According to the survey “The Barometer of Digitalization 2020” conducted by Valoria in collaboration with Doingbusiness.ro, managers in various industries perceive the phenomenon of digitalization very differently. Industries such as Telecommunications (70%), Media & Advertising (65%), Professional Services (55%), Financial & Banking Services (50%), and the Pharmaceutical Industry (50%) where managers say that digitalization has already had a very high influence on the activity of the companies. On the other hand, in the Construction & Real Estate industry (46%) and Tourism (45%), most managers say that the influence of digitalization is small, while in the Chemical industry (30%) and in Energy & Utilities industry (20%) most managers say that digitalization has had no influence so far.
Digital business models have greatly changed the Telecommunications industry (70%), IT (58%), Financial & Banking Services (45%), and only to a small extent or not at all the Agriculture & Food industry (31%), Transport (30%), Tourism (30%) and Construction & Real Estate (23%).
If managers in most industries do not consider digital business models a threat to the company, most say they have not made digital tools, channels, and/or business models the central component of the business strategy. Thus, 73% of the responding companies in the Transport industry, 66% in the Chemical industry, and 65% in Construction & Real Estate are in this situation in terms of strategy.
One explanation may be the fact that there is not enough expertise at the top management level to evaluate and develop a digital business model, as the results of the study show that this is the case in 50% of Industrial Production companies, 48% of Tourism companies, 45% of Energy & Utilities, and 39% in Construction & Real Estate.
This lack of expertise in digital transformation is doubled by managers’ perception that they have competitors affected by digitalization only to a small extent or not at all, and the study shows that this is the perception of 65% of respondents in Construction & Real Estate, 62% of Industrial Production, 60% of Tourism and 56% of Energy & Utilities.
Other findings of the survey show that:
- Obstacles to capitalizing on digitalization. For 45% of R&D companies, 41% of Tourism and 31% of Agriculture & Food, but also of Financial & Banking Services, the perception of too high costs is the main obstacle to digitalization.
- The benefits of digitalization. 80% of Transport companies, 78% of Construction & Real Estate and 77% of IT put in the first place the simplification of processes in the next 5 years, as the main benefit of digitalization.
- Increase revenue by 10% through digitalization. 46% of Media & Advertising companies, 45% of Tourism, and 42% of Constructions & Real Estate say they will adopt intelligent operational management systems in the next 5 years which will result in a 10% increase in revenue.
- The impact of digitalization on turnover growth. In 2020, 33% of IT companies, 21% of Tourism, and 19% of Media & Advertising say that digitalization will increase their turnover by over 30% in the next 3 years.
- The impact of digitalization on increasing profit margins. 72% of the companies in the Financial & Banking Services, 57% in Tourism, and 33% in the Pharmaceutical & Health Industry say that digitalization will increase their profit margin by over 30% in the next 3 years.
- The impact of digitalization on the number of employees. 39% of companies in the Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Industry say that digitalization will reduce their number of employees by 1%-5% in the next 3 years, and 21% of Tourism companies expect decreases of 5%-10%.
- The impact of digitalization on the company’s market value. In 2020, 50% of Energy & Utility companies and the same percentage in Telecommunications say that digitalization will contribute to the market value of the company by 10%-20%.
- Strategy on the inclusion of AI in the company’s business capabilities. 35% of companies in the field of Financial & Banking Services, 27% of Media & Advertising, and 23% of IT say that they have a clear strategy for including AI in the company’s business capabilities.
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA). In 2020, 41% of companies in the field of Financial & Banking Services, 34% of Telecommunications, and 31% of companies in Commerce say they currently use RPA. 28% of the Energy & Utilities companies, 27% of the Financial & Banking Services companies, and also 27% of the Professional Services companies say that they use the RPA the most in the budgeting and analysis processes.
Digitalization is advancing at different speeds across industries. The main obstacle to digital transformation is the perception of managers that the company does not have digital consumers. This indicates the need for a better understanding of the mechanisms of digital interaction with consumers, given that the preference for online shopping is intensifying. The main elements that lead to the success of digitalizing a company in Romania are the following: technology (69%), company management (44%), and budgets available (41%), compared to the global triad: technology (54%), company management (32%), and vision and strategy (30%). All these data show that many industries in Romania are just taking their first steps in digitalization, but time does not seem to be patient with them anymore.