees. Not so in Guatemala, where 51% of responses were provided by owners.

The objective of this was to understand the way in which the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the culture and management of SMEs, in relation to work, talent, inclusion, digital transformation, skills and security.

Main results

Among the results is that 39% of those surveyed have developed their own technological applications, such as automation and digitalization, apart from there is a tendency to adopt new software applications, which shows that the pandemic has accelerated the process of digital transformation, as This is indicated by 98% of the interviewees.

It also highlights a greater prioritization of digital skills for remote work, while 48% of the companies interviewed say that they already apply hybrid work: currently, in Guatemala there are 48% working face-to-face and 52% doing so in person. hybrid and remote way (followed by Costa Rica (30%, Panama and El Salvador with 28%).

Also read: Cellular telephony has grown in Guatemala at an average rate of 1 million lines per year since 2000, and the trend continues

To successfully carry out hybrid and remote work, 71% indicate that portable computers are important, as well as data storage in the cloud, as a great democratizer of technology. Five years ago this percentage would have been much lower, explains Jaime Menéndez, director of the SME segment of Microsoft Central America.

Another priority for 68% of this segment is the implementation of software for video calls, as well as software for collaborative work, a trend that is increasingly observed in 29% of SMEs. Additional priority technology is antivirus and cybersecurity, as companies want to protect themselves from these threats.

After the impact of the pandemic has been overcome, there are plans for the majority of SMEs to return to a 100% face-to-face scheme, due to the fact that there are technological barriers that are difficult to manage, such as Internet connectivity (48%) and technological infrastructure (25 %).

From now on, 93% of those surveyed indicate that technology is here to stay, considering that technology will be very important in the work model they apply, once the pandemic is over.

higher investment

On the other hand, 75% indicate that technology has facilitated their recruitment processes, since in this way they have been able to hire workers with various capacities, mainly in the digital areas (54%), remote work (51%) and marketing. digital, which is also an important skill (44%).

As a country, Guatemala stands out as the one with the highest prioritization of digital skills and for remote work, with 54% and 51% respectively. In 48% of the 80 companies surveyed, hybrid work is applied and among the opportunities provided by technology, 60% consider agility in operation and productivity; 54% the opening to new markets and 49%, that there is a reduction in costs.

Similarly, a priority for 85% of SMEs in general, in the technological issue, is cybersecurity. “Digital transformation has accelerated the way data analytics are used (88%). Hence, nine out of 10 companies make decisions based on data”, says Menéndez.

Now, companies that have technology as their reason for existence, called digital natives, have benefited from the aforementioned changes, for which 67% report the impact of the pandemic as positive for their business.

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Of that account, six out of 10 had to hire new personnel or external services to cover the demand for their services, mainly medium-sized companies.


The SME sector represents more than 99% of the Guatemalan business conglomerate and generates around 80% of employment, while its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is approximately 40%, according to data from the Vice Ministry of Mipymes of the Ministry of Economy.

Therefore, boosting its activity and strengthening its opportunities to prosper in a more digital world is essential for the country’s economic recovery, it was indicated.

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