ŠAVŠ/TAČR Digital Czechia in a Digital Europe


of project is a characteristic feature of a higher level of digitalization that can fundamentally reform or modify the business model. In order to significantly strengthen the competitiveness of domestic SMEs, the Czech Republic should not only strive to create the infrastructure and financial background for the development of digitalization, but it should also strive to set up a system to encourage SMEs to implement higher-level digital projects as much as possible. Website modernization, presence on social platforms, upgrading of ICT systems or a better interface for communication with suppliers are undoubtedly favorable steps, but in the long run this simpler type of digitalization may seem to be quite insufficient. Therefore, in an effort to digitalize SMEs, the Czech Republic should not only take into account how many Czech SMEs implement digitalization projects, but it should also seriously consider the types of digitalization projects that are implemented. At the same time, preference must undoubtedly be given to the aforementioned higher-level digitalization projects – i.e. such projects that are more complex and impact more profoundly on the functioning and overall structure of the company that adopts them. In creating incentives for digitalization, the Czech Republic could, for example, apply the method of progressive favoritismbased on the principle: the more complex the digitalization project (or possibly more such projects) individual SMEs decide to implement, the greater the financial support (whether in the form of direct co-financing, grant or financial relief ) it may receive. Finally, the SME digitalization support system should provide a more pronounced level of support to smaller firms, which usually have a higher degree of financial constraint due to lower turnover. A very similar principle undoubtedly applies to the distinction between the sectors in which SMEs operate. This applies with regard to the fact that, in particular, the financial level of complexity of the implementation of digitalization projects differs significantly within different sectors. Therefore, the level of possible financial support must necessarily reflect such a fact. A detailed list of recommendations for the Czech Republic in this area is found on pages 89 and 90.

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