When a crisis hits a company, its management must be willing to introduce innovation and digitalisation in order to strengthen its competitiveness in the market, speed up the production, reduce costs and errors. Although a large number of companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina are aware of the advantages of digitalisation, they frequently need the support of experts. The project ”Innovation and Digitalisation in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina/EU4Digital SME” supported the establishment and development of four digital innovation hubs.
The established digital innovation hubs in Bosnia and Herzegovina are digitally transforming small and medium-sized enterprises by providing trainings and technology in order to improve the production and existing systems. One of them is Digital Storm with seat in Sarajevo.
”Digital Storm fusion includes QSS and FabLab with their experts, professors, doctors of science, engineers, and financial experts. Digital Storm is open for other companies and different experts that can provide adequate assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises on their path to a digital world,” explains Adnan Hantalašević, Head of Digital Ecosystem Development at Digital Storm, an important concept of provision of support to digitalisation and innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises.
Engineering sparkle that initiates innovation
Five years ago, Adnan Hantalašević came from the engineering world to QSS, a high tech company, where he continued developing his career in a business development position. As a programmer, Adnan had a chance to get in touch with the digital world at the beginning of this career:
”Once you start working with the digital world, it attracts you and you stay in it”, says Adnan and adds that every engineer ”has that sparkle or rush to create something new. That is the emotion driving us to create something new and innovative to leave behind once we stop doing this job.”
Following the ”Public Call for Proposals for Digital Innovative Hubs in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, published by the project ”Innovation and Digitalisation in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina/EU4Digital SME” that is co-funded by the German Government and European Union and implemented by GIZ, the experts from QSS, together with experts and long-term partners from the research and technology organisation FabLab, got the opportunity to create something new in Bosnia and Herzegovina and support small and medium-sized enterprises in the process of digital transformation.
As a result, a digital innovation hub Digital Storm was established soon with a clear vision – to support small and medium-sized enterprises in the achievement of their goals through digitalisation and innovation. Digital Storm provides small and medium-sized enterprises with technological expertise, trainings and support in the drafting of digital development strategies and access to EU funds.
”The story about DIHs is new in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is extremely interesting, even challenging, to be part of this story, raise the awareness of digital innovation through hubs and competence centres that are one-stop-shops for all services and solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises. We are working on this and will continue raising the awareness, so that companies understand that there are organisations that can help them resolve their issues in a very efficient manner,” Hantalašević points out.
A simple and painless digital transformation in Digital Storm
Small and medium-sized enterprises can find high-quality experts and collaborators at Digital Storm and test technological solutions with them and improve their business operations. Two companies, Thermoflux and Fine Food, although ”digitally organised” according to Hantalašević, have already contacted Digital Storm hub that supported them in creating digital solutions. Thanks to this, Thermoflux has a fully digitalised service network, faster production, lower costs and less errors, and Fine Food is using the new digital communication channels in its daily operations.
”Services provided by digital innovation hubs to companies include cloud security, cyber security, cloud services, advanced analytics of their operational data, 3D prototype printing, robotics, etc. Of course, we offer consultancy services regarding innovation and transformation needed by small and medium-sized enterprises, organise workshops, train their employees and we also organise fora with renowned experts that provide advice on opportunities for companies and enable them to access high-quality finance, or EU funds to achieve digital transformation in the simplest and most painless manner,” Hantalašević points out and underlines that the quality of employees of Digital Storm ”makes it possible to overcome all obstacles in a simple and high-quality manner, so that all challenges are treated right and ensure adequate results.”
Digital Storm aims to become a regional competence centre for digital innovation. In addition to opening its doors to companies and offering high-quality solutions, it is also open for other experts and companies that possess adequate competences to support small and medium-sized enterprises in their digitalisation.
The answer to crises is here, in Sarajevo, and it provides the necessary support to small and medium-sized enterprises on their path towards digital transformation. High-quality services and technological solutions are available, and Digital Storm is facing only one remaining challenge – changing the perception and raising the awareness of small and medium-sized enterprises and making them believe that it is possible to fully implement digital transformation.
The project ”Innovation and Digitalisation in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina” is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Government (BMZ). The goal of the project is the development of economy in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a special focus on digital transformation of business operations. The project is co-funded by the European Union in the framework of the project EU4DigitalSME.