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March 29, 2023
Barometer of the Digitisation of Andalusia and Extremadura 2023
- For the first time, companies will consider "technology" and the "economic environment" as equal factors that will most influence the evolution of their businesses in 2023
- Investment in technology has focused on customer relations, strengthening the marketing, sales and customer service departments, together with process optimisation
- Senior management is now spearheading the digital transformation in most companies, while the CIO has only led it in 11% of companies
Seville. 29 March 2023. 60% of companies in Andalusia and Extremadura state that technology has become one of the variables with the greatest impact on their business, together with the economic factor. Thus, for most companies in the two regions, aspects related to technology have gained traction in the growth of their business, making digitisation one of the main drivers of growth. This predominant vision is fairly uniform across all sectors of activity, although it stands out especially in those that are most dependent on the digital component, such as the financial sector, technology and media, as well as among companies of a family nature.
Barometer of the Digitisation of Andalusia and Extremadura 2023
For 60% of companies in Andalusia and Extremadura, technology is already the main factor in their competitiveness
This is one of the main conclusions drawn from the Barometer of the Digitisation of Andalusia and Extremadura 2023, a study promoted by the SEIDOR Chair of the Digital Agenda in Senior Management, created in the San Telmo Business School to channel the content and approaches that companies require in the fields of digitisation and innovation. . To prepare this barometer, 178 companies operating in the two regions were consulted in an effort to gauge the importance that organisations assign to digital technologies as a driver of growth.
The study was presented during the seminar Digital Transformation: Leaders, Barriers and Threats, where Antonio Sanz, Minister for the Presidency, Interior, Social Dialogue and Administrative Simplification of the Regional Government of Andalusia, gave the closing remarks.
The conclusions highlighted by the study include the centralised nature of technology in the development of business in both regions, as underscored by the fact that around 3 out of 4 companies consulted (77%) estimate that digitisation is an active factor in their business transformation. There is consensus, therefore, among companies that digitisation is transforming the activity sectors, and that it is one of their main areas of competitiveness.
Antonio Hidalgo Pérez, General Secretary of the San Telmo Business School, stated that "the study shows that, in the uncertain economic environment we are currently facing, the importance that executives place on digitisation as a positive influence vector for their businesses is indisputable". "The value of the study is that it shows the main trends in technology strategy and investment in organisations of different sizes and turnovers in both regions, indicating the main goals of their transformation in a digital scenario".
As for Iván González, Marketing, Communication and Sustainability Director at SEIDOR, he believes one of the highlights of the study is how it shows that the "digital transformation has become the main driving force behind the competitiveness of businesses in Andalusia and Extremadura, achieving a central position in the design of business strategies and shifting from a back-office to a front-office factor, one whose impact on the relationship between organisations and their customers or users, and with the market as a whole, has gone up significantly".
Similarly, this growing prominence of technology as a competitive factor confirms the fact that, in almost all the companies consulted, decisions relating to the digital transformation are being taken by general management. Specifically, 62% of companies state that the digital transformation strategies and initiatives are being led by their general managers, with the CIO taking on this responsibility in only 11% of the cases.
Technology shifts from the back to the front office
Technology is leaving behind its back-office role to take on a more visible profile in the front office. The main indicator of this evolution is that, according to the companies consulted, in order to overcome relevant digital gaps, their investments and projects based on digital technologies have to be directed primarily to the areas of marketing, sales and customer service.
In terms of the factors that companies consider most important in 2023 to build their strategy, these include, ranked from most to least importance, process optimisation, the development of new products, attracting and retaining talent, and digitising sales channels. These four pillars, then, are essential to reinforce the ability of organisations to sustain and relaunch their businesses in a changing and uncertain environment, and under the pressure of increasingly global and efficient competitors.
The study also highlights the rapidly evolving technological ecosystem, with projects to invest in cybersecurity, IoT (Internet of Things) and Artificial Intelligence, and companies continuing to invest in business intelligence and analytics, ERP and cloud infrastructure.
In addition, in a market with an increasingly wide array of technologies, the choice of IT service provider has become a determining factor in how successfully a technology is implemented. In this regard, a majority of companies note that what they value most when choosing a vendor is its technical knowledge and proactivity, ahead of aspects such as its strategic knowledge, proximity or management capacity.
Technology as a positive reinforcement in response to crises
Despite the slowdowns and fears, 75% of the companies consulted agree that technology will have a crucial or significant positive effect in mitigating volatility and tensions in the environment. In this regard, digital sectors have benefited the most from their technological resources when dealing with these circumstances.
Globally, sustainability is increasingly being taken into account when designing the production processes of organisations. However, the companies consulted do not note this as a key aspect, providing an overall rating in the surveys of around 2 points out of 5. This muted assessment is probably explained by the fact that the focus is not yet on the use of clean technologies, nor on prioritising energy savings when selecting vendors for technology projects or services.
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