Good news from the digital market in Italy: this is what emerges from the annual publication on digital trends in our country made by Anitec-Assinform. In 2022, in fact, the number of companies making investments in technology and machinery increased. There is still a long way to go; in fact, the net balance between companies planning to increase investment and those planning to decrease it has dropped compared to 2021. In addition, just under three-quarters of Italian companies have reached a basic level of digitization. But overall, the growth trend is significant and encouraging.
In 2022, the market grew by 2,4% to a total value of 77,1 billion euros, and further adoption of digital technologies is expected in the coming years. In 2023, an increase of 3,1% is expected, and in 2024 the market will put up +4,3%, returning to higher growth rates than the economy as a whole. The largest increase was in ICT services (+8,5% and €14,8 billion), supported mainly by cloud computing and cybersecurity services. Particularly positive trends were seen in the digital content and advertising segment (+6,3% and 14,5 billion euros) and in software and Ict solutions (+6,2% and 8,6 billion euros). The device-related market showed a sharp turnaround after the substantial growth recorded in 2021. A decline of 1% was recorded during 2022. Just as the negative trend in TLC Network Services (-2,7%) is confirmed. If the progress of the digital market is partly held back by the more mature technology components, it will instead be driven by the most innovative products and services, namely Digital Enabler and Transformer, whose average annual increase during 2022-2026 is expected to be 12,8%. Among the Digital Enablers, Cloud Computing, Mobile Business and Internet of Things ranked first in absolute value.
Companies are increasingly adopting Cloud transformation plans, finally recognizing their advantages to be competitive in the markets. The growth affects all areas, especially Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. While in the former case the market is still modest in size, in the latter there has been an acceleration thanks to the spread of generative AI tools, such as Chat GPT.
Another element to reflect on concerns organizational contexts: the larger the size, the greater the spending on digitization: the growth trends in digital investment by Italian SMEs are slower than those recorded by large companies. In 2022, an increase of 2,5% is observed for small companies, 4,1% for medium-sized companies, and 5,9% percent for large.