According to the recent annual 2020 Istat report regarding digitalization Italy shows some promising signs and confirms several issues to be solves as soon as possible: digitalization leads to reinforcement: 96% of the companies that are digitally advanced didn’t have to undergo downsizing of the activities during the lockdowns. Furthermore, cloud and e-invoicing adoption keeps on growing in Italy, as well as IoT, AI and robotics. Here Italy is in line with average rate in Europe. However, there is a lack of qualified ICT specialists, which confirms already known problem of the missing digital expertise within the workforce. 

The Covid-19 pandemics has confirmed the fact that we knew all along: digital technologies are crucial for the manufacturing and the public services. We understand it better now and it is clear we should not hesitate or slow down any longer. We are moving in a right direction and the companies with the best technical competence are already planning to do more of processes digitalization.

A very important step regards a unique tax credit outlined in the Transition 4.0 plan, while Italy has decided to speed up the process and assign to the digitalization projects around 27% of the 235 billion euros allocated by both the National Rise and Resistance program (222 billion) and React-EU funds (13 billion). Furthermore, Next Generation EU program requires that at least 20% of the funds to be invested in the technological advancement. This will facilitate the rise that is already present in Italy. However, Italy starts with a big delay that was certified by the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) that placed our country at 25th place out of 28 EU member states for the economy and society digitalization. Italy also at the last place for the human capital dimension: only 42% of the people between 16 and 74 have a basic digital expertise against 58% average at the EU level and only 22% of the population have advanced digital skills vs. an average of 33% in the EU.

96% of digitally mature companies did not undergo downsizing of activities during the lockdowns. The incidence of those employed in ICT professions on the total number of employees is modest, standing at 3.6% against 4.3% in the EU

96% of the digitally advanced companies did not have to undergo the downsizing of the activities during the lockdowns. The incidence of the workers in the ICT area over the total of the workforce is modest and stays around 3,6% against 4,3% on average in the EU.

According to the Istat report, cloud has become the most wanted technology during the lockdowns. 60% of the companies implemented it in 2020 demonstrating 36% growth. At the same time robot and AI implementation is on the rise with respect to the primary manufacturing economies in the European Union. E-invoicing adoption is very high and it brought Italian companies to the top of the rating with 95% adoption rate.

Italy is in line with EU average in using IoT, AI and robotics, while we are behind in adopting e-commerce and Big Data analytics with respect to the EU. Only 9% of the Italian and Spanish companies with at least 10 employees implemented Big Data analytics back in 2019 vs. 18% of the German companies and 22% of the French.

Above all, Italy requires more education and digital expertise: during the lockdown, the incidence of the ICT training companies has dropped down drastically. In 2020 in Italy, at least 40% of the workers in ICT space have University degree against 66% of the average in Europe. The incidence of the​​ employed in the ICT space with respect of the total of the employed in Italy is relatively modest and is around 3,6% vs.  4,3% in the European Union. 



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