Table of Contents
What is digital transformation?
The term digital transformation includes all the changes that a company adopts to take advantage of the advantages offered by the internet, digital media and new technologies. It is an ongoing process that creates opportunities for businesses, but requires training and infrastructure.
Key technologies of digital transformation
According to the European Commission’s DESI index, the key digital transformation technologies are:
- Social media
- Mobile technology services
- Cloud technologies
- Data analysis
- Internet of Things
- Robotics and automation
- 3D printing
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
New opportunities for business
Digital technologies are creating new markets and unprecedented opportunities for businesses. They open new ways for them to:
- They integrate the needs and preferences of their customers into their development and production processes.
- Improve quality and avoid errors during the production process.
- They enhance transparency and flexibility in all company actions.
- They create new jobs by developing their work.
Businesses that want to take full advantage of the opportunities of digital transformation need to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills at all levels. Thus they can shape a working environment familiar with the digital reality and the opportunities it offers.
Education is a challenge in Europe
Only a few companies in Europe are fully exploiting the opportunities of digital transformation. Most of them encounter obstacles in the adoption of new technologies.
The weakness is mainly attributed to the lack of relevant skills:
- Over 50% of companies fail to offer structured training, according to PwC research.
- 35% of the workforce in Europe lags behind in digital skills, according to the European Commission’s annual survey on the digital performance of EU member states.
Even as businesses provide employees with digital tools, important emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence are being ignored.
Adoption of new technologies appears to vary by firm size, age and stage of development:
- Larger firms appear to have a clear advantage when adopting technologies.
- SMEs mainly use social networks (47%) and e-commerce (to a limited extent).
- New businesses have the digital element in their DNA and are much more flexible towards new technologies.
However, the integration of more sophisticated digital technologies remains at a low level.