Intelligent SME.tech Issue 23 - Page 59

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RESEARCH REVEALS SKILLS , SMES AND 5G NETWORKS LACK DIGITALISATION

The European Commission has published the results of the 2022 Digital Economy and Society Index ( DESI ), which tracks the progress made in EU Member States in digital . During the pandemic , Member States have been advancing in their digitalisation efforts but still struggle to close the gaps in digital skills , the Digital Transformation of SMEs and the rollout of advanced 5G networks .

The findings show that while most of the Member States are making progress in their Digital Transformation , the adoption of key digital technologies by businesses – such as Artificial Intelligence ( AI ) and Big Data – remains low . Efforts need to be stepped up to ensure the full deployment of connectivity infrastructure ( notably 5G ) that is required for highly innovative services and applications . Digital skills is another important area where Member States need to make bigger progress .
“ We are making progress in the EU towards our digital targets , and we must continue our efforts to make the EU a global leader in the technology race ,” said Thierry Breton , Commissioner for the Internal Market , European Commission . “ The DESI shows where we need to further strengthen our work , for example in spurring digitisation of our industry , including SMEs . We need to step up the efforts to make sure that every SME , business and industry in the EU have the best digital solutions available to them and have access to a world-class digital connectivity infrastructure .”
The Commission ' s proposal on the Path to the Digital Decade will facilitate deeper collaboration between Member States and the EU to advance in all dimensions covered by the DESI . It provides a framework for Member States to undertake joint commitments and establish multi-country projects that will reinforce their collective strength and resilience in the global context .
Finland , Denmark , the Netherlands and Sweden remain the EU frontrunners . However , even they are faced with gaps in key areas : the uptake of advanced digital technologies , such as AI and Big
Data , remains below 30 % and very far from the 2030 Digital Decade target of 75 %; the widespread skill shortages , which are slowing down overall progress and lead to digital exclusion .
Regarding the uptake of key technologies , however , during the pandemic , businesses have pushed the use of digital solutions . The use of cloud computing , for example , reached 34 %. However , AI and Big Data use by business stand only at 8 % and 14 % respectively ( target 75 % by 2030 ). These key technologies bring a huge potential for significant innovation and efficiency gains , particularly among SMEs . For their part , only 55 % of EU SMEs have at least a basic level in digitalisation ( target : at least 90 % by 2030 ), indicating that almost half of SMEs are not availing of the opportunities created by digital . �

WE NEED TO STEP UP THE EFFORTS TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY SME , BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY IN THE EU HAVE THE BEST DIGITAL SOLUTIONS AVAILABLE .
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