Updated:05/21/2020 12: 39h
The most important lesson the pandemic of the new coronavirus Covid-19 is that health comes first. But there have also been other subjects that have had to be learned in forced marches such as the consolidation of telework and the leap to electronic commerce. In the midst of the de-escalation phase and with fear of a new economic recession, Spain has had to accelerate its digitization plans for its companies. The key is not to be a mirage Because, innovation will be the path to economic recovery.
This is one of the conclusions of the annual report «Digital Society 2019» prepared by the Fundación Telefónica, which establishes that, given the poor growth forecasts for this year, “being connected is more relevant than ever” so that companies are able to advance to a complete digitization. The present Covid-19 crisis has forced us to rethink the way of living, studying, working and enjoying overnight. But the blow, according to experts, has been softened by the high digitization of the country that has allowed “adaptation to be quick” and could continue many essential activities.
A digitization with a focus on people
The study highlights the need for “an acceleration of digitization” of the industry, especially SMEs, as well as greater digital training for Spaniards. These two factors are key to revive the economy after the health crisis and generate employment. Experts point out, however, that unlike the past, the path to digitization should be people-centered. “These will be the beneficiaries, and no one should be left behind, the Spanish must have control of their digital life,” they argue between the conclusions. A challenge that involves training in digital skills, with a humanistic vision and where people are protected with an ethical framework and a new social contract.
Experts believe that accelerating digitization for the self-employed can contribute, after Covid-19, to achieving a rebound in the economy and contribute to creating employment in one of the hardest hit sectors, together with tourism and services. According to the report, the digital reinvention of Spain could have an impact that could reach an annual value equivalent to 1.8% of GDP until 2025.
The digital foundations of Spain, collects the study, are prone to this acceleration of digital transformation. The data collected confirms them. Internet access by Spaniards is already widespread: 90% of Spaniards are users and the connection to the networks is ultra-fast (3 out of 4 homes have fiber optic coverage). This broadband technology is the one that is growing the most, going from 63% to 77% in just two years. This penetration places Spain in first place in terms of fiber optic coverage and customers in Europe.
Hence, the forecasts are, as far as possible, quite optimistic. Telefónica estimates that within four years, Spanish companies will increase their revenues by around 11% thanks to their digitization plans and reduce costs by almost a fifth. But not everything is good news for the Spanish business network: SMEs still have a long way to go digital.
The data points in that direction, because it can leave many businesses in the gutter unable to adapt to the new rhythms set by the Covid-19. Although 23% of large and medium-sized companies make regular use of cloud computing servicesThis figure falls to 9% in the case of micro-enterprises, the study shows. The use of analytics through Big Data in the productive sector is even more anecdotal: just over a tenth of SMEs and large companies, and a scant 2% of micro-businesses – fewer than 10 employees – representing around 95 % of the business fabric of our country.
The report also advocates in improving investment in technologies emerging as “Blockchain” -blockchain, the architecture behind cryptocurrencies- or solutions based on “Internet of Things”, which is unstoppable and low-power wide area networks are expected to start charging a “significant protagonism »in the coming years. The cybersecurity it is also, according to Telefónica, another area of growth.