Clarification of the Present Understanding of the Assessment of an Organization’s Digital Readiness in SMEs

Rui Silva, Henrique S. Mamede, Vitor Santos


The role of digital transformation (DT) in economic development is a vital and recurring point of research. It is particularly relevant if we consider the high percentage of digital transformation initiatives that fail to deliver the expected results, particularly in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This paper analyzes what is needed to make this transformation successful from an implementation perspective and, simultaneously, from the standpoint of obtaining the company’s expected results. This phenomenon is even more critical to decipher and understand when we look at the small and medium enterprises that face more significant challenges due to the scarcity of resources and needed skills. This work reviews a large variety of models through an extensive systematic literature review (SLR) that assess the readiness and maturity of the digital transformation of enterprises, with a focus on SMEs, with its primary objectives being (1) to review the existing studies and models that assess an organization’s maturity and readiness in the context of digital transformation, focusing on SMEs; (2) to identify if there are gaps considering the importance of the SMEs; and (3) to propose a standardized set of dimensions that should always be considered in a digital transformation assessment. The outcome of this research provides an essential contribution by identifying apparent gaps in the assessment of digital transformation in SMEs and proposing a scalable and standardized set of categories and subcategories that can be used across any future assessment model. These contributions are even more relevant when referencing minimal deep research in the context of SMEs and Digital Transformation.


Doi: 10.28991/ESJ-2023-07-06-025

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Readiness Assessment Model; Maturity Assessment Model; SMEs; Digital Transformation; SLR.


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