DESI 2020: Romania, among laggards when it comes to integration of digital technologies

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Bogdan Tudorache

Romania lags behind when it comes to integration of digital technologies, reveals the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020, consulted by energynomics.ro.

Digital technologies enable businesses to gain competitive advantage, improve their services and products and expand their markets. Digital transformation of businesses opens up new opportunities and boosts the development of new and trustworthy technologies. This dimension measures the digitisation of businesses and e-commerce, says the study.

The top performers are Ireland, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden with scores greater than 55 points (out of 100). At the other end of the scale, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary Poland, Greece and Latvia lag behind with scores less than 35 points, significantly below the EU average of 43 points.

The leading countries on ‘4a business digitisation’ chapter, which includes electronic information sharing, social media, big data and cloud integration are Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium, with scores above 60 points. Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Latvia and Slovakia lag behind in the adoption of e-business technologies, scoring below 40 points.

Ireland, Czechia, Denmark, Belgium and Sweden are the top five countries in ‘4b e-commerce’ segment, with scores above 60 points. Ireland leads in all the three indicators under e-commerce (i.e. SMEs selling online, e-commerce turnover and selling online cross-border). Bulgaria, Greece, Luxembourg and Romania perform the worst, with scores below 25 points, the study reveals.

At the same time, Romania scores poorly also in the Digital Intensity Index (DII), that measures the use of different digital technologies at enterprise level. in countries such as Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary the majority of businesses (over 55%) have made only a small investment in digital technologies (have a very low DII).

In 2018, 26% of European enterprises purchased cloud computing services and incorporated cloud technologies to improve their operations while reducing costs; this was an increase of 25% on 2016. The cloud uptake of larger companies (56%) was higher than for SMEs (25%) in 2018. Finnish enterprises are leaders in incorporating cloud services of medium-high sophistication. 50% of Finnish enterprises buy such services, an increase of 50% between 2014 and 2018. Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark follow at more than 40%. However, the gap between top and low performers remains large, with Bulgaria, Poland, Greece and Romania scoring below 10%.

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