It seems that the messages about the benefits of digitization have finally caught on in small and medium-sized Spanish companies. At least, this is demonstrated by a study carried out by YouGov for IONOS in Spain, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Specifically, Spain is the country whose respondents give more importance to digitization due to its future viability compared to the rest of the countries, with 88% of those interviewed saying so.
The COVID-19 crisis was a before and after for businesses. Compared with the data from another IONOS survey, it was seen how Spanish SMEs were launched to create their own website, since before the pandemic less than half (44%) of this type of company had one. The study revealed that in 2021 the figure rose to 65%.
Now, a year later, the new study shows how The digitization effect brought about by the crisis has slightly diminished in various aspects. In the current survey, 57% of the companies surveyed in our country claim to have a web portal, compared to 65% last year. On top of this, more than half have a professional email address (58%), up from 50% last year. As well the use of social networks is somewhat reduced (55% vs. 65%). Despite the decline in these digitization categories, only 5% of companies surveyed say they are working in a fully non-digital environment.
Within all the areas covered by digitization, the Spanish businesses that have participated in the study give more weight to providing visibility to your company, as well as to IT security and data protection. In 2022, the Spanish companies surveyed plan to invest in a website (46%), social networks (41%) and professional email addresses (41%). For 40% of employees in Spain, moving their business model to the cloud is also an area of focus, also standing out from the other participating countries.
Pros and cons of digitization in Spain
In all the countries in which the study has been carried out, digitization is useful for gaining presence and visibility on the Internet. In Spain, moreover, digitization is seen as a beneficial factor in various areas, such as winning new customers (82%) and maintaining a feedback positive with them or give an appearance of modernity (85%).
However, there are also some obstacles to taking the step towards digital. Cost (60%) and lack of time (55%) are the two main reasons for this. This, added to the lack of knowledge or uncertainty in aspects of security and data protection, are a comparatively greater obstacle in the companies interviewed in Spain, compared to the rest of the countries.
«Many small and medium-sized companies have finally realized that digitization ensures their future viability», said Achim Weiß, CEO of IONOS. «However, the results of the YouGov survey unfortunately also show that there is still a problem in the implementation. When budget and time constraints prevent businesses from doing this essential task, simple, bureaucratic solutions and help are needed. Pandemic-related grants, which could also be used for digitization measures, were apparently insufficient or too complicated“, has added.
Sustainability makes its way into the interests of companies
Spain also stands out in its interest in sustainability compared to foreign respondents. 77% of the SMEs surveyed rates sustainability and environmental protection for your company as important. And within it, the most relevant aspects are the improvement of the working conditions of employees, such as health and safety (82%), followed by the recycling and reuse of materials (81%) or energy savings ( 78%).
In general, the companies surveyed in Spain rate all these aspects related to sustainability with great weight, compared to other countries. However, the main obstacles that are perceived for companies to are sustainable or more sustainable, in general, and also in Spain, it is the lack of financial resources, voted by 30% of respondents and followed by the lack of knowledge and skills, by 26%.