Digitization push overwhelms parts of the economy

Digitization push overwhelms parts of the economy

The digitalization of the economy in germany has gained in importance thanks to corona – but almost one in three companies has had to cut back on investments in this area.

This is the key finding of a representative survey of companies with 20 or more employees in all sectors commissioned by the digital association bitkom.

"The corona pandemic is clearly a digitalization driver for the german economy," bitkom president achim berg said on monday. "The good news is: companies want to do something and drive digitization forward. The bad news is that not all of them are in a position to do so."

There are no longer any fundamental reservations about digitization. 97 percent of companies currently see digitization primarily as an opportunity for their own company. More than 8 out of 10 companies (84 percent) say that the corona pandemic has increased the importance of digitization for their own company.

When it comes to the actual implementation of digitization plans, the figures are no longer so clear-cut. 43 percent of companies surveyed say their investment in digitization has "greatly increased" (11 percent) or "tended to increase" (32 percent) since corona. On the other hand, 30 percent complain that the expenses have "rather decreased" (27 percent) or "strongly decreased" (3 percent).

The survey also shows differences depending on the size of the company. According to the survey, only 10 percent of companies with 20 to 99 employees and 13 percent of companies with 100 to 499 employees have significantly increased their investments. However, among companies with 500 to 1999 employees, the figure was 24 percent, and among those with 2000 or more employees, 22 percent. "There is a danger that the digitalization push by corona will lead to an even deeper split in the german economy: into companies that remain largely in the analogue and into companies that are moving ahead with digitalization at speed," said berg.

As a rough hu?Rde fu?R the digitization companies cite data protection (69 percent). This is followed by requirements for technical safety (58 percent) and a lack of skilled workers (55 percent). 43 percent of companies currently cite a lack of funding as a hurdle, compared to only 25 percent in april and 20 percent in 2019.

For many companies, the introduction of home offices was at the top of the priority list. 55 percent had already done so, and another 15 percent were planning to do so.

The center for european economic research (ZEW) had pointed to "a clearly positive effect of the home office" over the weekend. "Especially the work of the employees is visibly more digital in many companies than before the crisis", said ZEW expert daniel erdsiek. Reason for this may be especially the shift of work from the office to the home office, he said.

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