ICT usage in enterprises in 2021

In times of COVID-19, digital transformation allows enterprises to adapt more flexibly to the new circumstances. Computers and the internet have been an integral part of Austrian enterprises for many years. Broadband internet has also become firmly established providing the basis for high-performance and fast data transmission, which in turn facilitated the use of cloud services, i.e. ICT services that are provided by service providers via internet and can be used from any location. 40% of the enterprises used such services in 2021. The faster data networks have also promoted the use of data-intensive systems such as IoT systems and technologies based on artificial intelligence (AI), as shown by the latest survey.

The results come from a survey that was carried out by Statistics Austria for the 21st time. They were extrapolated from the data provided by about 3,050 enterprises with 10 or more employees that belong to one of the following industries (ÖNACE 2008):

  • manufacturing,
  • electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities,
  • construction,
  • wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles,
  • transportation and storage,
  • accommodation and food service activities,
  • information and communication,
  • real estate activities, professional, scientific and technical activities, administrative and support service activities as well as
  • repair of computers and communication equipment.

The survey was conducted from February to July 2021. Unless otherwise stated, the reporting period was the time of the survey. Since all EU member states are legally obliged to provide data on ICT use in enterprises, following a standardised questionnaire, it is possible to compare the results within the EU (results at EU level are expected by the end of 2021). Detailed EU results on the use of ICT can be found on the website of Eurostat.

Access to the internet is approaching 100% in Austrian enterprises in 2021. Specifically, 99% of all enterprises had access to the internet, the vast majority via broadband connections. The use of fixed (stationary) broadband connections such as DSL, cable or fibre optics (90%) was still 5 percentage points ahead of the use of mobile broadband connections, i.e. internet connections via cellular networks via UMTS, HSPA, 4G/LTE or 5G.

COVID-19 has further accelerated the digital transformation. More than half of the enterprises (56%), reported an increase in the number of remote meetings in 2020. COVID-19 played a role in 99% of the enterprises, in 77% of the enterprises COVID-19 was even the sole reason for the change. The number of employees with remote access to the enterprise's e-mail system as well as the number of employees with remote access to the enterprise's network, software, applications or documents increased in about a third of the enterprises (38%). Again, COVID-19 proved to be influential. Specifically, COVID-19 was partly or fully responsible for the increase in 97% of the enterprises in the former case and in 98% of the enterprises in the latter case.

Overall, 25% of all enterprises sold goods or services via websites, apps or online marketplaces in 2020, thus accumulating about € 30.2 billion in revenue. The majority of this revenue (86%), about € 25.9 billion, was generated via the enterprise's own website or app (including websites or apps of subsidiaries or parent companies), while € 4.3 billion (14%) were generated via online marketplaces run by other enterprises.

Through the sales of goods or services via EDI-based systems (e.g. XML, EDIFACT; excluding e-mails) 7% of the enterprises were able to generate about € 71.1 billion in revenue.

Cloud services were adopted by 40% of the enterprises, an increase of 2 percentage points compared to the previous year. The proportion of large enterprises (250 employees and more) was significantly higher (75%) than the proportion of medium-sized enterprises (50 to 249 employees; 55%) and small enterprises (10 to 49 employees; 37%).

There was a clear preference for cloud services such as “software as a service" and “infrastructure as a service", which were used by 90% and 74% of the enterprises, respectively, while only 28% of the enterprises used cloud services such as “platform as a service”.

IoT devices, so called smart devices, have gained more and more popularity, they were already adopted by 51% of the enterprises. Again, economies of scale came into play, as 74% of large enterprises used smart devices while the proportion of medium-sized and small enterprises was lagging behind at 63% and 48%, respectively. The most popular area of application of smart devices was for premises' security (e.g. "smart" alarm systems, door locks, security cameras; 41% of all enterprises). Energy consumption management was listed second (e.g. "smart" meters, lamps or thermostats; 19%).

Technologies based on artificial intelligence (AI) were adopted by 9% of all enterprises and were primarily used for the analysis of written language (e.g. text mining; 56% of all enterprises using AI technologies) as well as for data analysis (e.g. machine learning, deep learning; 42%). They were most commonly used for the organisation of business administration processes and for marketing and sales (30% and 29% of all enterprises using AI technologies, respectively). A number of barriers to AI adoption remain. Enterprises which considered the adoption of such technologies but decided against it, reported a lack of relevant expertise in the enterprise as well as costs being too high (57% and 50% of these enterprises, respectively).

Please consult our German website for tables and charts containing further information.

Internet access, broadband connections, website, social media and cloud services 2003 to 2021
Internet access 2003 to 2021
Fixed broadband connections 2003 to 2021
Mobile broadband connections 2010 to 2021
Cloud services 2014 to 2021

ICT Usage in EnterprisesPrice in € *)Free Download


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