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The effects of Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Industry 4.0 on the work of small and medium-sized enterprises in LATIN AMERICA.


Technological transformations have brought about changes in the way companies around the world work. The objective of this research is to analyze how these changes have been incorporated in SMEs in Latin America given their relevance as engines of economic, social and cultural development in the region.

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This document is the consolidated report of the five countries that participated in the project "Impact of Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Industry 4.0 on the Work of SMEs in Latin America": Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay.

The main results of the surveys conducted on a sample of 480 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are presented, 96 of them in each country, divided into two economic zones in the sectors of primary industry (including agriculture and livestock), trade (wholesale and retail) and services. In addition, an exploratory study was conducted with 50 start-up companies (10 per country) in order to propose an initial approach for this type of company.

Among the main findings is that a greater number of SMEs need to incorporate the use of specialized IT systems in their processes in logistics and supply, human resources, production, administration and finance, CRM, data analysis, workflow or BPM. This requires more investment and better training of personnel for startups to reach a higher level of digital maturity than observed. Moreover, the technological resources used by SMEs are mostly basic: they usually use the Internet, but few use mobile applications and online stores, which are very powerful tools for the business environment. On the other hand, half of the SMEs do not invest in data analysis, technology or communication. In conclusion, it is highlighted that the path to digital maturity for SMEs in Latin America is to close the gaps in connectivity and ICT use, have government support that allows them to become competent ICT users, increase their development towards digitalization and adoption of new digital technologies, create new products and services with a high level of digital innovation, and use techniques such as digitalization, artificial intelligence, Big Data and Industry 4.0 in an advanced way.


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Marcee Sofía Gómez Marín

Marcee Gómez

Project Coordinator +507 387 4477
las pymes


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