A busy and bustling journey

The EU has a strong plan for achieving a digital single market by the end of 2016. But what does this mean in practice? What impact will this have on the workforce? And how can businesses adapt to manage added competition?

A study called Digital Marketplace: Hope or Hype?, conducted by Coleman Parkes Research and sponsored by Ricoh Europe, reveals how only eight per cent of European businesses are ready to embrace the Digital Single Market.

The survey was conducted in July 2015 and consisted of 1,360 respondents from across eight vertical sectors, including education, legal, utilities/energy, healthcare, public sector, retail, manufacturing and financial services. Participating respondents were from the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, the Nordics (Sweden, Finland and Denmark), Portugal, Austria and Hungary.

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A case of divided states?

Only half of business leaders are aware of the EU’s Digital Agenda (52 per cent). From a country perspective, awareness is at its lowest in Portugal (27 per cent), Belgium (36 per cent), The Nordics (38 per cent) and The Netherlands (39 per cent). What's more, only eight per cent of organisations are ready for what is meant to be the most game-changing regulation for businesses in recent years - the Digital Single Market. Yet the majority have ambitious expansion plans across Europe.