Europe is not fully benefitting from advanced technologies to innovate and remain competitive. In 2016, the European Commission launched the Digitising European Industry (DEI) initiative to boost the digitalisation of EU businesses. Despite the Commission’s efforts to support national authorities, progress of the initiative has been uneven among the Member States, according to a new report from the European Court of Auditors. Some countries still do not have national digitalisation strategies or have not taken certain specific actions, such as establishing Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs).
The digital transformation of industry, or digitalisation, is more than just acquiring new IT equipment and systems. It involves using the possibilities afforded by new technologies to rethink all aspects of the business process. Digitalisation of EU industries has progressed in recent years, but at different speeds between countries, regions and sectors. There are also large disparities between large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“Embracing digital transformation is essential for our European companies to remain competitive at a global level. There are estimates that digitalisation in the EU could generate more than €110 billion of revenue a year”, said Iliana Ivanova, the member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the report. “So far, however, progress has been uneven across the EU Member States. To be a success the DEI initiative needs the continued commitment of all stakeholders – EU, governments and businesses.”