What businesses can do to take greater advantage of the internet

#CriticalThinking

Digital & Data Governance

Picture of Mário Campolargo
Mário Campolargo

European Commission Deputy Director-General for Informatics

The Internet has become an integral part of European society and the economy. Three-quarters of Europeans are regular users of the Internet, and the Internet is estimated to contribute around 4 to 8% to GDP in 2012, according to the Boston Consulting Group. Internet usage increased in 2013, with Internet sales front and centre of the economic growth fuelled by strong online consumer demand. It’s a promising start, but how should we proceed from here?

First, we must expand the use of Internet services and applications by businesses, for example by allowing more complex and more functional Internet services become successful in Europe. Applications like routing of commuters into European cities are already being tested. Second, we need broaden the use of Internet services and applications to industry sectors that have not yet fully embraced them. Sectors like agriculture, logistics and “smarting” cities offer real potential for innovative Internet service providers and users – an Internet linking people and devices, computing and big data to create new services and more efficient business processes.

The European Commission is supporting this with a €500m Future Internet Public-Private Partnership aimed to radically cut development time for new and innovative Internet services. The challenge is to pick the right strategy for what is clearly a high-octane environment. Internet access, networks, services platforms and Internet services and applications are all ingredients for a thriving and creative ecosystem. Web-entrepreneurs, helped by technological innovation, are constantly pumping new services and business models into the market. Their desire to innovate and succeed is driving Europe’s economic recovery.

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