The Netherlands leads the way in digitalization in Europe

Organizations throughout Europe are increasingly entering the digital age, but the Netherlands is at the forefront in both digitizing documentation and automating tasks, according to Kyocera’s ‘Business Digitalisation in Europe Outlook 2019’. The research by Kyocera – a specialist in document solutions – provides insight into how companies across the continent are dealing with digital transformation processes.

The Kyocera study was conducted among 1,750 respondents, ranging from independent freelancers to professionals from international companies, in seven European markets. Of the Dutch companies, 74% have digitized at least half of their business documents, which puts the Netherlands ahead of the other six countries surveyed (Italy, Turkey, Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Germany).

The Netherlands is also at the forefront of business process automation. An impressive 74% of Dutch companies have automated the majority of their tasks. Only 8% admit to having automated hardly any tasks; that percentage is twice as high in Germany, for example.

Needless to say, automating business processes is also a good way to increase productivity. The study shows that the automation trend is expected to gather pace in the years ahead, as nine out of ten companies indicate that they want to automate more processes over the next 12 months.

Marketing and Logistics are least automated departments

“We see that Dutch companies face various challenges, such as securing vital information and storing documentation. They are beginning to realize that there are simple solutions on the market in the form of document management solutions, such as content services,” comments Michael Powell, Expert Software Product Management at Kyocera Document Solutions Europe.

According to Powell, the Netherlands is a shining example when it comes to some departments, such as Production and Finance. On the other hand, he believes that there is still work to be done in areas such as Marketing and Logistics, where the Netherlands is actually the least automated of the seven countries surveyed. “Such inequality between departments is a reflection of the fact that companies are currently in a transitional phase and therefore still have a long way to go.”

Strategic priority

The figures reflect the fact that many Dutch companies have adapted solutions such as document management systems, enterprise content management and content services to streamline workflows. Although 44% of European companies are unaware of such solutions, these products are already having an impact on various departments and sectors. In this context, using technology to improve automation is a strategic priority for 35% of organizations.

According to Kyocera, there is not only a significant difference in adoption rates geographically, but company size is also a factor. The extent to which organizations have automated most of their tasks can vary from just 41% for small companies and freelancers to 72% for larger companies with more than 500 employees.