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Press release
SMEs: Training instead of employment of ICT specialists

IfM Bonn: In 2019 fewer SMEs pursued an online sales strategy than in 2018

Video conferencing, online sales and remote service maintenance have become much more important for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany since the beginning of the corona pandemic.

In 2019 this was still different: Although 88% of SMEs maintained a website, the share of companies that generated at least 1% of their turnover with online sales was only 17%. This means that at that time, SMEs – like large companies in Germany – were below the EU average.

Focus on ICT training

Four out of ten (43%) medium-sized enterprises employ information and communication technology (ICT) specialists – among small enterprises, they are found in only one in eight. The overall SME share is 17%. For comparison: 77% of large companies employ ICT specialists.

For SMEs in Germany, the continuing ICT training of their own employees is much more important than the employment of ICT specialists. Compared to 2018, the share among SMEs had risen by 2 percentage points by 2019.

This growth is based in particular on small and medium-sized enterprises: Compared to 2018, the proportion of enterprises in this size category offering ICT continuing training was 6 percentage points higher than in 2018. Overall, the proportion of SMEs in Germany is now 30%, which is well above the EU average (23%).

However, large companies in Germany (2019: 81%; 2018: 76%), which provide targeted continuing training for their employees, stand out even more – in comparison with SMEs in Germany as well as in the EU comparison (70%).

EU-wide key figures