Seizing the digital opportunity in France

All too often, fast-moving, disruptive digital innovation is presented as the enemy of Europe’s enviable social system. The reality, according to a new study published this week in Paris by consultants Roland Berger, is that digital companies not only boost economic growth - they also increase worker satisfaction.

Launching the new Roland Berger Internet report
Berger studied 505 companies, all with more than 50 employees, classifying them in four categories by how much they use the Internet. Its study focused not on sexy Internet startups, but on traditional industries such as chemistry, energy or manufacturing. The conclusion was striking: new digital technologies are just as important in these traditional sectors as for high tech startups. The most “digital” grow six times faster than the “least digital”.

Given this finding, it is unsurprising that French companies sense the opportunity: some 57% interviewed put digital transformation as one of their medium term strategic priorities. Unfortunately, actions do not follow these intentions. Only 36% of French companies have a formal digital strategy and French corporate Internet engagement lags far behind French consumer use. While nearly six in 10 French people shopped online in 2013, only one French company in 10 sold online.

If more French companies embarked on the digital journey, Berger argues they would not only improve their performance - they also would please workers. Employees of the most digitally mature companies feel at least 50 percent more involved and happier in their professional life than those of the least matures ones. In a country famed for its quality of life, this is indeed an impressive finding!