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Good Practices
LIKTA campaign

The European Union's Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) indicates that Latvia's digital development is considerably slower than that of its neighbouring countries, and also under the EU average. Improving this requires a coherent approach that encompasses state aid, citizen and business engagement, and a unified regulatory framework and long-term strategy to enhance digital competitiveness. 

The digital transformation is key for Latvia's growth: and digitalisation can help Latvian companies reach higher productivity levels and excel in their respective sector. To address this gap and ensure a fair digital transition for European SMEs, the Latvian Information and Communication Technology Association (LIKTA) launched the "Smart Latvia" initiative in 2019. 

Context and background

"Smart Latvia" wants to educate managers and executive-level employees in Latvian SMEs (or basically, those with decision-making power). Managers in SMEs are often overloaded and under-resourced, especially when it comes to gathering the latest information on a product, or understanding the changing landscape around a digital solution. 

Testing the digital maturity of Latvian SMEs

The Digital Maturity Test for SMEs is part of the "Smart Latvia" project, and one of its cornerstones. It is tailored to be used by company managers, who are the primary decision-makers regarding the ICT solutions a company chooses to invest in. The questions are easy to understand, and relate to the fundamental functions of any type of enterprise (employees, customers, effectiveness, data security, marketing and advertising). 

Answering the Digital Maturity Test questions regarding the company’s internal and external processes allows for a comprehensive assessment, not only of the individual company but also in comparison with competitors within its sector and region. No specific ICT knowledge is required to take the test. 

Once the Digital Maturity Test is completed, the respective manager receives a thorough assessment of digital maturity levels, including a comparison with industry competitors. This serves as motivation for the company’s managers and provides recommendations on future ICT solutions. These insights enable companies to make targeted and intelligent investments that significantly contribute to their digital transformation.

Why is this a good practice?

During the campaign for "Smart Latvia", LIKTA organised various events including seminars, podcasts, mentoring sessions for entrepreneurs, and discussions.  These events addressed key digitalisation challenges, emphasising the use of e-documents to enhance business processes, secure authentication, and e-signature tools for business security.

Topics such as business management solutions (ERP) tailored for small and medium-sized enterprises, cybersecurity issues, and other relevant matters concerning the ICT industry and entrepreneurs were also discussed.

Performance indicators and results

To date, 1115 businesses have completed the digital maturity test, revealing noteworthy insights. Companies that excel, demonstrate a strong grasp of available information about their operations on the internet. Furthermore, these businesses express optimism about their future, indicating a keen interest in innovation and IT solutions within their sectors. The evaluation of customer management suggests the implementation of robust customer databases within companies. Security also received commendable scores, affirming the notion that businesses prioritise data security and keep their information up-to-date.

In terms of financial management, most companies have established systems providing swift and convenient access to financial and material asset data, including raw material stocks, inventories, and financial records.

However, a more detailed assessment of efficiency highlightsa gap: process automation within companies is not yet fully developed, leading to instances where employees perform tasks that could be automated. This represents an area for potential improvement.

Comparing a company’s digital skills with those of its competitors reveals that competitors often leverage advanced digital solutions and skills in their day-to-day operations. Notably, there exists a clear divide in digital solution adoption between large enterprises and small/medium-sized businesses.

Good practice details

Target audience
Digital skills for the labour force.
Digital skills for ICT professionals and other digital experts.
Digital technology / specialisation
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) not further defined
Geographical sphere
National initiative
Type of funding