New survey reveals scale of digital transformation of businesses during pandemic
A joint European Committee of the Regions and EUROCHAMBRES survey reveals that around 75% of businesses took decisive steps to digitalise their activities during the pandemic. Published as part of a new Committee of the Regions study on the state of digital transformation in the European regions, the survey also highlights the importance of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in supporting digital transformation process among businesses.
The study looks into the main facilitators and the main barriers for the digitalisation of companies across Europe’s regions. Companies identified the financing of their digital transformation as the main bottleneck, followed by a lack of digitally skilled employees and shortcomings in collaborative networks between academia, governments and businesses.
The findings underline the importance of Chambers as trusted third parties to the business community, particularly SMEs, as they sought to enhance their knowledge and skills on digitalisation in response to the dramatic change in their operating conditions.
“Many businesses had to digitalize at an unprecedented rate due to the lockdown. The survey corroborates feedback throughout the confinement about the important role that the Chamber network has played in supporting businesses across Europe with this accelerated digital transformation process”, commented EUROCHAMBRES President, Christoph Leitl.
President Leitl stressed that digitalisation is set to be an ongoing factor for Europe’s business community post-pandemic: “Confinement measures certainly acted as a catalyst for many companies to implement new measures, but we have still only scratched the surface. As chambers, we will continue to provide support to businesses and work with policy-makers to put in place the right conditions for the digital transition.”
The study also reveals that there is still a considerable rural-urban divide in the use and availability of digital infrastructure. In cities, e-government services are up to 25% more frequently used and access to Digital Innovation Hubs is considerably better.