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Digitization as a driver in the crisis

Nearly 70 percent of Germans say: Digital technologies save the economy from worse. This means that social media, home office tools and online shopping are also in greater demand.
E-3 Magazine
July 10, 2020
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This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Companies from the IT sector are seen as the driving force in the current crisis and are keeping the German economy going - this opinion is also shared by a large proportion of the population. In a representative Civey survey commissioned by Eco, almost 70 percent of respondents believe that the German economy would have been hit even harder in the current crisis without digital technologies.

"In an age of distance regulations and curfews, digital technologies and services offer reliable and workable ways to still communicate, collaborate and shop from home"

says Eco CEO Oliver Süme.

"Digital companies are thus making a significant contribution to containing the pandemic and its economic and social consequences."

But the corona pandemic has Germany and the world firmly in its grip - the effects will also hit the digital economy hard, as a recent member survey by the Bundesverband Digitale Wirtschaft (BVDW) e. V. shows.

Accordingly, 98 percent of the digital experts surveyed from BVDW member companies expect revenue losses of 32 percent on average for the current year.

However, two-thirds (65 percent) rate the emergency measures that the federal and state governments have initiated promptly as "effective. Only one in six respondents said they were not satisfied.

However, BVDW members see a need for improvement above all in the areas of tax relief (51 percent), the amount of emergency aid (37 percent) and the respective application procedures (36 percent). Only one in six (17 percent) calls for fewer restrictions on public life.

Eco survey on the use and perspective of digital tools and the importance of the IT industry.

BVDW President Matthias Wahl:

"Without a doubt, the German government has shown that it can act quickly and constructively in a crisis, putting political sensitivities aside. In a crisis that leaves virtually no area of life or the economy untouched, it has succeeded in getting the most universal measures possible off the ground quickly."

But Wahl explains that there is still some catching up to do.

The need for digital work tools in particular has increased significantly during the crisis: around a quarter (25.6 percent) of those surveyed by Eco said they were currently making greater use of online tools for digital work.

Likewise, 25 percent use social media more frequently. More than 20 percent of respondents say they shop online more often than before. The majority of the digital economy is in favor of the German government's crisis management to mitigate the economic consequences of the corona pandemic.

Eco survey on the use and perspective of digital tools and the importance of the IT industry.

This is also the result of a survey by the digital association Bitkom, in which 235 companies in the digital economy participated. Three out of four of the companies surveyed (74 percent) consider measures such as the promised liquidity assistance and the extension of the short-time working scheme to be appropriate.

The statement that the federal government is doing too little to help distressed businesses is agreed with by 29 percent and disagreed with by 56 percent.

"For the period after the shutdown, we need a strategy to get the economy going again. Digitization in all areas must play a central role in this.

The long-delayed modernization of labor law must now be tackled immediately, a weekly working time account introduced and the eleven-hour minimum rest period suspended.

A platform for research data exchange and the disclosure of publicly funded scientific studies on the topic of coronavirus and Covid-19 without a payment barrier would also help in a very concrete way."

explained Bitkom President Achim Berg.

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