24 Mar 2015

Digital Transformation of European Industry and Enterprises - A report of the Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship

Digital Transformation of European Industry and Enterprises - A report of the Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship


In February 2014, the European Commission established an expert group – the Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship (the Forum) – supported by a Member States Board (MSB). The Forum focused on what we see as the biggest digital opportunity for Europe; the transformation of our existing industry and enterprises. Three-quarters of the value of the digital economy will come from increased productivity, competitiveness and therefore jobcreating ability of Europe’s existing industry and enterprises, including social enterprises. We were keen to ensure that our recommendations would accelerate the development of new technology-rich businesses, enterprises and public services too.

Nobody can be under any illusion that Europe needs more jobs, especially for its young people. It’s no panacea, but the transformational opportunities that a second wave of advanced digital technologies presents can be a significant part of the solution. This second wave includes advanced mobile communication, social media, cloud, big data analytics, smart devices, connected objects and sensors. Organisations are using these technologies to scale up at unimaginable rates and performing 10 times better than their peers. This is the biggest transformation in business the world has seen in over a century. The report describes the untapped potential – it really is enormous. They can add social value and increase democratic participation too.

European businesses are not transforming quickly enough. Despite the obvious benefits, European businesses, especially smaller ones, are slow to change. The Forum has examined why this is and, while recognising variations across business sectors and the Member States, diagnosed problems in leadership, trust, skills & support and policy & regulation. The report explains our findings and makes thirteen recommendations covering these four areas.

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