EU Digital Economy and Society 2018 Report

Digital Economy and Society Ireland Report? (DESI): I like reports from official bodies and indeed statistics. Whilst arguably they can be generalisations of things on occasion they can be valuable looking at core facts and trends. I came accross a stat on the web highlighting the quote below which surprised me so i went searching and found this report- which i believe is worth reading.

The DESI report tracks the progress made by Member States in terms of their digitisation. Here are some of the statements I took from the report:

Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands have the most advanced digital economies in the EU followed by Luxembourg, Ireland, the UK, Belgium and Estonia. So Ireland ranks sixth!.

In 2017, all Member States improved in the DESI. Ireland and Spain progressed the most (close to 5 points as opposed to an EU average of 3.2).

The report notes that, only 48 % of individuals in Ireland have at least basic digital skills

  • With more than half of the adult population lacking at least basic digital skills, Ireland continues to suffer from ICT skills shortages
  • In Digital Public Services, Ireland ranks top for Open Data and is in second place for business services. However, it ranks comparatively low when it comes to the user-friendliness of services and the use of eHealth services.
  • take-up of mobile broadband is 104 %, well above the EU average 
  • Ireland continues to suffer from ICT skills shortages.
  • Since 2012 the proportion of enterprises who tried to recruit ICT specialists, but experienced difficulties, has consistently remained above 50 %.
  • Social media also continues to be more widely used by companies than in most other EU countries

Despite the clear commitment from successive Irish governments to digital skills, it remains a challenge to ensure that a significant proportion of the adult population is not left behind in a fast-moving digital economy and society because they lack adequate digital skills.

For those wondering, ICT stands for ‘Information Communication Technology’. Everyday usage of digital technology includes when you use a computer, tablet or mobile phone, send email, browse the internet, make a video call – these are all examples of using basic ICT skills and technology to communicate.

According to the IDA, the agency promoting FDI in the country, Ireland is home to 16 of the world’s top 20 software companies.11 Nevertheless, public intervention is needed to help indigenous firms, in particular SMEs, to make the most of technology

Source: EU Digital Economy Report

The report is downloadable too.

Digital Economy and Society Ireland Report?

Thoughts on This Valuable Report

As can be seen from the report it is good news that “Ireland recognises the need to facilitate the uptake of digital technology by indigenous enterprises, especially SMEs. Efforts are being made to incentivise and facilitate both the supply and adoption of digital technology”.

Thinking about it, It’s understandable to me that many SME’s lack digital skills. They have so many pressures nowadays-EVERY DAY- in just running a business that time is really more precious than ever and the reality is that it takes lots of time and practice to learn and implement online skills (and tools) into their business.

My own thoughts are that it surprised me that we are so good on one level and so bad on the other hand when it comes to digital skills in Ireland. Most of us are aware of the existence of digital giants such as Facebook, Intel etc here.

Maybe because of this it’s easy to jump to a conclusion or presumption that our digital skills must be great and widespread

However, for many SME’s, the digital age has introduced more layers of work when it comes to marketing because now there are just so many moving parts involved in online promotion.

The report has made me reflect that maybe a lot of us who know that bit more should be less arrogant or presumptuous when it comes to explaining processes and tools that work online for a business.

  • Maybe we should use plain English explanations to persuade and educate some of our population and SME’s that it’s worthwhile to learn digital skills that can make their business and personal lives easier and more productive.
  • Maybe we should stop presuming people automatically understand what we believe to be basic digital skills or indeed terminology.
  • Maybe we should promote practical online learning for beginners – outlining the benefits in bothering to learn.
  • Explain without hype how learning digital skills can save money for a SME.

Speaking as a Remote Freelancer!

I also believe that our remote online skill providers can do more interacting with our clients helping them to take baby steps in learning skills from us, and make it easier and more productive to work with us.

Maybe simple things like learning basic image skills- how to write content for their blogs- how to use communication tools like Skype where the client through shared screens allows us to actually demonstrate something in action as part of an education process.

Thinking about it if we educate our clients to understand digital skills they will appreciate us more because “Online Content does not appear by magic”

I work for several clients who with time have learned how to create content for me that they want to be published- revised and formatted – or added to. The clients are happy because they save me time and themselves money and I am happy that I know I can complete that work quickly on a website move onto deal with marketing and promotion for them and have time for the next lead or project of my own.

My point is that while it is often the case that some skills are closely guarded on the other hand there are indeed benefits for us the service provider too. I also feel speaking for myself that I benefit too because my clients also learn to appreciate that online promotion takes work and time – and when the client understands all the moving parts involvrd they respect my skills more.

ALL FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

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Rosemary

I specialize in helping Local Businesses, StartUps, and SME's - Promote their business online through Digital Content. We Create - WordPress Websites, Blog Posts, Video and SlideShares. We set up Social Media optimised profiles and accounts. The focus of our business is helping local businesses and start-ups to compete in the online space.

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