Project start

Digitization made easy – online toolbox for SMEs

As part of the digital transformation process, small and medium-sized enterprises must continuously increase their efficiency and performance in order to remain competitive in the long term. A key component of this is the targeted use of customized software solutions. However, this often proves challenging in day-to-day operations due to limited resources and expertise. The aim of the Software4KMU project is to provide a software engineering toolbox that offers low-threshold yet comprehensive support.

In cooperation with the two SME Digital Centers Augsburg and Lingen.Münster.Osnabrück, the future project Software4KMU will be carried out together with fortiss and IT-Dienstleistungs-GmbH Emsland until February 2025. The aim is to develop a basic understanding of software engineering among employees in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in order to reduce uncertainties in the digital transformation and strengthen their decision-making skills. It also aims to counteract the shortage of skilled workers by developing their own skills.

Prepared for the future through targeted software engineering

In practice, SMEs often lack the necessary expertise for individual software solutions, their effective implementation and maintenance. This leads to uncertainties and incorrect assumptions, which in turn represents a major obstacle to investment in digital value creation. In order to meet this challenge, an easily accessible offer is to be created to impart software engineering knowledge in SMEs. The focus is on the topics of requirements engineering and quality assurance, as these form an important basis for successful software projects.

As a result of Software4KMU, a free online platform for SMEs is to be developed that offers easy-to-use and industry-independent support in software engineering. It will provide practical solutions and guidance, including decision-making questions (make or buy), core competencies and understanding for qualitative software development. Through the toolbox, companies gain a deeper understanding of software engineering topics and are well-prepared for the next steps in implementation. In order to promote action-oriented learning, the knowledge of software engineering is presented interactively and intuitively and supplemented by best practices and exemplary templates.

"The skills acquired not only enable SMEs to confidently plan and design software solutions, but also to develop an understanding of common problems and quality attributes. This preparation is crucial in order to successfully meet the challenges of increasingly software-heavy corporate development," explains Anton Luckhardt, fortiss researcher from the Requirements Engineering competence field, who is responsible for the expert support in the development of the online toolbox.

Actively shaping the digital transformation

In the initial phase of Software4KMU, fortiss works closely with selected SMEs to identify their requirements and problems in the area of software engineering. The participation of the companies in individual workshops ensures that the elaboration and development of the toolbox is precisely tailored to the needs of the SMEs. The results of the project, including the toolbox and transfer formats, will be made available to all participants in the Mittelstand-Digital network.

Are you interested in taking part in the development of a software engineering online toolbox tailored to your company's needs? Find out more by registering for our information webinar Actively shaping digital transformation - Software4KMU on 25.04.2024. Register now!

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