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Study: Coronavirus pandemic dispels doubts about digitalization

May 08, 2021


Abstract : ​The coronavirus pandemic has almost completely dispelled doubts about digitalization in the German business community. A good year after the initial lockdown, only 12 percent of all companies with 20 or more employees still doubt the benefits of digitalization for their company.

The coronavirus pandemic has almost completely dispelled doubts about digitalization in the German business community. (picture alliance / dpa)

The coronavirus pandemic has almost completely dispelled doubts about digitalization in the German business community. A good year after the initial lockdown, only 12 percent of all companies with 20 or more employees still doubt the benefits of digitalization for their company. This is the key finding of a representative survey of more than 500 companies from all sectors commissioned by the digital association Bitkom, which was presented on Wednesday.

At the beginning of the pandemic, 27 percent of companies had still said that the benefits were unclear to them. In 2019, the rate of digital skeptics was as high as 34 percent. Now, two-thirds (64 percent) say digital technologies are helping their company cope with the pandemic.

The shift in sentiment is also reflected in concrete applications. For example, digital invoices came out ahead of paper documents for the first time in a Bitkom business survey. According to the survey, 31 percent issue electronic invoices, while 19 percent only do so on paper. 47 percent use both methods.

However, many companies are still in the early stages of comprehensive digitalization: only 48 percent use solutions for digitizing documents, 44 percent use workflow management, for example for approval processes, and 41 percent use electronic archiving and document management. And the old fax machine has not yet disappeared from many offices. It can still be found in 43 percent of companies. A year ago, this figure was 49 percent.

Companies view the biggest obstacles to digitalization as being a lack of standards (64 percent) and excessive data protection requirements (63 percent). 61 percent are afraid of unauthorized access to sensitive company data. There is also a lack of money, with 57 percent complaining that the investment requirements are too high, while 55 percent lack the time.

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Keyword: Germany digitalization

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