On the 26th of November, a final workshop was held in Brussels bringing together business associations, service providers, industry experts and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to conclude the eIDAS for SMEs pilot and discuss future recommendations to stimulate the uptake of eID and trust services amongst SMEs in Europe
The European Commission has recently concluded its study to support the uptake of eID and trust services among SMEs that included the development of the eIDAS for SMEs Toolkit. This pilot programme successfully engaged European multipliers (e.g. business associations representing SMEs and Chambers of Commerce), service providers and SMEs to increase awareness about the benefits of incorporating eID and trust services solutions into business processes. The Toolkit includes information on the eIDAS for SMEs web page, a quickstart guidebook, an eIDAS checklist for SMEs, sector-specific information including infographics, a webinar programme and the eIDAS interactive tool. These materials are available in four different languages (EN, ES, DE, FR).
Impact of the pilot programme
The eIDAS for SMEs pilot project and the final workshop were a great starting point as part of an integrated strategy by the European Commission to generate awareness amongst SMEs regarding eID and trust service solutions. The participants found the eIDAS Toolkit for SMEs to be useful and they appreciated its design, presenting clear and easy to understand messages. The importance of these tools in awareness raising and education for SMEs was also highlighted and participants agreed that all tools should be maintained and updated (where necessary) in the future. Finally, multipliers such as business associations and particularly national, regional and local government agencies were confirmed as important facilitators of communication with SMEs on this subject.
Recommendations to promote the future digialisation of SMEs
The eIDAS Toolkit for SMEs has established an important step forward towards the digitalisation of SMEs and the numerous business benefits that this will bring to organisations across Europe. However, this is just the beginning, further initiatives are necessary to build on the success of the pilot and to ensure a smooth and effective continuation of efforts aiming at increasing the uptake of eIDAS solutions by SMEs. The recommendations for future actions include:
- Sustain a communication campaign about eIDAS targeted at the different stakeholders and sectors.
- Regularly revise and update the communication and training materials disseminated on the platform, as the growing uptake of eIDAS by all stakeholders will have an impact on the situation and the needs, including the translation of key material into all EU languages.
- Use the eIDAS Toolkit for SMEs as a basis to further develop according to more specific user needs.
- Build on existing business cases to further identify success stories of SMEs who have successfully integrated eID and trust services in their business processes.
- Specific communication and training should be provided for the supply side of eIDAS.
- Breakdown the information available into sub-sectors (e.g. the financial services sector: banking, insurance etc.)
- Establish a long-lasting stakeholder governance structure for eIDAS, including member states and regional representatives, SME’s association and service providers.
- Place national and local governments at the centre of the challenge to stimulate the uptake of eID and trust services amongst SMEs.
- Foster the role of SME associations as a communication forum, filter and facilitator between the EC and SMEs.
- Harness service providers as natural allies with a direct interest in supporting the ecosystem to support the digitalisation SMEs.
You can view the full version of the Final Workshop Report here.
For more information about the study, visit the eIDAS for SMEs web pages on the Digital Single Market website or follow us on social media: