In 2021, 67% of enterprises in Cyprus and 56% of EU enterprises reached a basic level of use of digital technologies (digital intensity) according to data released by Eurostat, the statistical service of the EU.
A basic level entails the use of at least four of twelve selected digital technologies (such as using any AI technology or having e-commerce sales account for at least 1% of total turnover).
A basic level includes businesses with a low, high and very high level of the Digital Intensity Index (DII), excluding the very low level.
One of the targets of the Digital Compass of the EU, it is noted in the article, is that more than 90% of EU SMEs should reach at least a basic level of digital intensity by 2030.
In Cyprus, 33% of enterprises had a very low level of digital intensity (44% in the EU average), 41% reached low levels of digital intensity (34% in the EU), 23% reached high digital intensity (19% in the EU) and 3% reached very high digital intensity (3% in the EU).
Of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), 66% in Cyprus and 55% in the EU reached a basic level of digital intensity compared with 96% of large enterprises in Cyprus and 88% in the EU.
Only 3% of SMEs in Cyprus (3% of EU SMEs) reached a very high level of digital intensity while 22% reached a high level (18% in the EU). Most of the SMEs recorded low (41% in Cyprus, 34% in the EU) or very low (34% in Cyprus, 45% in the EU) digital intensity levels.
The biggest proportion of enterprises reaching a very high level of the DII was in Finland, Denmark and Malta (all 10%) and Sweden (9%). Meanwhile, Romania and Bulgaria were lagging behind with around three quarters of enterprises characterised by a very low digital intensity (77% and 74%, respectively).
The uptake of digital technologies by businesses has the potential to improve services and products, and to increase competitiveness, Eurostat stresses in its article. The crisis caused by COVID-19 has also shown that digitalisation is crucial for improving the economic resilience of businesses.