Since the entry of the Europe 2020 guidelines, companies’ digitization at European level is a process that has accelerated considerably. However, as we mentioned in previous articles, there is a lot of confusion in relation to what digital transformation is and is not. In this article we focus on analyzing several studies of the European Union that seek to deepen in how companies are evolving the digital economy.
Progress in the development of the digital economy is decisive to boost the competitiveness of companies in the European Union. Regulations such as eIDAS have promoted the advancement of what is known as Digital Single Market. We constantly hear in the media talk about the evolution of digital transformation, but what is the reality of companies in relation to the digital environment in Europe?
Below, we present several statistical aspects about your presence on the Internet, presence in social media and the need for digitization among others to make an analysis on what is the state of digitalization of companies in the European Union
The vast majority of companies in the European Union with at least 10 employees use a fixed broadband connection. During the last few years the figure has been between 92% and 93%, so it is assumed that this indicator is reaching its saturation point. Knowing this fact, legislators are now focusing more on mobile connections and the speed of fixed connections, with initiatives such as WIFI4EU, or the roaming abolition with the telecommunications services regulation in the European Union.
As for the speed of these connections, the figures are distributed in almost all sectors. 28% have a connection of 2-10MB / s, 26% have a connection of 10-30MB / s and 19% have 30-100MB / s. The slower connections continue to fall every year.
Companies also enhance the mobile connection: 69% give their employees mobile devices to be connected. These numbers depend on the size of each company, because 95% of the large companies do it, 83% of the medium ones and 66% of the small ones. The main uses of mobile connections are access to email (86%) and the company’s own applications to properly develop their work.
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Many companies consider that there are certain technical or non-technical incidents, internal or external, that prevent or limit the use of this type of mobile connections. The main obstacles they encounter for the use of mobile devices are connectivity problems (slow speed, low coverage) and high operating costs. Slightly below are the risks related to safety.
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Use of social media
The static websites were left behind a long time ago. Companies have adapted their behaviors and strategies to dynamic pages and applications and social media in general (social networks, blogs, pages to share multimedia content…). 45% of companies say they have taken advantage of social media at some point, confirming a growing trend. There was a 15% growth from 2013 to 2016.
The most popular use of social media is social networks, as indicated by the latest studies, clearly above the rest of the applications. 42% used social networks, while 15% took advantage of websites to share multimedia content, 14% blogs/microblogs and, finally, 5%, Wiki platforms.
Websites have become one of the main sources of customer information. As a result, specialists in marketing take advantage of those places to place their advertising. The percentage of companies that have ever paid to place advertising on a website is 25%.
Use of the cloud
Cloud Computing has become a kind of extension of server computing, allowing the use of their services only with access to the Internet at low costs.
21% of companies use the cloud, being most popular among the large ones (45%) compared to medium (29%) and small (19%). The increase is being slow but constant; from 2014 to 2016 it was 2%.
The most common uses of cloud computing are email storage (65%) and archives (62%), followed by storage of their own database (44%) and use of software for the office (41%).
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Importance and security of TIC
Given the importance of TIC, having employees specialized in this aspect has become essential for development, adaptation, maintenance and support. 20% of companies have hired specialists, a fact that has not changed much since 2012.
Within large companies, 41% have recruited specialists, being notable the differences for the size of the company. The fact in the medium-sized is 16% and in the small ones, 6%. In addition, 20% of the total, say they have had problems finding someone trained to perform the tasks of a TIC specialist.
Companies that do not have enough resources to have a specialist in their staff list they appeal to outsourcing this service. It is estimated that half of them do it, especially medium and small ones.
The main reasons they contribute to having a security policy are the risk of destruction or loss of data, leakage of confidential data and unavailability of TIC services due to an external attack.
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Information and communication technologies continue to evolve, changing and improving the world of the company. The figures presented in these studies reflect a general growing trend of the use of TICs and the presence on the Internet of these companies, taking advantage of all their benefits and virtues.
So far we have seen the degree of Internet presence and companies digitalization in Europe based on various indicators such as the use of networks, use of the cloud, internet connection and the importance of TIC security. Although we are still in the process of implementing the Europe 2020 guidelines, everything points to the fact that by the end of this period, digital transformation – in its early stages – will be a reality for most companies. We will continue informing you about it.