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The digital journey, an opportunity for France

2014

Like other countries, France has seen digital technologies spread throughout society, leading to new behaviors and new expectations from users. As a result, the digital transformation of businesses is gaining traction. This transformation requires adaptation and anticipation as well as an evolution in terms of technology, equipment, usage, organizations and culture.

A new study produced for Google by Roland Berger France analyzes just how far French businesses have come in making these developments their own. The study, authored by our French digital team around Nicolas Teisseyre, Jérôme Colin, Dominique Gautier, Jean-Charles Ferreri, Anne Bioulac and Hakim El Karoui, assesses the economic and social impact of digital transformation and presents an original digital maturity index for businesses.

The study entitled "The digital adventure - an opportunity for France" was produced in cooperation with Cap Digital, an association of French digital professionals, and is based on a survey of 500 French businesses with more than 50 employees from all industries. Its principal conclusion is that digitally mature companies are much more prosperous than their less advanced counterparts. The companies with the highest level of maturity in their digital transformation grow six times faster than those lagging behind the most. By accelerating their transformation, French enterprises could double their growth rates, the study estimates.

Although French companies are aware of the need to change, many are slow in doing so. The reason the respondents most often gave in the survey was financial: high transformation cost and the uncertainty of a return on investment are the principal barriers. Internal resistance to change is another major obstacle.

The study puts forward several recommendations for promoting digital conversion in companies, such as starting the transformation in marketing, which is generally very advanced digitally and in direct contact with clients, and in information systems. The authors also recommend companies to set up a partnering logic and to create a digital eco-system around them. Large enterprises play an important role here by sweeping their providers along on the digital journey.

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